Artists by rule are an evolving species. We are ever learning, ever reaching for the next inspiration, the next way of seeing. So when I see an artist who has already been featured putting out exciting new work, I can’t help but want to share it with you! Miami Beach artist Yolanda Sanchez is showing a new body of work at J. Johnson Gallery in Jacksonville Beach, FL continuing her explorations of the “felt experience” in paintings that feel light as air.
Taking cues from calligraphy, Asian art, and poetry, Sanchez’s paintings seem almost short hand notes of the visual stories happening in nature. Flowers unfolding, dripping dew, colors tumbling one over another. These new compositions are lively but deliberate, each stroke carrying with it life and meaning.
To see more of Yolanda Sanchez‘s latest work, please visit her website. If you happen to be in North Florida, be sure to stop by J. Johnson Gallery in Jacksonville Beach to breathe in these works for yourself. Her solo show, There is Only the Dance is up at the gallery until May 15th.
Because we travel so much, our advice on particular places is often sought out. It’s always a challenge to distill a place down to the essentials. Sometimes the impression we take away from a place might be quite different from what we felt at the time. In her latest body of work, artist Saira McLaren epitomizes the changing impression of a landscape through layers of light and color.
It can be a challenge sometimes, to see the best of a place when your experience is less than ideal. On the other hand, more positive circumstances can create a favorable impression where it might not have existed otherwise. We call it “looking back through hindsight glasses”. The impact of a space whether positive or negative can be effected by the landscapes that came before or after. The sight of a lush green forest following a long stint in the desert heightens the its effect.
One of my favorite scenes when we’re road tripping is when the highway follows the path of a river. We wind through the mountains, all the while the rushing turquoise water next to the highway seeming to follow the journey of our apple red car. In her collages and ink and marker drawings, Vancouver artist Sarah Gee Miller “delves into the the relationship between primal shape and high-intensity colour to find balance and harmony.”
Her bright, saturated colors run against one another, sometimes following their path, other times diverging to create their own, yet always keeping within the confines of the whole. Just like the wild river is kept ringed in by the landscape, circles are bound inside hexagons, keeping their abandon in check.
Ever feel like you’re just kind of aimlessly wandering from one day to the next? I mean, we get up each morning, go through our routine.. shower, coffee, email, work, lunch, work, dinner, bed, rinse, repeat. But do we really have a sense of purpose? Is this all we were put here for?
The abstract paintings of Karl Klingbiel with their looping layers and chaotic color, bring to mind the way it feels at times to be here, to be lost in a world of our own making, our own choosing.
We move from one place to the next, one job to the next, perhaps even one relationship to the next and sometimes back again, always looking for that feeling of contentment, fulfillment. Maybe it is just our way, this wandering. Maybe because we were truly designed for something different, a kind of life we can’t even fathom, so caught up we are in the imaginary race we’re running against no one.
Throughout my younger years, my body seemed to bend to my wishes. I was one of the lucky ones, eating whatever I liked and barely gaining an ounce. Never breaking bones, full of energy for whatever came my way. But as the years have passed, that body has changed. Harder work is required to keep my body in the kind of shape I need it to be. That ideal shape has evolved– no longer do I obsess over being model-skinny. I want to be strong. My body is not a clothes hanger, it is a work horse. I want it to take me up that mountain and show me things I can’t see from my sofa. I want it to be my ally, not my enemy.
New York figurative artist Jenny Morgan renders in paint self portraits and portraits of friends and family in which there seems a strong interconnection between the physical, psychological, and spiritual. Bodies are simply the vessels in which we move through this life. They can be a help or a hindrance but in the end, they are only a part of who we are. In my hands I see years of work and my mother’s genes. My legs have carried me on numerous hikes and adventures beside my husband. But those memories aren’t carried in this physical body alone. They reside in my heart, in my mind, in my spirit. And when this body no longer serves it’s purpose, I will carry them with me.
Before Mr. F and I began to travel, I rarely gave thought to the energy found in certain places. Sure I knew the intensity of Manhattan was vastly different from the quiet pace of life in the Smoky Mountains. But once we started traveling, I became much more sensitive to each place’s energy. In his photographs, LA artist David Benjamin Sherry seems to distill the aura of each place down to color.
As a painter, it’s something that I’ve given a lot of thought to. While each new place definitely has a different pace and feel, it’s interesting to me to think about how that might translate into color. You may think well, that’s easy, trees and water = green and blue. But there can be an underlying feeling to a place, whether a warmth or mystery, that might make it feel differently than it presents visually. I haven’t decided yet the colors of the Bay Area.. give me a few more months, ha! What color is your landscape?
I’ve been out of high school a long time ( we won’t mention how long! ). If it weren’t for Facebook, I think it’s safe to say there would be few folks from high school I would be keeping up with today. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great high school experience. But I’m a firm believer that people move through our lives in seasons– some come to stay, others stay just for awhile. But what is it about high school that seems to create such strong bonds for some?
One thought might be that commonality of going through the same experience at the same point in time. We are becoming a singular person, but are immersed in a large group. Striving to find ourselves, yet often losing ourselves among the crowd. The Class Photo series of paintings by Pacifica artist Marshall Crossman seems to illustrate that experience of individuals melting together to form a whole.
The way the artist reduces the ubiquitous class photo pose into simple shapes and strokes reinforces the idea of young people still in “formation” mode. Who among us knew who we would ultimately be while in high school? I certainly didn’t! Maybe it’s true that my life’s path didn’t take the journey I thought it would at eighteen, but deep inside I’m the same soul I was in high school. Introspective, striving, shy. When I look at the current faces of my former classmates, I don’t see the changes life has dealt. What is left is the essence of those souls who are forever linked with mine through our shared experience, our shared moment in time.
After spending almost 2 years in small towns, it is such a treat to be close to a big city and all it has to offer. Recently Mr. F and I spent a Saturday morning gallery hopping, one of my favorite ways to spend a day! We hit up a bunch of galleries in Union Square, including K. Imperial Fine Art and it was there I fell in love with the work of Lorene Anderson.
Inspired by the rolling hills here in Northern CA, Anderson uses stripes to mimic the landscape but only slightly– she bends and churns their parallel lines to create movement and depth. What would have been solid and stagnant becomes fluid and lively.
While sharing work on the blog is important, I can’t stress enough how much difference it makes to get out and see art in person. The depth of the layers in Anderson’s work amazed me on sight. There was so much going on, so many little worlds to get up close and explore! And I’m still mesmerized by those stripes. Landscape painting has been around for centuries, artists will always be inspired by the earth’s beauty. But it is in the work of artists like Lorene, who show us a different vision of the land we see every day that I find endless inspiration and fascination.
Trees break free from rocky soil. The sea crashes onto land. The natural world is filled with interesting and often incongruent intersections. In her paintings, French born Brussels based artist Edwige Fouvry calls our attention to those confluences to be found around us.
These places of intersection are often some of my favorites– the drama of cliff faces rising above a glassy lake is just too incredible to be true sometimes! Landscapes remind us of our own juxtapositions, the way our lives don’t always seem to make sense and yet, somehow we continue to thrive. There is a certain type of wildflower found in Florida that actually needs what we would normally think of as disaster ( wildfire ) in order to grow. Perhaps it is at those times when the sea crashes onto our shore that though we think we are drowning, we are actually being nourished.
It seems like we are finally taking a stand. For years now, we’ve been bombarded by photoshopped images of “perfection”, leading to unrealistic expectations on both sides of the gender aisle. While the underlying issues are still pervasive, the tide seems to be turning. Companies are at last standing up and reinforcing the idea that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. In her series, Have a Nice Day, Berlin based artist Jennis Li Cheng Tien gives the world her own take on how digitally enhanced images have altered our perceptions.
How disorienting and disconcerting it must be to have your digital representation, whether it be your face or body, so altered that it doesn’t reflect the image you see in the mirror. What may begin as a tweak here, an airbrush there, perhaps with the good intention of clearing up one’s less than perfect skin or helping that designer’s clothes to hang a bit more ideally, can quickly escalate into dangerous territory. We’re left in a world where the face on the screen or the page doesn’t match the face we see in person. Where certain idealized qualities that often don’t naturally exist leave the rest of us striving for the unattainable. What we end up doing is erasing not the blemishes, but ourselves.