A Special Ordinary: Elaine Pamphilon

What did we do before the days Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to record the beauty of every day life?  How would anyone know how lovely my lunch might be on any given day?  I don’t think UK artist Elaine Pamphilon has ever asked that question.  Her lovely mixed media works capture the ordinary in an incredibly special way.

Cornish Window Sill by Elaine Pamphilon

Cornish Window Sill, mixed media on panel, 80×60 cm

Often dividing her surfaces into planes of color, Pamphilon treats us to glimpses of moments that, though simple as they may be, draw us in with their sweetness and humor.

Blackbird Eyeing Up Sleeping Lily.. by Elaine Pamphilon

Blackbird Eyeing Up Sleeping Lily Wondering If He Can Borrow Crumbs From Phillip’s Plate, mixed media on canvas, 50×40 cm

Studying India by Elaine Pamphilon

Studying India, mixed media on panel, 30×30 cm

Indian Seed Pods and Chai by Elaine Pamphilon

Indian Seed Pods and Chai, mixed media on panel, 30×30 cm

There is such a sense of collected spontaneity about her work, as if each finished piece is just a quick little sketch in her journal, a remembrance of the day, sights, sounds, and findings.

At the Old Rising Sun by Elaine Pamphilon

At the Old Rising Sun, mixed media on panel, 40×30 cm

Sigh.  Her work makes me wish I was a better journal keeper.  Guess I’ll have to settle for Instagram. To see more of Elaine Pamphilon’s work, please visit her website.

Artist found via Christina Foard.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Johan Rosenmunthe

More and more of our interaction and how we present ourselves to the world, as well as how we perceive others is based on online representations.  In his Off II series, Danish artist Johan Rosenmunthe places digitized images of friends from the internet into entirely analog settings.  See more from this series of work in my Artist Watch on Escape Into Life here!

Off II series by Johan Rosenmunthe

Johan Rosenmunthe on Escape Into Life

In Abundance: Sandy Welch

Do you ever have days when you just feel abundantly blessed?  I hope you do!!  These days I’m feeling amazingly thankful for so much.  Mr. Forager, the life we lead, the life we’re building, what I do here and everyone who shares in it.  When I was gazing at these abstract paintings by Conneticut artist Sandy Welch, one word came to mind: abundance.

Springtime in the Park #2 by Sandy Welch

Springtime in the Park #2

These paintings are filled to overflowing with vibrant color and energetic rhythm.  Fairly frenetic with joy, they are brimming with life, just as the world explodes in color each spring.

All That Jazz by Sandy Welch

All That Jazz, acrylic, 30×40

Spring II by Sandy Welch

Spring II

The paint is almost dancing off the canvas, isn’t it?!   Each one is just brimming with hopefulness and frivolity.  I think we need to remind ourselves sometimes that it’s OK to be happy.  Life isn’t perfect, no, but overall it is pretty darn good.

A Walk in the Park by Sandy Welch

A Walk in the Park

To see more of Sandy Welch’s work, please visit her website and Pinterest page.

Images via the artist’s website and her Pinterest page, linked above.

This Artsy Life: Weekend 11 [ Artsy & Mr. Forager Daydream ]

This was our 3rd weekend in a row at home in Joshua Tree.. let’s just say we’re getting a bit stir crazy!  Especially since we heard of a possible job assignment for Mr. F in an area we would really like to see and experience ( could possibly have more news on that front even today! *fingers crossed* ).  So much of our weekend, in between Mr. F doing coursework, baking bread, making pasta, drinking pina coladas ( we like getting caught in the rain ), piles of laundry, Mr. F’s fourth turn at home brewing, and tending a delish Beef & Ale Stew for St. Patty’s, we talked and dreamed about what could be our next landing spot.  All the while melting in the Southern California spring sun.

[ I might miss this view. A tiny bit. ]

[ fresh pasta process ]

[ life changing loaf ]

[ channelling Bannon Fu ]

[ what could our next view look like? ]

How about you, Artsies?  Any daydreaming and plan-making happen in your world this weekend?  Want to see more snaps from our artsy life?  Follow me on Instagram!

All images by Artsy Forager.

Sketched: Kate Long Stevenson

I will never forget how intimidated I was during my first figure drawing class. And how incredibly awful I was. My professor was very encouraging, telling me to push through until it clicked. And then one day it did and I loved it. All that time spent agonizing over drawing the perfect figure gave me the freedom to let loose once I got it. Charleston artist Kate Long Stevenson seems to get it, too. Her elegantly sketched figures are perfectly imperfect.

Femme Nue by Kate Long Stevenson

Femme Nue, oil, latex, charcoal and chalk pastel on canvas, 22×28

Pastoral by Kate Long Stevenson

Pastoral, oil and charcoal on canvas, 30×40

With a minimum amount of line, Stevenson shows us the essence of each figure, a hint of a toe reveals a foot, shapes and angles slightly exaggerated so that our eye finishes the sentence they’ve begun.

Reclining by Kate Long Stevenson

Reclining, 28×20

Bold patches and slashes of paint cause the eye to follow the colors around the canvas, landing and concentrating on just the right spots.

AKT by Kate Long Stevenson

AKT, oil, acrylic, gouache, and charcoal on canvas, 18×24

Woman by Kate Long Stevenson

Woman, oil, gouache, charcoal and chalk pastel on canvas, 42×48

To see more of Kate Long Stevenson’s work, please visit her Kate Long Stevenson website.

All images but Reclining are via the artist’s Kate Long Stevenson website. Reclining is via the Chicago Artsource Chicago Artsource website.

Design Foraging: The Artsy is in the Bag

So yesterday I confessed to you that I am trying to pare down my clothing collection.  What I didn’t tell you is that I am also traveling with way too many purses!  Back in my gallery days, I was the girl who changed bags with almost every outfit.  And I’m carrying about 10 of them with me every time we move.  That’s about 9 too many to find a place to store.  I’m ready to let go.  I told Mr. F, if I can just find that perfect bag, that Goldilocks & The 3 Bears, it’s just right bag, I would happily donate all the others.  He didn’t think I could do it.  Hmmpf.

Well, I haven’t been successful yet.  If money were no object I’m sure I could have been, but this is real life after all.  Needless to say, I’ve had bags on the brain.  Now none of these would be my IT bag ( need more neutral if I’m going down to just one ) but oh boy are these artsy bags fun!

Small Weekender Bag in Abstract by Kate Spade Saturday

Small Weekender Bag in Abstract by Kate Spade Saturday


Mini abstract art zipper clutch by kindah

Mini abstract art zipper clutch by kindah


Flower Cloud Vintage Painted at Terrain

Flower Cloud Vintage Painted at Terrain


Desert Mountains Fold Over Clutch by Lee Coren

Desert Mountains Fold Over Clutch by Lee Coren


Wouldn’t one of these clutches be seriously perfect to carry to your next gallery opening?  What?  Clutches don’t count.  They’re for special occasions.  Duh.  Happy weekend, Artsies!

All image sources are linked above.

Artsy Eats: Christina Baker + Strawberry Truffle Pie

Did you know that today, 3.14, is Pi Day?  The happiest of all days? Get it?  Pi/pie?  I have a deep and abiding love for pie.  Ask Mr. Forager.  I’ll take pie ( fruit filled, please, preferably berry ) over cake any day of the week!  And as you know, being artsy is a way of life as much as it is a type of person.  And this artsy loves her pie.  Especially this one from BHG made with fresh strawberries AND chocolate.  If you love Christina Baker’s sweet painted confection, I bet you’ll love this pie, too.  A little rich chocolate, fresh strawberries and a flaky crust perfectly mime Christina’s February painting filled with berry-hued pinks, creamy whites and fresh brights.  I can almost taste them both..

Gotta go, I need some strawberries STAT.

art | February by Christina Baker, available at Found Gallery on Artsy Forager

pie | Strawberry Truffle Pie, recipe at BHG.com

You can check out February and more of Christina Baker’s candy-colored artwork in the City Mouse | Country Mouse show up in Found Gallery until March 28th.  You can even buy that little sweet for yourself, which let’s face it will be much better on the waistline than confections of the pie variety.  Aaaah, I’m always craving art, but now I’m craving pie, too!  Happy Pi Day, Artsies!

Christina Baker image via the artist, pie image via Better Homes & Gardens website.

Clothed in Transparency: Cassandra Straubing

So much is made of the clothing we place on our bodies.  I maintain my belief that the clothes we choose make a statement about who we are.  But lately, the concept has been taken further to encompass not just the style of the fashions we wear, but what they are made of, where, and how.  In her sculptural work, glass artist Cassandra Straubing addresses domestic and industrial labor, two of the major producers of clothing through the centuries.

With His Wife Now Gone, His Clothes Never Seemed to Make it Back in the Drawer by Cassandra Straubing

With His Wife Now Gone, His Clothes Never Seemed to Make it Back in the Drawer, cast glass with found objects, 33.5x17x19

With His Wife Now Gone ( detail ) by Cassandra Straubing

With His Wife Now Gone ( detail )

Last Monday, as I was driving home, ironically from a day of shopping for a few clothing basics at Target, TJ Maxx, etc., I listened to this story on NPR regarding the trend of “fast fashion” begun in the 1980s and gaining relentless momentum since.  Clothing is being produced, consumed, and disposed of at alarming rates, all the while using up valuable finite resources.  And although the impetus behind Straubing’s work, according to her artist statment, is linked more to clothing as a representation of who we are and who we become, I see in it a throwback to the simplicity of the way clothing was once viewed– it’s first purpose was practical, perhaps overalls or an apron for every day, a suit and “Sunday dress” for special occasions.

The Beekeeper's Wife by Cassandra Straubing

The Beekeeper’s Wife, cast glass with found objects, 18x32x3

Mrs. Evans by Cassandra Straubing

Mrs. Evans, kiln cast glass and found objects, 22.5x30x3.25

But today, we fill closet after closet with “disposable” clothing, literally buying into what the fashion industry, media and manufacturers tell us we need.  As Straubing’s glass articles of clothing suggest, we are all becoming naked emperors.

She Waited for Him on Pins and Needles by Cassandra Straubing

She Waited for Him on Pins and Needles ( detail )

How do we combat against falling prey to trendy fashion?  Perhaps if we imagined each new fashion was sculpted of glass, might we be so quick to want it?  Says the woman who travels with 5 large plastic bins of clothes, 1 giant suitcase, and several smaller suitcases.  But I’m working on it and have two garbage bags full of Goodwill destined clothes to prove it.

To see more of Cassandra Straubing’s work, please visit her page at San Jose State University.

With His Wife Now Gone.. and She Waited for Him.. via the artist’s page at SJSU, The Beekeeper’s Wife and Mrs. Evans via Bullseye Gallery.

Wear The Artsy: Peri Schwartz + Block Shop

The limited palette and tight scope of the work of this month’s Featured Artist, Peri Schwartz is what continues to keep me enthralled with her paintings.  An artist whose work shares these same characteristics is Lily Stockman, whose work I’ve featured twice here on the blog.

Lily and her sister, Hopie, have teamed up to create Block Shop, a textiles company creating hand block printed, naturally dyed scarves crafted in India by the Chhipa family of master printers ( more about the process here ).  Doesn’t it seem fitting that if you love Peri’s focus on her place of inspiration, creation, and process that you would wear an artist designed, hand crafted and created scarf?  Of course it does!

art | Studio III by Peri Schwartz

scarf | Mosaic [ marigold + black ]

Because they are hand crafted, only a limited number of Block Shop textiles are created at one time.  The entire inventory sold out in less than a week when Block Shop launched back in December!  So Lily & Hopie have restocked and are taking pre-orders for April 1st shipping.  And if you love these as much as I do, you’d better get your order in now before they’re gone!

See more from Peri Schwartz and Block Shop on their websites, linked here and here.

Image sources linked above.


Dissected Perfection: Joseph Phillips

As we travel and move from rental to rental, Mr. Forager and I talk a lot about our future permanent home. We think about our ideal life, which, aside from a smallish house in the Northwest, can be a pretty fluid concept for us. We see so many people striving for that “perfect” life, the one we are told we should have, a big house in suburbia, perfectly manicured lawn and all. The work of Joseph Phillips website embodies this obsession in succinctly drawn works depicting dissections of perceived perfection.

Double-Wide Bunker with Paradise Package by Joseph Phillips

Double-Wide Bunker with Paradise Package, gouache, graphite and ink on paper, 41×30

Duplex Bunker by Joseph Phillips

Duplex Bunker, gouache, graphite and ink on paper, 17×14

Scenes of neatly trimmed grass and crystal clear pools are isolated against a white background and we see from the outside looking in that these are manufactured replicas of an idealized life.

String Theory ( diptych ) by Joseph Phillips

String Theory ( diptych ), gouache, graphite and ink on paper, 24×18 each

The utopian ideals take on a slightly sinister, Stepford-like aura, where perfect grass is revealed to be carpet, where pine and palms live together, where a perfect house comes with a bunker, acknowledging that life isn’t anywhere near perfect.

Vertically Integrated Model for Multi-Climate Living by Joseph Phillips

Vertically Integrated Model for Multi-Climate Living, gouache, graphite and ink on paper, 30×39

Auxilliary Lot with Site Plan by Joseph Phillips

Auxilliary Lot with Site Plan, gouache, graphite and ink on paper, 41×30

To see more of Joseph Phillip’s work, please visit his Joseph Phillips website.

Artist found via New American Paintings blog. All images are via the artist’s Joseph Phillips website.

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