Our current little bungalow backs up to a beautifully landscaped yard, verdant and green, even in the midst of Fall. As I sit working here every day, it’s easy to forget that the leaves are changing all around, I get so caught up in my own little world here. Austin artist Joseph Norderer chooses to celebrate those little corners of the world in which we dwell.
Lush and lively, his compositions crop in tightly on a small crop of land, beckoning us beyond the bushes to find who might be living inside. We get so caught up in our view from within that I think we sometimes forget that just a few feet or yards away, another life is being lived, perhaps very different or quite similar. But more and more we chose to hide behind our own walls. Choosing to dwell only in that same familiar corner.
If you’d like to see more of Joseph Noderer‘s work, please visit his website. You can also see his show at Tiny Park art space in Austin until October 19th.
Some galleries, the most successful and long lived, find their sweet spot and flourish. Stellers Gallery in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, quietly and consistently shows and sells the work of emerging and established artists in their space just steps away from the Atlantic Ocean.
But this isn’t your typical “beachside” gallery. Since 1999, owner Hillary Tuttle, has cultivated a selection of sophisticated work that compliments, not caricatures, the local landscape and culture from local, regional, and national artists, including this month’s Featured Artist here on Artsy Forager, Jennifer JL Jones. The wide range of styles and consistence of excellence among the work in the gallery lends it appeal across the generations, creating a diverse range of collectors.
[ the work of Jennifer JL Jones at Stellers Gallery at Ponte Vedra Beach ]
Tonight, Stellers celebrates its original four artists with an artists’ reception to open Synergy, an exhibition dedicated to the work of these very different artists, abstract painter Jennifer JL Jones, realist landscape painter Henry Von Genk, figurative and still life artist Laura Lacambra Shubert, and whimsical figurative painter Enrique Mora. Beginning with these four seemingly incongruous artists might have seemed like a gamble, but it shows just how well Tuttle knew who her collectors would be, appealing to a wide and varied assortment of artistic tastes.
[ work by Laura Lacambra Shubert & Jennifer JL Jones ]
[ work by Henry Von Genk, Laura Lacambra Shubert & Enrique Mora ]
Each artist’s work, though very different in style and approach, represents the magic of beach life– the wonder of the light, the calming peace of the landscape, the quiet lifestyle, and of course, the wind in your hair fun of it!
If you are in the North Florida area, can you think of a better evening out than taking a drive out to the beach to see some beautiful work and meet these amazing artists? And while you’re there, congratulate Hillary & the Stellers team for an incredible journey. You can see more from these artists and all the artists Stellers represents on their website.
We all get sentimental about some of our possessions. Especially things that remind us of the ones we love. I have paintings by my grandmother that I’ll never part with. Santa Monica artist Morgan Fisher honors one of his own prized pieces of family history by recreating a part of his father’s work in paint in his series Interior Color Beauty. In the 1930s, Fisher’s father owned a pre-fabricated housing company and a booklet of paint color schemes his company produced inspired this series of minimalist paintings.
His father’s legacy becomes larger than life as Fisher enlarges the paint chips on wooden panels. Staying true to the original inspiration, the works are painted with acrylic house paint.
We feel the influence of so many people throughout our lives, but our family’s impact usually leaves the strongest impression. I love seeing this artist honor his father’s work in such a way!
They’re creamy and they’re dreamy. And I want to make them mine, each and every one! I’m talking about the ceramic work of California artist Sara Paloma. Whether it’s the color of the glaze, the texture or the shapes that are just so, there is something about these pieces that grabs my heart.
Just so subtle and supple.. like a wisp of cloud. Her work is definitely going on my “coveting” list! Read more about Sara Paloma on her website and see more work available for purchase in her Etsy shop. And she’s having a sale!!
PS– You may have noticed that I’ve stopped doing Design Foraging on Fridays. There were just too many artists I wanted to share, so I decided to do five artist features each week instead of four! Design Foraging will now be an occasional posting, at least once a month, probably more. 😉
The rocks out here in the Northwest fascinate me. Growing up in Florida, there wasn’t much in the way of rocks that I remember.. just tiny pebbles and sand. But out here, there are big, beautiful rocks! I always marvel at the variety when we find ourselves in a dry, rocky river bed. Dusseldorf-based artist Ramon Todo is juxtaposing rocks with their distant cousin, glass, for some stunning studies in contrast.
The blue green hue and reflective surface of the glass give these stones a landscape-ish quality, almost as if the sky or sea were caught between the two pieces of earth. Such an interesting contrast of textures, don’t you think? And the glass is perfectly cut to fit between the stones, as if it evolved there naturally. I want to turn one over in my hand and see how the light changes the reflections in the glass.
If you’d like to see more from Ramon Todo, please visit his page at Art Front Gallery.
There is a certain type of place that I love to come across in our travels– the little artsy town. Different from just any ol’ small town, these are spots that despite their diminutive size, are a thriving community for creative people of all kinds. Last weekend, we made a trip to one of my favorite such towns, Astoria, Oregon. I thought you might enjoy hearing a little more about my take on what makes this spot so especially artsy!
So here we go, in no particular order..
1 | The scenery
Situated right at the northern border with Washington, Astoria is your introduction to Oregon when driving down the coast from WA. Surrounded by the Columbia River on the south and Young’s Bay on the north and just a few miles from the Pacific give Astoria an especially coastal feel. It smells like the sea! Homes and businesses cascade up the hills, giving way to stunning views, especially on a rare clear day. Coastal mountains peek out from behind the clouds, adding to the drama of the landscape.
2 | The architecture
You won’t find much slick and new in Astoria, which I must admit, is a big part of its charm. Original architecture remains entact and even celebrated by most local businesses. Even the small downtown JC Penney department store is still there in all its original glory! Sure there are newer buildings around, but the downtown area for the most part retains its old school charm.
3 | The art scene
Of course, an artsy little town needs a gallery or two. Astoria boasts a nice selection of galleries, contemporary, traditional, and even a wonderful photographic gallery. I was sad to see Lunar Boy gallery didn’t make it, I loved its quirkiness, which seemed so right for Astoria. Imogen Gallery ( bottom photo above ) is now in their spot and seem to have retained some of their artists, so all is not lost. And Imogen seems a welcome bit of sophistication and curatorial restraint. A monthly art walk, as well as other community arts organizations seem to ensure a thriving artistic community.
4 | The quirkiness
What’s a small town without some quirk? Astoria has plenty to go around! From funky little boutiques and bookstores to a crazy rusted out old delivery truck roaming the streets to a massive king malamute named Komo who will give you a friendly lick, Astoria folks don’t take themselves too seriously.
5 | The libations, both with and without alcohol
Astoria doesn’t seem to be just a draw for visual creatives, but makers and creators of all kinds, including those of a beverage-nature. I’m talking the two main Northwest beverage groups, coffee and beer. There’s a Rogue presence, the NW brew staple whose fare includes quirky offerings such as Voodoo Maple Bacon Ale and Beard Beer— the yeast for which was actually harvested from.. wait for it.. the brewmaster’s beard. Gross! Yet, Mr. F just had to try it. ( Verdict: it was good but more in a Belgian style which isn’t Mr. F’s fave ). Then there’s Ft. George Brewery which we hadn’t tried before and now greatly regret! Got a big thumbs up from Mr. F. No Northwest town is complete without a coffee house or twenty and Astoria is no different. There’s java aplenty, not surprising for a spot that averages 67″ of rain each year. Those gloomy days give Astoria brewers and baristas plenty of time to perfect their crafts.
You’ll want to add Astoria to your must visit list, for sure.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the superficiality of life, isn’t it? But what happens when we look beyond the surface glitter and get real? Are we afraid of letting people see beyond the facade to the layers of disfunction and mistakes? There are artists who do just that. Like self taught Port Townsend, WA painter Jeane Meyers, who builds up and covers up in order to go back and reveal what’s underneath.
Yes, maybe revealing the ugly might not be so fun or flattering, but it adds texture and depth and a certain sense of vulnerability, not only in Meyers’ work, but in our lives, as well. By submitting to the process and taking what is found underneath, we letting go of our compulsion for perfection. And in return, the work ( and we ), become more interesting and more complex.
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. 😉
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.
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. 😉
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.
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.