Artsy Coupling

I adore a good love story.  Mr. Forager does not approve of love stories without a happy ending.  I, on the other hand, appreciate the twists and turns of tragic, complicated relationship stories.  Monumental artists often have epic love stories, whether they be blissful or heartbreaking, or often a combination of both.  In honor of this most loving of days, here are a few of my favorite artistic pairings!

Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Willem and Elaine De Kooning

Pablo Picasso and Francoise  Gilot


O’Keeffe and Stieglitz | Pollock and Krasner | Kahlo and Rivera | de Koonings | Gilot and Picasso

Are you a part of an artsy couple?  Let me know and maybe we’ll feature a few current artsy couplings on the blog!


Bundles of Blossoms: Christy Kinard

Happy Valentine’s Day, Artsies!  Back in my singleton days, February 14th brought out the snarky cynic in me.  I even owned and regularly sported a “Love Stinks” t-shirt.  But ever since Mr. Forager finally realized he loved me, I’ve retired my sarcastic tee and look forward to this celebration of love. For millions of people, this day is all about sending and receiving beautiful bouquets of flowers. What could be more romantic?  I say nothing says love like a painted bundle of blooms by Atlanta artist Christy Kinard!

Stripes and Roses by Christy Kinard

Stripes and Roses, mixed media, 36×36

Kinard is obviously an artist painting what she loves and having the most fabulous time doing it!  Her work is filled with such joyful energy, it is impossible to look upon it and be sad.  Go ahead, try.  See?  The candy colored palette alone makes me want to sing silly love songs and dance in the kitchen with Mr. Forager.

Peacock Roses by Christy Kinard

Peacock Roses, mixed media, 48×48

Yellow II by Christy Kinard

Yellow II, mixed media, 36×36

Kinard’s bouquets aren’t perfect and polished, they’re a bit messy and layered with textures.  This isn’t modern, sophisticated, too cool for school kind of love.  It’s your grandparents’ love.  The kind that sits on a porch swing every evening.  The kind that still holds hands after sixty years.  This is what love is really like.

Pink, Yellow, Orange XOXO by Christy Kinard

Pink, Yellow, Orange XOXO, mixed media, 36×36

How are you celebrating love today, Artsies?  To see more of Christy Kinard’s work, please visit her website and show her some love on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest!

All images are via the artist’s website.


Finding My Own Artsy

I hope you don’t mind if I get personal. Something has been missing from my life. I was seeing it every day from all points, sharing with you when I found it elsewhere, yet finding it lacking for myself. I’m talkin’ about the ARTSY. You see, once upon a time, I could paint. I could draw. And I loved it. But post-college, life happened, I got a string of “real jobs” ( art related, fortunately ) and in general, the busyness of life took over. Occasionally I would dust off my paints and brushes, but those creative rendezvous where growing fewer and farther in between.

You might think that the perfect opportunity to get back into it came when Mr. Forager & I began traveling. No longer would I have the constraints of working a 40+ hour work week, no longer would I be maintaining and upkeeping a house, we’d be far from family, so no excuse of making time for everyone but me. And I did think about it. But it scared the daylights out of me. That little voice inside ( you know, the nasty, mean one ) told me I’d waited too long. Any skill I’d cultivated and talent I’d had was gone. Who was I to try to be an artist? I worked with and personally knew so many phenomenally talented artists. I didn’t feel worthy of even trying to join their ranks. So I choose to stretch my creative muscles in a different direction– I wrote about those phenomenal talents here on the blog. All the while knowing something was missing.

Instead of cultivating my own creative spirit, I’d thrown all my energy into celebrating the creativity of others.  Please don’t get me wrong, I adore creating, writing, and developing Artsy Forager!  Yet I find myself feeling envious of all the artists I was discovering.  HE has such a way with paint, SHE can draw like nobody’s business.  I wanted to get back the artistic mojo I’d been missing.  For Christmas 2011, Mr. Forager gave me a new set of acrylics and a full-size foldable easel.  I’m ashamed to say I can count on two fingers the times I’ve used them.  There always seemed to be a reason not to.  But now we’ve been here in Joshua Tree for 4 months with 2 1/2 more to go.  We’re in a house big enough for me to have room to paint.  No more excuses.


So Sunday, while Mr. Forager was brewing beer, I got out my paints and brushes and set up my easel.  Underpainting, done.  Easy enough, just a wash of phthalo blue.  There was a photograph I’d taken of rocks in water that I decided to use as my jumping off point.  I sketched in the shadows and forms and started pushing in color and highlights.  But it wasn’t working.  At times it looked OK, I started to remember what I loved about the process, but then it all seemed to fall apart.  I hated what I was doing.  I didn’t find it at all creative or inspiring.  Mr. F could tell it wasn’t going well.  He lovingly reminded me that this was supposed to be fun.  And correctly pointed out that maybe I was just trying too hard.  I continued to stew and then just got mad.  At myself.  And with that, I did what most angry artists would do– I destroyed what I’d done with more paint.  I slashed cadmium yellow and alizarin crimson all over the tight, controlled mess I’d already concocted.  And I immediately felt better.  And inspired.

I continued just freely pushing paint, slashing, spraying, muddying, wiping, taking a break and then doing it all again.  Mr. F brought me a glass of Kona Koko Brown, one of the few beers I love, and I continued to play.  I forgot that I was trying to make “art” and just enjoyed how the colors were working and what the paint was doing.  I could see something emerging that made me happy.  I was loving the way the colors were mixing, the way light was coming through.  I had a breakthrough.  You can see the results of my day below.


Kintla Lake ( detail ), acrylic on board, 12×16

Do I think this is the most fabulous inspiring painting I’ve ever seen?  Not even close.  But compared to where I began that day, I’m pretty happy.  It feels good to have a visceral connection to paint again.  I have a long way to go.  But I’ve vowed to try to create something every day, whether it be just a sketch or a quick study in paint on paper.  I’m even inspired to begin a series ( more on that later ). My creative muscles need exercise.  I’m sharing this with you because I’m sure you’ve experienced something similar.  And because I needed to tell someone.  And I need accountability.  So if you don’t mind, I’ll occasionally share a little of my own artistic journey.  It will be nice to have some company.

All images by Artsy Forager.

Suspended Memory: Kaarina Kaiakkonen

After my grandmother died, there were a few pieces of her clothing that I kept just because they reminded me of her.  Even a few years after she was gone, you could catch the faint scent of her perfume in the cloth.  Clothing is so deeply personal, it lies close to our skin, keeps us warm and dry, carrying with it memories of moments, past lives and future hopes.  Finnish installation artist Kaarin Kaikkonen embraces the influence clothing has over us in her site specific installations.

Kaikkonen’s installations began with the hanging of men’s jackets, a coping mechanism of sorts in dealing with the loss of her own father.  She would eventually shift to women’s clothing in memory of her mother.  Her most recent installation, though, turns her eye upon children and gender roles.  Children’s clothing is strung in rows, subtly organized by color.  The blues and pinks face off, yet as the lines recede, the colors fade.  Perhaps a symbolic nod to how traditional gender roles have always been the “loudest voices”?

What we chose to clothe ourselves in does say something about who are.  Whether we are designer label fiends or thrift store junkies, what we wear tells the world our story with one glance.  Even Mr. Forager, who claims not to care about fashion, is still picky about his clothing choices!  What story are your clothes telling?

You can find more of Kaarina Kaikkonen’s work on her website.

Artist found via This is Colossal.  All images via their website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Kevin Miyazaki

Note: There seems to be an issue with EIL, as this Artist Watch has not been published as scheduled.  Working to get it fixed! 

There is so much to be proud of in our history, yet there is much darkness as well.  In his Camp Home series, Japanese American photographer Kevin J. Miyazaki documents what has become of the barracks once used to house Japanese prisoners of WWII in internment camps here in the US.  Many of these buildings were redistributed and became homes, barns, and outbuildings.  See more from this series, as well as Miyaki’s Fast Food and As Seen series in my Artist Watch on Escape Into Life here.

Camp Home series by Kevin Miyazaki

Camp Home series by Kevin Miyazaki

Kevin Miyazaki on Escape Into Life

Image via the artist’s website.

Sheer Expression: Mary Ann Wakeley

Something that draws me again and again to abstract work is how it, more than any other style, tends to be about outward expression of an inner life.  Artists using their canvases and paints to work out what is going on inside.  The work of Pennsylvania artist Mary Ann Wakeley, which she describes as a form of meditation, seems to be the manifestation of her own inner dialogues.

Wonderland by Mary Ann Wakeley

Wonderland, mixed media on paper, 19×24

Le Fruit de l'Amour by Mary Ann Wakeley

Le Fruit de L’Amour, mixed media on paper, 17×22

As I look at Wakeley’s work, watching the movement of color and line, I can almost “see” the conversation taking place with herself in paint.  The forms and shapes dialogue on the canvas, some speaking louder than others.

L'Envers by Mary Ann Wakeley

L’Envers, mixed media on paper, 24×19

Reclamation by Mary Ann Wakeley

Reclamation, mixed media on wood, 30×30

Looking through Wakeley’s body of work on her website, you can almost see the evolution of what she was expressing as a visual diary of sorts.. periods of work where the paint is dark and dense or times of fluid joy.

To see more of Mary Ann Wakeley’s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.


This Artsy Life: Weekend 6 [ Artsy & Mr. Forager Make Stuff & Walk Some Art ]

After what has seemed like a busy few months, and with Mr. Forager fighting a cold, we welcomed a weekend at home in Joshua Tree.  A weekend at home for us is the chance to enjoy simple indulgences like reading and chatting over a second pot of coffee and getting our creative juices flowing which, for me involves paint and for Mr. F, involves malts & hops in the form of a newly brewed Oatmeal Cookie Stout.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it tastes as good as the name sounds!  We’ll know in a few more weeks..  We also stopped by the Joshua Tree ArtWalk for a while on Saturday night.  Small town ArtWalks don’t take long to see– we were still in bed by 10pm!  Now that’s a good weekend. ;-)

[ downtown Joshua Tree ]

[ weekends are for coffee ]

[ catching up on what's happening in my hometown ]

[ art at Joshua Tree Art Gallery ]

[ art at the Red Arrow Gallery ]

[ painting miscellanea ]


[ stirring the brew ]

For what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend at home, we kept ourselves pretty busy!  But isn’t it when we finally rest our souls that we find ourselves filled with creative energy?  More on how I’m getting my creative mo-jo back later.

**See more from photos from This Artsy Life on my Instagram feed.  Come follow me!

All images by Artsy Forager.

Fanciful Fascinations: Delphine Lebourgeois

As a young girl, my favorite books where those filled with delicately drawn illustrations portraying the fantastical world of dancing princes, ogres and pretty maidens.  Those drawings would become so ingrained in my mind that if I dreamed of those stories, the illustrations came to life.  The work of French born artist Delphine Lebourgeois brings to mind those fanciful visionary worlds in which nothing is ordinary.

Deesse I by Delphine Lebourgeois

Deesse I

Upon first glance, Lebourgeois’ work may appear purely decorative, but the artist takes decorative elements and patterns incorporating them into the work in such a way as to stir our imagination.  We enter into her surreal fairy tale, taking in the wonderful strangeness and reveling in the magic to be found.

Butterflies by Delphine Lebourgeois


Deesse VIII, Photo de Classe by Delphine Lebourgeois

Deesse VIII, Photo de Classe

Sky of Chandeliers by Lebourgeois

Sky of Chandeliers

As with most fairy tales, these works are not merely pretty pictures.  There is a message in each fable, and it is left to the viewer to discern what that may be.

Deesse III by Delphine Lebourgeois

Deesse III

To see more of Delphine Lebourgeois’ work please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.


Friday Design Finds: Sealed With a Kiss

You may remember Kaitlyn, who Guest Foraged for me last year.. Well, did you know that in addition to writing her blog isavirtue, she is a wonderfully talented stationery designer?  With Valentine’s Day coming upon us fast, wouldn’t you love to send and receive an artsy valentine?  Kaitlyn’s designs, available in her Etsy shop are simple, sweet, a bit cheeky and a whole lotta fun.  Just as love should be.

Lipstick Kiss envelope

Lipstick Kiss envelope

SWAK envelopes

SWAK envelopes

XOXO Hugs and Kisses envelopes

XOXO Hugs and Kisses envelopes

I Love You writing paper by isavirtue

I Love You writing paper

Anatomical Heart envelope

Anatomical Heart envelope

Sinful writing paper

Sinful writing paper

Don’t these make you want to sit down and write a love letter?  You can find these and more in Kaitlyn’s Etsy shop, isavirtue.  And don’t forget to seal it with a kiss. ;-)

All images via isavirtue on Etsy.

Live the Artsy: Her Name Was Anna

As fellow Artsies, I know that you are familiar with that sensation that comes over you when gazing upon a favorite work of art.. you want to jump right in and live inside the canvas.  Well, dear Artsies, I say you can!  In this new series, Live the Artsy, I’ll show you how a work of art can come alive as a living space.

Living in Her Name was Anna by this month’s featured artist Diana Lemieux means dark, cozy walls that envelop you like a forest, classically traditional shapes, and a few punches of color for attitude.  I’m picturing a little Notting Hill apartment that smells of heather and tea.

art | Her Name was Anna by Diana Lemieux

space | via Decor8

Any work of art you’ve fantasized about living in?  Let me know in the comments and I might just show you how to Live the Artsy!

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