Abstract Art Artsy Forager Featured Artist Daily Artsy Mixed Media Paintings

October Featured Artist: Jennifer JL Jones

Happy October!  No more of that foolin’ around, Indian summer stuff.  We are now well into Fall and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  I’m equally excited to share with you the work of our October Featured Artist, Jennifer JL Jones!  One of the things I love most about Fall is the cozy atmosphere that permeates each day and night and exploring Jennifer’s work, with its warm, ethereal light is the perfect way to kick off the season!

She Hath Wings by Jennifer JL Jones Mala by Jennifer JL Jones Okika by Jennifer JL Jones

Le Petit Jardin 11 by Jennifer JL Jones

Le Petit Jardin 2 by Jennifer JL Jones

 Here in the Northwest, we can go for days, even weeks without seeing the sun, but the light still manages to pierce the veil, even through falling leaves and raindrops.  It is this same aura of light breaking through and of fluttering movement that draws me again and again to Jennifer’s work.  In her most recent series, Sojourn, the work increasingly free and joy filled.. the atmosphere is ablaze.

If you’d like to see more of Jennifer JL Jones’ work, please visit her website and Facebook page.  A trip over to the Artsy Forager Facebook page will also give you a glimpse into an album of some of my own favorites of the artist’s work.  Florida Artsies can see Jennifer’s work, along with three other talented artists in Synergy, opening October 18th at Stellers Gallery in Ponte Vedra Beach.  Don’t miss it!  Not in Florida?  Check out her website for a list of representing galleries around the country.

All images are via the artist’s website.

This Artsy Life

This Artsy Life: Weekend 39 [ Rain-soaked Northwest Days ]

There is a strange bright light coming through my window.. I think it might be the sun!  Hello old friend.  Where were you this weekend, huh?  The rain came down hard and often all weekend long.  We braved the weather to make the picturesque drive up along the Hood Canal to one of our favorite spots, the beautiful artsy Victorian seaport town on Port Townsend.  It had been over 2 years since we’d been there last, so we wondered, would we still love it like crazy?  The short answer? Yes yes yes! Even in near nonstop rain and gusting winds.  The conditions meant that we didn’t get to enjoy the PT scenery as much as we would like, hence the lack of outdoor snapshots for you, but it made for a relaxing day darting in out of the rain and then slow, casual browsing and lounging.


[ impatiently awaiting breakfast at Hudson Point Cafe ]


[ rainy day book browsing at William James Bookseller ]


[ planning our future over a flight from Port Townsend Brewing Company ]


[ inaugural game of Killer Bunnies ]


[ coffee with a view at Better Living Through Coffee ]

It was one of those blissful weekends in which we didn’t spend much time on the laptop or iPad, more time spent talking than typing.  And can I just say that if the rain leads to weekends like this, then keep on fallin’! 😉

Hope your weekend was just as wonderful, dear Artsies!  If you’d like to see more from This Artsy Life, follow me on Instagram.  Let me know your Instagram handle in the comments so I can follow you, too!

All images by Artsy Forager.

Daily Artsy Figurative Paintings

We are Surrounded: Meghan Howland

I’ve written before about the impervious nature of technology in our lives.  You’re probably tired of reading about it, especially as I’m contributing to it by writing a blog.. umm.. dang.  But it’s such an intriguing subject to me and such a careful balancing act we play with it, that I can’t help but see the references in artists’ work from time to time.  In these paintings by Portland, Maine artist Meghan Howland, I see the artist conveying many of the conflicting emotions we encounter in this technology we interact with daily.

Wake Up by Meghan Howland Folly by Meghan Howland Premature by Meghan Howland Meghan Howland Estatica by Meghan Howland

Pale figures, starkly lit glow eerily as they are surrounded by beauty– birds, flowers– some soft, some seeming savage.  Do you see the connection?  Maybe I’m reaching.  What springs to mind for me is the way we use social media to show the best of ourselves, to unintentionally inspire envy in others when all we show is the most fabulous version of our lives.  When we don’t mention our struggles, the piles of laundry, the failures, alongside the beautiful moments, we create an unreal, imaginary life.  We gain followers who voyeuristically join our journey, yet heap praise on what isn’t our real selves, but a persona of our own making.

I admit, I find myself censoring and editing what I share.  Mainly because, at my core, I’m a deeply private person, a bit uncomfortable with so much sharing.  But also because so much of the time, life is just what it is.  Day by day, it is beautiful in and of itself, but not necessarily Instagram photo worthy.  But why not?  Are we so scared of tarnishing our “brand” that we don’t allow ourselves to be authentic anymore?  I hope not.  What do you think, Artsies?  Do you censor what you put out there for the world to see?  Or are you all in, dirty dishes and all?

If you’d like to see more of Meghan Howland‘s work, please visit her website.  If you’re in New York ( lucky! I love New York in the Fall! ), her work can be seen in person at TNC Gallery.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Daily Artsy Design Foraging Textiles

Design Foraging: Julia Gabriel

Mr. F and I can definitely relate to snails, turtles, basically any of those I-carry-my-home-on-my-back types.  Although technically, we carry home in our Hyundai Santa Fe.. still, we feel a kinship. 😉  But what if you really could carry your home on your back?  These utilitarian sculptures by Julia Gabriel are hand-dyed canvas backpacks inspired by architecture and well, they are the most inspired backpacks I’ve ever seen!

Julia Gabriel_Painted Lady 6

Julia Gabriel_Painted Lady 5

Julia Gabriel_Painted Lady 4

Julia Gabriel_Painted Lady 2

Julia Gabriel_Painted Lady 1

I mean, how fun would it be to carry your books & laptop to your favorite coffee shop in one of these?  This series is available through Buy Some Damn Art until November 5th.  Check out the show online at BSDA and see more of Julia Gabriel‘s work on her website.

All images via the BSDA website.

Daily Artsy

Artsy Dwelling: A Dream Art Collection

When I was young, I remember spending hours flipping through the Sears & Spiegel catalogs, circling every little thing my heart desired and hoping to receive a few of those wishes for Christmas.  While there are still lovely things I want, my tastes and passions are a little more grown up and my treasures a bit more lasting.  I am often asked, whose art I would be in my dream collection?  I think about it quite a bit– too much probably!  It’s so very difficult to choose, I’ve discovered the work of a great many fantastically talented artists!  I think for me, a perhaps for many art lovers and collectors, it comes down to whose work do I want to live with every day?

Jones, Mills & Baker

jennifer jones | gigi mills | christina baker

In order to want to dwell with an artist’s work, hopefully for a very long time, I need to feel a deep connection to it, to have something inside me stir and resonate each time I look at it.  Whether it’s their use of light, line, color, or texture, I need to delight in it and be able to lose myself.  It’s probably obvious that I’m drawn to a certain palette, too, as color is for me, a strong part of a work’s appeal.

Segal and Foard collage

christina foard | joe segal

I consider myself very lucky to already own small pieces by a few of these artists ( all my art is in storage or I would share those with you! ), but they are, every single one, artists whose work I fell in love with the very first time I saw it.  And they are artists whose work I consistently return to time and time again.

Denny, Matthews, Hall collage

rachel denny | casey matthews | susan hall

Perhaps I have a bit of an advantage, being exposed to the work of so many gifted artists, but maybe my biggest privilege has been to get to know these artists personally.  And those friendships and relationships make their work even more special to me than it otherwise would be.  Getting to know the artists whose work you’d like to collect will help you understand and appreciate your collection even more.

Just putting this together motivates me to save my pennies so that I can start hoarding more artwork!  What about you?  Who would be in your own dream art collection?

All image sources credited above.  Please note some artwork has been cropped from the original.

Daily Artsy Photography

Home Is..: Nan Brown

Although we technically don’t have a home of our own these days, the idea of home is on my mind a lot.  Just this morning I was browsing through realtor.com, as you do, checking out what’s around in our price range.  I find the need to remind myself that home isn’t always about the roof over your head.  The Trailers Collected series by the late photographer Nan Brown prove that often home is in the eye and heart of the beholder.

Brown_Trailers Collected 43 Brown_Trailers Collected 19 Brown_Trailers Collected 1 Brown_Trailers Collected 8 Brown_Trailers Collected, 40

It might sound corny, but it’s so very true.  Home is where the heart is.  If a place is filled with the people we love, it provides us shelter, not just in the physical sense but in the emotional and spiritual senses.  By capturing these humble abodes, some well cared, for others, barely hanging on, Brown captures the essence of what home can be.

To see more of Nan Brown‘s work, please visit her website.  The artist passed away earlier this summer after a long illness.  She leaves behind a legacy of thoughtful, sensitive work.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Finding My Own Artsy

Finding My Own Artsy: Dropping the Ball, Picking Up the Brush

I feel like such a slacker, ya’ll.  Not in general, because I’m working my little tushy off doing freelance work for art consultants, galleries and artists— which I’m super excited about!  The business of being artsy is picking up steam, but the act of doing anything truly artistic has been on the back burner for what feels like a long time.  And I’m definitely feeling its absence.

paintsIt’s funny how being in the desert, which wasn’t necessarily our ideal spot, fostered a creative spark I hadn’t felt in a while.  I think it had much to do with three things:  the lack of distractions around us, Mr. F doing online coursework meaning lots of evenings and weekends I was left at loose ends, and probably the main reason– a lack of tv in our Joshua Tree rental.  I’m working hard, sitting in front of the laptop for at least 8 hours each day and there is always more to be done, so I’m finding it difficult to truly disconnect.  But I do so want to.  But this blank page is very intimidating right now!

sketch padI want to start a little daily creative ritual.  But where to begin?  I’m almost fearful of even mentioning it here because what if I punk out and don’t keep up with it?  So I want to know, especially from those that are working artists AND working at another job– how do you carve out the time?  Do you find yourself doing little things daily or do you save up all that energy for occasional, long, productive creative bursts?



And any recommendations for a small paint-friendly sketch book?  The paper in my current sketchbook is more for dry media and I’d really like to start a little daily paint practice of some kind.  I know, excuses.  Just wanted to through this out there, let you know that if you’re struggling with the same, you are not alone!

All images by Artsy Forager.

Abstract Art Daily Artsy Paintings

Abstract World: Isabel Bigelow

Sometimes, it isn’t a matter of what you see, but how you see it.  Perception can be a funny thing.  Often, Mr. F & I will watch the same movie but get something totally different from it. Or we’ll look at a scene and I’ll zero in on one thing, while his eye notices another.  The simplicity of these paintings by Isabel Bigelow remind me that what each eye focuses on is as unique as the person they belong to.

Partial Arch by Isabel Bigelow Isabel Bigelow collage

Bigelow zeros in on simple shapes, isolating them against monochromatic backgrounds, leaving us to wonder– am I seeing what I think I’m seeing? Or am I seeing something else entirely?  The shapes become even more ambiguous when we turn the paintings on their sides or upside down.

Yellow Mushroom by Isabel Bigelow

Bigelow_Wings Turquoise

Fluke by Isabel Bigelow

But maybe that’s a good thing, this act of seeing differently.  We can focus too closely on our own perceptions, forgetting that there are other angles of viewing.  Not wrong, just different.

If you’d like to see more of Isabel Bigelow‘s work, please check out her work on the Sears Peyton Gallery website.

All images via the Sears Peyton Gallery website.

Paintings Win Artsy Stuff

Win Artsy Stuff! It’s Fall Ya’ll Contest & Giveaway!

Finally, finally FINALLY.. It’s Fall ya’ll!!  I think I may have mentioned once or a hundred times how very much I love this season.  The crisp, cool air, the brilliant changing of the leaves, the warm yellow light, it is by far my very favorite time of year.  Tennessee artist Deann Hebert & I have that in common.  She, too is a fall fanatic and wants to share her love of the season with you and what better way to do that than to GIVE YOU SOME ART!!

Here is the stunner of a painting you could win– Caramel Crisp by Deann Hebert, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, 30×30.  Gorgeous right?!


Here’s how you can enter to win this painting for your very own–

1 | Create an Autumn-inspired Pinterest pinboard, it can be inspired by the painting or just the season itself! You can see a few of my own pins below and check out more of my Artsy Welcomes Autumn board on Pinterest!

Fall Ya'll collage

2 | Follow Artsy Forager and Deann Hebert on Pinterest.

3 | Comment on this post with a link to your pinboard.  Easy as pumpkin pie!

Sorry, Artsies, this contest is now closed.  A random giveaway winner will be announced here on the blog on Wednesday, October 2nd!  Contest is open to U.S. residents only.

Good luck!  Now grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte and get to pinnin’!

Art image via Deann Hebert. Collage images found here here and here.


Daily Artsy Illustration Paintings Still Life

Enhanced Beauty: Spiros Halaris

We all have our product loyalties.  Mr. F is fiercely loyal to King Arthur Flour, for instance.  Sometimes, as in Mr. F’s case, it’s about how the product performs, in others, it’s because we are enchanted by not just the product, but the packaging.  New York based illustrator Spiros Halaris has created a charming series of illustrations celebrating the Aesop brand of beauty care products.

Spiro Halaris Spiro Halaris Spiro Halaris Spiro Halaris

Halaris’ illustrations show crumbled, well used and presumably well loved tubes of Aesop balms and lotions against a drawn illustration of berry branches.  In looking at these pieces, I’m reminded of the connection between nature, beauty products, and paint.  All can be used to beautify in different ways and there is a natural bridge between found beauty in nature, enhanced beauty with cosmetics, and created beauty in paint.

Spiro Halaris

If you’d like to see more of Spiros Halaris‘ work, please visit his website.  You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Behance.

All images via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Trendland.