Views. Christopher Ryan Russell.

Mr. F and I have an ongoing difference of opinion.  When we’re hiking, he is all about big, open, impressive views.  I like hikes that take me deep into the forest where the light does magical things among a myriad of textures.  But no matter the view, the point is to get out and just see!  These paintings by Christopher Ryan Russell take us down both paths towards divine prospects.

Christopher Ryan Russell | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Christopher Ryan Russell | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Christopher Ryan Russell | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Christopher Ryan Russell | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Christopher Ryan Russell | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings

 

On occasion, Mr. F and I both get what we want– a journey that takes us deep down into the forest and then up and out into an amazing landscape view.  Russell’s work well represents that dichotomous marriage between what lies beneath and what is to be found above.  One would not be nearly as thrilling without the journey to or from the other.

Check out Christopher Ryan Russell‘s website to see more of his work.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Explorations. Amy Alice Thompson.

Before the mister and I began traveling together, I lived in the same city my entire life.  The urge to wander was always there, lurking beneath the surface.  I would feed it now and again with weekend trips with friends but never imagined doing anything close to our life today.  In each new place, we make a list of what we’d like to see and do in our short time there.  And every time, we’re amazed by how many locals are less acquainted with their home territory than we become.  This series of collages by Amy Alice Thompson explores the journey of exploration.

Amy Alice Thompson | artsy forager #art #artists #collage Amy Alice Thompson | artsy forager #art #artists #collage Amy Alice Thompson | artsy forager #art #artists #collage Amy Alice Thompson | artsy forager #art #artists #collage Amy Alice Thompson | artsy forager #art #artists #collage

 

Nothing substitutes visiting a place in person.  Even the most beautiful photograph or painting  can’t capture the sounds, the smells, the essence of what we experience first hand.  As Mr. F and I travel, we’re fortunate to be able to really immerse ourselves into each place.  We explore not simply as tourists but as temporary citizens.  Some places fall short of expectation, others exceed it beyond what we had hoped.  But each time, the value is in the exploration.

To see more of the work of Amy Alice Thompson, please visit her website.  Where are you exploring this weekend?

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Piles. Brigid Watson.

Are you a piler?  At any given time, we live with at least half a dozen piles scattered among us– stacks of mail, bills, laundry, books, you name it.  Sometimes one pile begets another pile and so on and so on.  These paintings by Brigid Watson, with their heavily layered texture reminded me that the piles are simply the layers of life.

Brigid Watson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Brigid Watson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Brigid Watson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Brigid Watson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Brigid Watson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart

 

In Watson’s paintings, the layers of paint swirl together, overlap, sometimes just piling one right on top of the other.  So it is with our own piles.  We try to keep things neat and compacted but that just isn’t the way life works most of the time.  The piles continue and soon we can only catch glimpses of what lies beneath.  The layers add to the foundation, creating movement, color, creating life.

To see more of Brigid Watson‘s work, check out her Facebook page.  I chose to focus on these textural paintings but I fell in love with everything she does!

All images are via the artist’s Facebook page.

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Peeks. Laurie Danial.

Our little apartment here in Marin County is on top of a hill, looking down on a small valley below, surrounded by trees.  We delight in leaving the windows open, each glimpse out feels like the view from a treehouse!  Every morning, as I groggily try to get my bearings post-alarm-ring, I catch tiny little slivers of the sunrise through the trees.

Laurie Danial | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Laurie Danial | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Laurie Danial | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Laurie Danial | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Laurie Danial | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart

 

Occasionally, those small slices propel me out and up the steps to see the full view.  But most of the time, I’m content with those tiny little looks.  The bigger picture is in the beyond and there is comfort in knowing it is there, yet I don’t feel compelled to always seek it out.  I’m safe and content up here in the trees and the slivers are enough.  Just a little taste can be just as satisfying as eating the whole pie.

Abstract paintings featured by Portland artist Laurie Danial.  See more on the artist’s website.

All images via the artist’s website.

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Breathe. Eric Aho.

I’ve always loved being outside.  When I was young, my brother and I would spend entire Saturdays outside, only coming in when we heard my dad’s special ( and loud! ) whistle.  As the years went by, it seemed like the opportunities to be outside became fewer.  But that old ache has been renewed and these days, I can’t wait to get out to where I can breathe.  Artist Eric Aho‘s abstract paintings capture that magical feeling that only the freshest of air can bring.

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Mr. F and I like to seek out lesser traveled trails– definitely a challenge while we’re in the Bay Area.  But even if the solitude is short lived, we soak up every second.  One of us will pause– shhh!  The other always asking what is it?  What do you see?  What do you hear?  What we hear is nothing.  Quiet.  Peace.  Air in, worries out.

To see more of Eric Aho‘s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s representing galleries, Hidell Brooks Gallery and DC Moore Gallery.  Artist found via Hidell Brooks.

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Tribes. Erica Lambertson.

It can be a struggle to find your people.  When we’re young and not yet fully who we are meant to be, we often find ourselves in the midst of people simply because they are the ones that are around or because of a longing to be cool, popular, etc.  And life can still be that way.  On social media and in the blog world especially, we’re bombarded with images of the “cool kids” doing amazing things, enjoying success.  It can make us long to be a part of their pack.

Erica Lambertson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Erica Lambertson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Erica Lambertson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Erica Lambertson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Erica Lambertson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart

But what I’ve learned, and believe me it’s taken a long time, is that there is a group of people that will get you.  And those who don’t can be fun to hang with occasionally, but they aren’t your people.  Your people, your tribe, are the ones who hold your hand through thick and thin, who get your jokes, who understand your passions.  They are out there.

Featured artwork by New Orleans artist Erica Lambertson.  See more of Erica’s work on her website.

All images via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Gallery Orange.

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Outskirts. Ian McLean.

A sense of belonging.  We grow up seeking it.  From the start, we are a part of our family, but as we grow and mature, we look outside of those familiar faces to find our community.  For some, it happens quickly and remains unchanged, for others it fluctuates with time and seasons and the search is a longer, more arduous effort.  These paintings by Ian McClean seem to be manifestations of that feeling of being on the outside, trying to find your way in or perhaps, deciding whether you’d like to go in at all.

Ian McLean | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Ian McLean | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Ian McLean | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Ian McLean | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Ian McLean | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings

 

We all know what it’s like, that dissatisfaction with where you are but the uncertainty of exactly where you belong.  In younger years, it seems easy to find “our people”, circumstances often do it for us.  But as we move through life and decide for ourselves where and how we spend our time, finding where we belong becomes more of a challenge.  To a certain extent we’ll all feel like a square peg in a round hole, maybe forever.  Could that be so that we’ll never get too comfortable?

To see more of Ian McLean‘s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Dazzling. Kristi Hager.

For the past two weeks, even before the official arrival of Spring, the scent of jasmine has permeated the air here in Marin County.  Mr. F and I breathe it in and count ourselves lucky to be in this place!  The array of blooms here has been breathtaking.  Doesn’t it always seem as if the first flowers of spring are exploding with excitement?  Like they’ve just been itching all winter long to dazzle you with their color and scent.

Kristi Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #flowers #photography Kristi Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #flowers #photography Kristi Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #flowers #photography Kristi Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #flowers #photography Kristi Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #flowers #photography

 

And dazzle they do.  And dazzle we don’t do often enough.  Why?  Because we’re so worn down by the monotony of life.  Go to work, cook dinner, take the kids to soccer.  Rinse, repeat.  We don’t allow ourselves the freedom to sparkle.  To find that moment to feel worthy of shining.  The flowers know their worth.  Why don’t you?

Photography featured today by Kristi Hager.  To see more of Kristi’s work, please visit her website.

All images via the artist’s website.

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Artsy Reads. The Painter by Peter Heller.

I’ve been reading mostly artist and art professionals biographies lately, but I do love a beefy novel, especially one in which an artist is the central character.  So when I was offered a copy of The Painter by Peter Heller for review, I jumped at the chance!

This was not only my first novel in a while, but also the first I’ve read of any of Heller’s work.  The Painter is, on the surface, the story of a man battling his own demons, creating chaos and tragedy in his wake, but finding a version of peace in the end.  But it is also a portrait of an artist– all his flaws, his humanity, and how he works through his story with paint on canvas.

Heller_The painter cover

 

In the beginning, the narrator and main character Jim Stegner ( loosely based on Taos artist Jim Wagner ) painting himself swimming in an ocean of women.  As the story moves on, the paintings move into darker places, nearly exploding from his hand in a need to make sense of what is happening.  The narrative is mostly a succinct, Hemingwayesque style but it is in those painting passages that I got the most caught up.

Heller’s story of creating chaos and finding peace, for me, takes a back seat to his portrait of the painter.  Those long descriptions of the way a painting comes to being– from the formation of an idea, the need to bring it to canvas, sketching out the idea, then becoming completely absorbed by bringing it to life and not even realizing what you’ve done until it is all over– will ring true and familiar for anyone who has ever painted from the soul.

The Painter is a gripping story and authentic depiction of the conflict of the artist and the world in which he lives.  Alas, as we travel, I can’t carry too many books around!  If you think you’d enjoy reading The Painter  post your favorite artist biography in the comments and I’ll draw a name this Friday 3.27.15 and send my copy to the winner!  US residents, only, please.

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Intersections. Jenny Hager.

Mr. F and I rely heavily on GPS.  After all, we’re usually living in a new place every three months!  For the first week or so, we use it to navigate every where we go.  Eventually we get to know our paths and crossways and are able to find our way without electronic aid.  In the meantime, we make a lot of wrong turns even with help.  The work of Los Angeles artist Jenny Hager has me thinking about intersecting paths and the directions we follow.

Jenny Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jenny Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jenny Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jenny Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jenny Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart

The roads we think will get us to our destination– the paths that seem most logical, often lead  to a dead end or the opposite direction.  Then sometimes there is only one way to go.  We take that street and follow it until we reach its conclusion.  Those are the easiest journeys.  The ones where we find our path and simply follow.  But it can be in the twists and turns, in the turning this way when we are supposed to go that way, in which we find a destination we didn’t even know we wanted to discover.

To see more of Jenny Hager‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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