This Artsy Life

This Artsy Life: Weekend 41 [ An Artsy Never Says Never ]

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my several decades of life, it is never say never.  Now I might say I highly doubt that will ever happen.. but I’ve learned that just when you think never is the only answer, you change, circumstances change and you find yourself thinking.. ok, maybe.

Mr. F and I are learning to always be open to where the next turn in the path may lead.  What we might think is a step back, may end up being two steps forward in a different direction.  We spent some time this weekend, as we seem to do every weekend, exploring around us and playing a familiar game.. “Could we live here?”.  We were in this area when we first came out to the Northwest together and I was still adjusting to traveling, to married life, to being away from my family and in a completely new setting.  We have some very fond memories of that time, but it definitely wasn’t the easiest for us.  When we left I was close to “nevering” this place, well, that other little town in particular.  But now, after experiencing more places, this rainy, beautiful peninsula does have its draw.

We explored one of our favorite little towns, Astoria, OR and I remembered thinking how we’d kind of crossed it off our list as just a bit too rainy.. never say never.  Then on Sunday, we drove up Hood Canal and Mr. F took me for a little tour of neighborhoods higher up in the mountains where the air is a bit drier, a bit crisper, the towns much smaller, but the homes way more affordable.. never say never.


[ fall day in Astoria ]


[ beer..a “never” I broke after Mr. F & got together ]


[ taking these paths together ]


[ views like this might never get old ]

We are incredibly blessed to be living a life that is so wide open.  There are friends who say they could never live this way, but to them I say never say never!  Freedom has its advantages.

Want to see more from this artsy life?  Follow me on Instagram! PS– found a fantastic Frida Kahlo shrine in Astoria!  Head over to Instagram to see. 😉

All images are by Artsy Forager.

Daily Artsy Figurative Paintings

Come Closer: Jerome Lagarrigue

I like to inspect things closely.  And when they aren’t aware of it, I like to examine people closely.  There is so much expression and beauty held within the eyes and the lines of each face.  French born artist Jerome Lagarrigue, in his larger than life portrait studies, focuses his brush on the eyes of his subject, revealing emotion that we might not notice without such targeted attention.

Eye #6 by Jerome Lagarrigue Jerome Lagarrigue Lagarrigue_Eye #8 Eye #14 by Jerome Lagarrigue Jerome Lagarrigue

Sometimes, when Mr. F & I are sitting together, reading or watching a movie, I can’t help but gaze at him for a while.  Pretty sure it creeps him out a bit when I do that!  But there is something so lovely about memorizing the face of the one you love, isn’t there?  Not to mention really seeing all the people you interact with every day.  How many of us could describe the faces of friends, family, colleagues well enough to create a true likeness?  If we don’t know a face well, how will we ever be able to read it?  To know what isn’t being said?

To see more of Jerome Lagarrigue‘s work, please visit his website.  Take some time to sit and stare at someone you love today, Artsies. 😉

All images via the artist’s website.

Daily Artsy Figurative Photography

Great Expectations: Denise Prince

Yesterday, I shared with you Lucky Jackson‘s work and wrote about the masks we wear.  Well, it seems like I’m on a bit of an identity-crisis train this week, so hop aboard!  I was really struck by this series of photographs by Austin artist Denise Prince, in which we find women dressed in finery, yet seeming very out of place.

Jesus, Empire Waist by Denise Prince Block Ice by Denise Price Daughters of Industry by Denise Prince Store Bought Lemonade by Denise Prince American Bingo by Denise Prince

These women, decked out in evening wear, seem frozen in time, not just physically, but perhaps spiritually as well.  They could be the homecoming queens whose lives began with such hopes for greatness, only to find themselves living a much more ordinary, less glamorous life than they ever expected.  Sometimes, we put such expectations on our future, don’t we?  Of course it’s perfectly normal to have dreams.  Haven’t we all, especially when we were young, dreamt of accepting an Oscar or Grammy in our evening gown or tux?  Maybe we expected our lives to turn out differently.  But no matter what turns life has taken, we can always still be the star of our own story, just perhaps less formally attired.

Want to see more of Denise Prince‘s work?  Please visit her website.

All images via the artist’s profile at Saatchi Online.

Artsy Lately Exhibitions Galleries Sculpture Textiles

Artsy Lately: Rachel Denny

Mr. F and I often talk about what has drawn us to the Northwest.  The mild summers have a lot to do with it, but even more, is the feeling that, in comparison to so much of the US, there is a wildness here.  Big cities are few and far between, the landscape filled more with small towns, rural communities and much still wild and untamed wilderness.  The thought that we can go out on a hike and see deer, elk, bears, and even moose in some areas, is thrilling.  We are living on the edge, ya’ll.  But that also means that we, as humans and society are ever encroaching on the wilderness and the animals found therein are paying the price.  These themes of nature and our relationship with it and effects upon it are the catalyst for the work of Portland sculptor, Rachel Denny.

Cold Comfort by Rachel Denny Tangled by Rachel Denny Soft Heart by Rachel Denny Lemon Thief by Rachel Denny Rumor of Spring by Rachel Denny

In her work, Denny has created a visual language for exploring the charm and delicacy to be found in the natural world.  Whimsy belies a deeper meaning, if we take the time to look beyond what we see.

Rachel Denny’s latest work can currently be seen in her solo exhibition, Outside In at Foster/White Gallery in Seattle through October 26th.  You can also see more of Denny’s work on her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Daily Artsy Figurative Paintings Sculpture

The Masks We Wear: Lucky Jackson

It’s that time of year.  Kids are planning who they’ll “be” for Halloween, adults are racking their brains to come up with costumes for themselves that are funny, clever, sexy, whatever the think they are or wish that they could be.  But the latest series by Canadian artist Lucky Jackson, I am the Hero of This Story, has got me thinking about the masks we all put on every day.

Lucky Jackson Lucky Jackson

It’s funny how we all grow up thinking we can do anything, be anything, but slowly over time as we age and life beats us down, doubt creeps in.  Maybe I’m not smart enough, or pretty enough, or cool enough, or brave enough.  So instead of believing that we can be the hero of our story, we play dress-up each day, pretending to be who we are not, faking it, hoping to make it through.

Lucky Jackson Lucky Jackson

Eventually though, either publicly or privately, whether when we’re young or at the end of our days, the facade will begin to crack.  We’ll come to realize that face we’ve been putting on all these years isn’t really who we are.  And hopefully, if we’re lucky, we’ll figure out who is truly hiding behind the mask.

Lucky Jackson

These painted woodcut pieces by Lucky Jackson harken back to those days of dreaming of who we would become, but also look to what happens to who we become as we listen to the voices around us.  Want to see more of Lucky Jackson‘s work?  Please visit her website.

All images via the artist’s website.

Abstract Art Fashion Paintings Wear the Artsy

Wear the Artsy: Jennifer JL Jones

I don’t know what it is about the work of this month’s Featured Artist, Jennifer JL Jones that reminds me so much of the Pacific Northwest.  Maybe it’s the watery, downward strokes that make me think of the softly falling rain or perhaps it’s the subtle glowing light, so different from the blaring bright this Florida girl had been used to!

This piece in particular, Sukha [Totems]is just the perfect representation of a Pacific Northwest Fall and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t anywhere near her mind when she painted it!  Autumn here in the NW is such an interesting mix of brilliantly changing leaves, grey skies and rain soaked earth.  Days that are made for cozy sweaters, boots and definitely don’t forget your raincoat!

Wear the Artsy collage

art | Sukha [Totems] by Jennifer JL Jones

ring | Patina Pleat Ring

sweater | Boucle Cowlneck

bag | Dylan Tote

jeans | AG Stevie Ankle Cords

boots | Dahlia Punched Boots

coat | Classic Snap Up Trench

My perfect Northwest Autumn day would be spent wrapped up in these cozies, grabbing coffee and heading to the art museum, followed by an evening at home by the fire gazing up at Jennifer Jones’ painting. 😉  One day, I will have one!  One day.

Image sources linked above.


Abstract Art Daily Artsy Paintings

The Calm and The Frenzy: Krista Harris

Our life seems, as I’m sure many of yours do, like a stream of times of hurry and peace.  When we’re looking for our next spot– hurry.  Once we get there and settle in– peace.  Autumn and spring– hurry.  Winter and summer– peace.  In her abstract paintings, Colorado artist Krista Harris finds inspiration in that natural push and pull that the journey of life brings.

Blushing by Krista Harris Keeping Bees by Krista Harris Sunflowers by Krista Harris

East of Here by Krista Harris

Holding Hands by Krista Harris

Through her process of building up and tearing down, adding and subtracting paint intuitively, Harris ends up with compositions that are flooded with movement, yet we find moments of respite among the fury.  Warm colors are tempered with contrasting cool hues, a perfect parallel of our own seasons of peace among life’s fray.

If you’d like to see more of the work of Krista Harris, please visit her website.

All images via the artist’s website.

Artsy Happenings

Artsy Happenings: #Foliophoto on Instagram

Remember when I mentioned the need to stretch some creative muscles?  While not exactly the painting project I had in mind, this Instagram project, initiated by Sandra of Raincoast Creative Salon and Christie of Bedside Design, came along at just the right time!  #Foliophoto is the name of the game and the objective is to take an Instagram each day of October based on a word prompt [ see list below ], then use hashtag #foliophoto to mark your Instagram and follow what everyone else is doing.

#Foliophoto collage

The project is about bettering our visual storytelling, improving our photography, and building creative community.  A definite assortment of goals I knew I could benefit from and have some artsy fun at the same time!  Want to join in?  It’s not too late!  Just find the word prompt below corresponding with today’s date [ i.e., for today, Oct. 8th, the word is pattern ].  Then take an Instagram inspired by that word.  Get creative!


I hope you’ll play along with us!  I love going through the #foliophoto entries at night and seeing what everyone else has come up with.  So much creativity, you guys!  You’ll be more creative and you’ll be inspired by what other folks are doing.  Come and play! #foliophoto

Images in collage by Artsy Forager.  Word prompt image via Raincoast Creative Salon.

Daily Artsy Figurative Sculpture

Delicate Grace: Gosia

Once in a while, I come across an artist whose work really captures me and I want to drink in each detail.  While perusing the work of another artist, I came across the website of his studio mate and immediately fell in love with what I saw.  The sculptures of Toronto artist Gosia haunted me with their delicate grace.

Eva by Gosia Pearl by Gosia The Feeling Washes Over Me by Gosia Luna by Gosia The Penny Bust by Gosia

The shrouded faces, the graceful features and gentle expressions, all rendered in snowy white.  They remind me of a quieter place, perhaps a place that doesn’t even exist, where time moves slowly and people are unfailingly tender and kind.

If you’d like to see more of Gosia‘s work, please visit her website.  If you’re in Toronto, she has a show currently up at Latitude 44 Gallery until October 12th and will open a new show at Wall Space Gallery on October 10th!

All images are via the artist’s website and Facebook page.

This Artsy Life

This Artsy Life: Weekend 40 [ Atmosphere is Almost Everything ]

With every new place, we make out a list of our “must sees” while we are there and this weekend, the sun finally came out, so we took full advantage and happily crossed a few items off our list!  One of our favorite “perfect day” activities is to do a little wine tasting.  So we headed down to the Williamette Valley in Oregon to enjoy some Fall color and hit a few vineyards.  You might remember we did a little wine tasting while we were in Southern California and while a day spent tasting wine is never a bad thing, we did find the SoCal style, with cavernous, crowded tasting rooms and glamorous, perfect people flitting about a bit off putting.  We like a quieter, cozy atmosphere, one where the winemaker himself might proudly take you on a tour of his vineyard, where staff take the time to chat and get to know you.  Maybe we’re a bit biased towards the NW, but there is just something about the wine country atmosphere up here that just feels more inviting.

So we spent a beautiful, cloudless day exploring the Oregon countryside and finished the day with a quick detour into Portland for dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant, Pok Pok.  I swear, Mr. F fantasizes about the Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings.  This is one place where, though the atmosphere is definitely NW cool, it is all about the food.  They could serve their yummies out of a brown paper bag on a street corner and we would still line up to eat it.

IMG_1503 IMG_1504 IMG_1500 IMG_1505 IMG_1506

So many of our Sundays these days seem to be spent catching up and running errands, and we got a bit of that in, but took the afternoon to make the drive over to the coast, hoping to catch one of our former landlords at their coffee shop, Tinderbox Coffee Roasters in Westport.  Have you ever run across people who were just instant friends?  Tara & Nick, the owners of Tinderbox, rented their house to us a few years ago, my first time living in the Northwest and being away from Florida.  Friendly, warm, genuine people that we took an instant liking to.  The kind of people who get it.  And it shows in the coffee they brew and the atmosphere they’ve created at Tinderbox.  Unpretentious, cozy and full of life, just like them.  If you find yourself in Westport, or passing through Aberdeen/Hoquiam ( where they have a drive-thru stand ), make sure you stop and get a cup of java.  It will warm you inside and out.

Want to see more from this artsy life?  Follow me on Instagram!

All images by Artsy or Mr. Forager. 😉