Sophisticated Sketching: Paz Lopez

While I appreciate masterfully drafted, detailed drawing as much as the next artsy, what really gets my heart pumpin’ is a looser, more child-like style.  So the work of Spanish artist Paz Lopez immediately caught my eye when I spotted it on the Anthology Magazine blog!

Venir 2 by Paz Lopez

Venir 2, mixed media on paper, 40×40 cm

These quick, sketchy mixed media pieces have the feeling of those frenetic, emotion filled pieces of artwork we created as we tore through a stack of drawing paper as children. ( Tell me I wasn’t the only child who did that! )

Ladra by Paz Lopez

Ladra, mixed media on paper, 40×40 cm

Carta by Paz Lopez

Carta, mixed media on paper, 40×40 cm

Yet compositionally, these are so much more than child-like sketches.  Lopez’s use of color and texture perfectly balance the lines and text, the elements fitting onto the page just so.

Untitled by Paz Lopez

Untitled, mixed media on paper

To see more of Paz Lopez’s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.


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This Artsy Life: Weekend 26 [ Exploring is Our Normal ]

In all the stress of leaving California, moving to Seattle, finding an apartment, furnishing said apartment, working, etc., Mr. Forager & I seemed to lose sight of what always made our weekends like mini-vacations for us– exploring!  Sure, we were seeing other areas of Seattle, but we weren’t in our get-up-early-and-get-outta-town mode.  Until this weekend!  It probably helped that it was A) amazingly beautiful this weekend and B) this little heat wave made sleeping in quite unappealing in an apartment with no a/c.

We spent Friday evening hanging with some inspiring folks from Tulsa ( seriously, most everyone from Mr. F’s circle there has moved up here, can’t say as I blame them ).  But then the rest of the weekend was just us two.  The way we like it.  We took a lovely hike to Greenwater Lake ( about 2 hours outside Seattle ) complete with ferns and moss and waterfalls, things we missed so much during our time in the desert.  Then on Sunday, we took a long drive north up through Bellingham, over Deception Pass and through Whidbey Island, where we seriously contemplated whether we could be island people.





IMG_0992 IMG_0991 IMG_0989 IMG_0977

Did you give yourself a mini-vacay this weekend?  Explore any new places?  An artsy is always looking for new sources of inspiration!  Want to see more from This Artsy Life?  Follow me on Instagram!
All images by Artsy Forager.
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Suppressed Identity: Leslie David

Last week I shared with you guys how lost I’d been feeling lately.  It seems, that when you reach a certain age ( gulp! ), staying true to yourself, who you are and who you long to be becomes a matter of the utmost importance.  You’re no longer that young person trying on personas for size.  This series of illustrations by Paris designer Leslie David, done for Please! magazine called out to the feeling that had been haunting me, that denial of my own self.

Please series by Leslie David Please series by Leslie David

For this series, David reinterpreted a series of photos from issue 11 of the magazine, painting over the faces of models in colorful, textured splotches.

Please series by Leslie David

No matter how you may glam it up, denial of who we are in our core destroys us.  It may begin innocently enough, but over time that mask that we’re wearing eventually overcomes us and overtakes us so that we can no longer see who we used to be.

Please series by Leslie David Please series by Leslie DavidStay true to who you are, dear Artsies!  Whatever your vision, whatever your passion, stay your course.  Pursuits true to the soul are never wasted.

Want to see more work from this artist?  Check out Leslie David’s website and don’t miss her postcard series!  She also has some really lovely prints for sale in her shop.

All images via the artist’s website.

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July Featured Artist: Ally Burguieres

Please forgive the wonkiness of the site today.  Spent most of the morning fixing a bug and will be reinstalling all widgets, etc. this afternoon.  Sometimes being a blogger isn’t so artsy. ;-)

It is July, ya’ll and you know what that means??  Summer has officially arrived, there’s no doubt now.  In the spirit of the relaxed, fun loving feeling of summer, I’d like to introduce our July Featured Artist, New Orleans’ Ally Burguieres!

Fox in the Strawberry Fields by Ally Burguieres

Fox in the Strawberry Fields, oil on canvas, 20×24

Being a NOLA gal, it will come as no surprise that Ally’s work is full of color, humor, and joie de vivre!  From work that puts in a little dash of this and that, like the best Creole cuisine, in bold, vibrant colors reminiscent of the stained glass windows of New Orleans’ cathedrals, to fun and sketchy homages to pop culture.

Ugly Friends by Ally Burguieres

Ugly Friends, oil on canvas, 36×48

Sock Monkey on Notebook Paper by Ally Burguieres

Sock Monkey on Notebook Paper, oil on canvas

Grumpy Cat by Ally Burguieres

Grumpy Cat, oil on canvas

Ally is a young artist whose work celebrates life and the things she loves best.  Gay-ron-TEEED to make you smile!

Vegan Smorgasboard by Ally Burguieres

Vegan Smorgasboard, oil on canvas, 20×24

Want to see more of Ally Burguieres’ work?  Take a gander at her website and if you find yourself in New Orleans, don’t miss the chance to stop by her gallery on Royal Street!  And of course, head over to the Artsy Forager Facebook page to see Ally’s July cover and more of my faves in her album!

All images are via the artist’s website.


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Design Foraging: Objet Trouve by Codor Designs

Note: Out of respect for these artists, I’d like to set the record straight.  This post is getting a lot of traffic from Pinterest and I’m happy, as I’m sure the artists would be, that they are inspiring so many, however the mirrors pictured here are most definitely NOT a DIY project made my myself.  I have no idea how the DIY thing has been perpetuated around Pinterest, but these are incredible artisan crafted sculptural mirrors created by Seattle designers Tamara Codor and Sterling Voss AKA Codor Designs.  Not in any way a homemade DIY.  ;-)

I admit, I have a thing for mirrors.  I don’t think it has anything to do with vanity ( anyone who knows me will attest that can’t be it ).  I think it’s more about how they have the power to be functional sculpture.  An interesting mirror, like an intriguing piece of artwork, instantly elevates a room.  As a painting does, a mirror can become a portal for imagination.  This week, I spied the work of Seattle design duo, Tamara Codor and Sterling Voss of Codor Designs and immediately fell hard for their Objet Trouve series of sculptural mirrors.

Jabberwocky by Codor Designs

Jabberwocky, 36×56

Birds of Paradise by Codor Designs

Birds of Paradise, 35×61

Mimsy by Codor Designs

Mimsy, 22×34

Snow Bird by Codor Designs

Snow Bird, 32×59

Silver Birds by Codor Design

Silver Birds ( sold )

I have no doubt one of these beauties would be stunning on a reclaimed wood wall in my beach house on the Oregon Coast.  What?  An artsy can dream, right?!  To see more work from Codor Designs, be sure to check out the website full of gorgeously crafted furnishings.

All images via the Codor Design website.


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Relaxed Vision: Teil Duncan

The weatherman is saying it is going to the H-O-T in Seattle this weekend– like high 80s, low 90s hot.  That’s like Florida hot!  With the coming onslaught of warmth and sunshine, I couldn’t resist sharing the work of Charleston artist Teil Duncan.

Beach Talk by Teil Duncan

Beach Talk, gouache and acrylic on panel, 30×24

Lean In by Teil Duncan

Lean In, gouache and acrylic on panel, 18×81

Duncan’s work perfectly captures the bustle to be found at the beach on a summer’s day.  Scenes of bikini clad gals gabbing on the sand and striped umbrellas tilted jauntily signal a good time being had by all.

Coastal Color by Teil Duncan

Coastal Color, gouache and acrylic on panel, 36×63

Memorial Day Way by Teil Duncan

Memorial Day Way, gouache and acrylic on panel, 36×36

Just as we squint our eyes upon waking from an oceanside nap, Duncan’s abstract style mixes well with the relaxed vision a day at the beach ( or pool as below! ) can bring.

Pool Corner by Tiel Duncan

Pool Corner, gouache and acrylic on panel, 28×22

I’m sure many in Seattle ( and beyond! ) will be hitting the beach this weekend.  I think Mr. F and I will be seeking out cooler temps in higher elevations.. ;-)  Want to see more work from Teil Duncan?  Check out her website and shop on BigCartel.  This beauties are not just lovely but affordable, too!

All images are via the artist’s BigCartel shop.

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Sweet Geometry: Esther Stewart

You guys know I love crazy, messy, expressionist paintings.  I mean who doesn’t respond piles of texture and frenetic brushstrokes?  But then sometimes I surprise myself and fall head over heels for work that is full of clean,simple, straight-lined shapes.  Australian artist Esther Stewart masterfully intersects simple forms, a warm palette, and interesting compositions to create softly beautiful geometric paintings.

Backwards Barbie by Esther Stewart

Backwards Barbie, 60×90 cm

Stewart’s use of intersecting lines lend a landscape-ish air to her compositions, while the palette keeps the overall feel of each work dreamy and supple.  It’s almost as if we are gazing at vistas made of ice cream..

Made of Stone by Esther Stewart

Made of Stone, 60×90 cm

Just the Way I Am by Esther Stewart

Just the Way I Am, 60×90 cm

The way Stewart seems to break down her compositions into such elemental shapes inspires me to see the world in a much more simple manner.  Every space is made up of the same repeating shapes, we just have to figure out how those forms fit together.  There’s a bit of a life lesson in there, to be sure.  All of our lives are made up of essentially the same components– it’s how we fit those pieces together that make our existence our own.

Nickels and Dimes by Esther Stewart

Nickels and Dimes, 60×90 cm

Esther Stewart has more amazing work on her website, be sure to check it out.  Thank you to The Design Files for the introduction to this artist– so many talented Aussies!

All images are via the artist’s website.



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All About Attitude: Patricia Derks

First off, thank you so much for all of your words of encouragement on my “comeback” post yesterday!  I don’t know what the future will bring, but I truly appreciate the kind and encouraging words from each of you.  You guys are the wind beneath my wings.. sorry, cheesy Bette Middler moment.. we now continue with our regularly scheduled artsiness!

Our faces have forty-three muscles, making it possible for our faces to express an amazing wide range of emotion.  Sometimes, we know another person so well that we can tell what they’re thinking just be the expression of their countenance.  Capturing such emotion as expressed in human faces is one of the strong suits of the work of Dutch artist Patricia Derks.

Derks_Diver 100x100

Diver, oil, 100×100 cm

Derks does extensive research before each painting, yet her work has an amazingly fresh and unstudied air about it.  But what amazes me most is the way in which we get such a clear sense of emotion and attitude from each face in such deft and limited strokes.

Derks_Summer Girl 120x120

Summer Girl, oil, 120×120 cm

Derks_Yellow Cap Girl 100x100

Yellow Cap Girl, oil, 100×100 cm

In the set of the jaw, the cut of the eyes, we are given a glimpse into the figure’s personality.  We all like to think we can hide our emotions, but it only takes careful observance to read each expression.

Derks_Blue Lips 120x120

Blue Lips, oil, 120×120 cm

Want to see more of Patricia Derks’ work?  Check out her website.

All images via the artist’s website.

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Gentle Awakening: Alex Hanna

Hello again, my friends!  If you noticed an increased Artsy presence on social media last week, you may have guessed what I’m about to tell you– the whole job thing didn’t work out as I’d hoped it would.  I wish I could say I was surprised, but.. no.  Have you ever been in a situation where, you know in your gut that something isn’t quite the right fit for you, despite how good it looks on paper?  But then you ignore your gut and forge ahead anyway only to be sucker punched every day for not listening to that quietly persistent inner voice?

I was finding myself quite miserable, not just because of the extremely long hours and bus commute ( there were afternoons when I was on the bus well over an hour trying to get home following a ten hour day ), but because my personality just didn’t gel with where I was.  I don’t want to get into details.. maybe one day over a few glasses of wine. ;-) Since leaving, I’ve been in a bit of a fog.  It’s been like I’ve lost the confidence to trust myself and my decisions.  Mr. F has been loving me through it, but I’ve hardly been much fun these days.  So today is the day I WAKE UP!  Get back to the business of being Artsy!  As I’m going through this mental and emotional awakening, I thought these beautiful pillow paintings of UK artist Alex Hanna were perfectly apropos.

Hanna_Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams, oil on canvas, 75×60 cm

Hanna_Sweet Dreams 4

Sweet Dreams 4, oil on canvas, 30×40 cm

One thing that has been contributing to my fog has been the loss of my sense of purpose.  For over two years, in addition to be Mrs. Forager and keeping our vagabond household together and all that means, writing this blog has been my purpose.  It has been my baby and putting it on hold messed with my psyche so much more than I ever thought possible.  It isn’t just a place where I share amazing artwork, it’s where I work things out through my experience of the work I share.  For me, that’s a huge part of living an artsy life– using whatever creative outlet we have to better our lives and the world at large.

Hanna_Pink Pillow 1

Pink Pillow 1, oil on canvas, 15.7×17.7

Hanna_Sweet Dreams 4

Sweet Dreams 4, oil on canvas, 30×40 cm

I’m not sure what the future holds for this Artsy.. perhaps a full time job I adore working for someone else, or perhaps it’s time to parlay the past two years and all my other experience into creating my own dream job, or maybe a combination of both.  Who knows.. but I’m up, I’ve come out of my slumber and am ready to take on whatever the future has to offer.  Bring it!

Hanna_Sweet Dreams 9

Sweet Dreams 9, oil on canvas, 29.5×23.6

To see more of the work of Alex Hanna, please visit his website.  You can also find his work, including originals and prints, for sale at Saatchi Online.

Images via the artist’s website and Saatchi Online.

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An Artsy Farewell.. For Now

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

The Closing Time lyrics kept running through my head last night, ya’ll. Today is a bittersweet milestone for me. You see, Thursday evening, I accepted a full time position and started my new job today! Our dream of living in Seattle permanently is actually happening! I’ll be taking a professional step in this new direction I’ve been pursuing these last two years. I have a chance to gain invaluable experience, add to my skills and make a difference in this company’s future.

But with all this joy and excitement, comes some sadness. The new gig is a great opportunity but will require very long hours. As in 10 hour days plus a hour and a half spent commuting by bus each day ( yikes! ). Which will leave me precious little free time. And that will be spent on Mr. Forager! I adore you all, but our little family of two is my highest priority, forever and always.


What does that mean for the future of Artsy Forager? In the long term, I’m not quite sure. In the short term, I’ll be taking a hiatus from Artsy blogging. Artsy Forager will be put on hold for a while. How long? I have no idea. I just know that in order to do my best at my new role and my best at being a wife and partner to Mr. F, I will need to step back. So after today, things will be quiet around these parts.


The website will remain up, as the hosting is paid up through April 2014 and the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram feeds will all stay put for now. But you won’t see much activity from me there. Well, maybe Pinterest.. because I’m addicted and can’t live without it! ;-)

The time I’ve spent doing Artsy Forager has meant so much to me on a personal level. I’ve “met” so many spectacularly talented artists, passionate art lovers and just plain nice folks! I’m so incredibly grateful to have had this time to create this little Artsy world. I will truly miss it and all of you. But I strongly believe our lives flow in seasons and I’m so excited to move into a new Spring! If I find that I have more free time than I thought I might, you might see me around here again. Until then, Mr. F & I thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for the past two years.


Peace, love & artsiness,


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