Art to Inspiration: Linda Monfort

I’ve been out to lunch Art to Inspiration-wise lately.  I love this collaborative exercise, but alas, there just wasn’t time for it last month with our moving 1300 miles south and all.  But this month’s inspiration piece is so lovely, I couldn’t resist!  The inspiration artwork for November, The Other Side by painter Linda Monfort, is full of the vibrant color I’m longing for after my first few weeks of living in the desert.

The Other Side by Linda Monfort

I’ve put together a gallery of work of varied styles that tie in beautifully with the palette, texture, and energy of Monfort’s piece.  I give you, Color Riot!  Hope you enjoy!

Glow One by Liz Tran

Love Me Two Times by Kirra Jamison

Avant Garden by Karen Klassen

Square ( Equipose ) by Michael Velliquette

CUBEN series by Simon C Page

Liz Tran | Kirra Jamison | Karen Klassen | Michael Velliquette | Simon C Page

To see more from each artist, check out their websites, linked above.

You can find more information on Art to Inspiration here and if you would like to participate in the next Art to Inspiration, just fill out this form! Follow me and all the other Art to Inspiration bloggers on Twitter by subscribing here.  Let the inspiring begin! 

Artsy Forager is on the move.. soon

11|8|12 note– I’ve amended the title of this post, as moving the site is proving more complicated than originally thought.. still working on it and hope to have it moved over in the next few days!

Last week, I mentioned that Artsy Forager would be moving to its own domain soon.. well, my friends, the day has come!  This afternoon I’ll begin the process of transferring over all the posts, images, files, etc to the NEW ArtsyForager.com!  I am excited about what this move will mean for the future of Artsy Forager and am thrilled you’ll be along for the ride!

FOR MY WORDPRESS.COM FOLLOWERS– please note that although the current site will redirect you to the new site, once I begin posting on the new site, you will no longer receive notifications of new content unless you are signed up as an email subscriber on ArtsyForager.com.  The WordPress.com interface doesn’t transfer followers into WordPress.org, so you’ll no longer see new content from AF in your WP reader, dashboard, etc.  I’ll be sending each of my wordpress.com followers an email reminder, I’d hate to lose you just when Artsy Forager is expanding! :-)

The new site will look a little wonky today, but I hope to get most everything looking pretty by tomorrow and will begin posting over there pronto!

See you on the other side!

A Luminous Grace: Jennifer JL Jones

An artist I met recently regaled me with tales of how she painted with “glow in the dark” paint.  While I can certainly understand the desire for work that glows, I prefer to see the luminosity achieved instead by the deft use of color, layering, and a way of revealing light in a more natural, less neon-sign kind of way.  Case in point, the work of Atlanta artist Jennifer JL Jones glows gracefully, as if lit from within.

Bluebird, mixed media on wood panel, 48×48

Taking her cues from nature, Jones builds layer upon layer of material, creating a canvas as ever changing as the scenes they reflect.  As the seasons change, different aspects of the landscape advance and recede.  So too, in Jones’ work, as we gaze upon it the elements in each work seem to float and fluctuate in a delicate dance.

Radiant Flux I, oil on wood panel, 40×40

Prelude to Spring, mixed media on wood panel, 40×40

These paintings have an ethereal mystery to them, like a wooded lake shrouded in mist or standing behind the veil of a waterfall.  What we see isn’t quite clear, but we know there is beauty.

Ojai, mixed media, 60×60

To see more of Jennifer JL Jones’ work, please visit her website.  If you’re in the Atlanta area, don’t miss her show Wet Ink with fellow artists Courtney J. Garrett and Kathryn Jacobi at Alan Avery Art Company.  I’m looking forward to seeing what new work Jennifer has at Stellers Gallery when I go home to Florida in a few days!

All images are via the artist’s website or the website of her Santa Fe representing gallery, Hunter Kirkland Contemporary.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Zuzka Vaclavik

Last weekend, after our day spent art touring, Mr. Forager asked me to explain how to draw.  What a loaded question!  I hoped what got across to him the most was that it isn’t always how proficiently you do something, but the way in which you do it that makes you unique as an artist.  While the work of Zuzka Vaclavik may appear to be elaborate doodles, the lines, patterns, and forms show an artist’s eye at work.  Check out more of her work on my Artist Watch on Escape Info Life today! ( See it here and linked again below ).

And There are Vibrations by Zuzka Vaclavik

Zuzka Vaclavik on Escape Into Life

Artist found via Emily Amy Gallery.

Blueprint Constructions: Jose Betancourt with Susan Weil

Since the glory days of the Polaroid and the advent of the digital age, photography in many ways has become a bit of an “everyman’s medium”.  We all pick up our pocket digital cameras and iPhones when a scene inspires us.  Artist photographers like Jose Betancourt seek to bridge the gap between historical processes and modern sensibility.

Danky’s Blue

Sassafras

In this latest series, a collaboration with artist ( and ex-wife of Robert Rauschenberg ) Susan Weil, the two artists come together using historic and experimental photo processes such as cyanotypes, photograms, and Van Dyke Brown prints to create constructions consisting of photographic images.

Secrets, Weil’s Reflections

Sometimes, the constructions are configured to take on the form or another aspect of the photographed subject.  In this way, the photographs aren’t just two-dimensional images but come to life in a multi-demensional way.

Spring Sprung

Catenary

To see more of this series, please visit the websites of Jose Betancourt and Susan Weil.  The exhibition of this series, Blueprints, can be seen at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art in Tuscumbia, Alabama until November 15th.

All images are via Jose Betancourt’s website.

November Facebook Featured Artist: Susan Melrath

There are some artists whose work I’ve been following and admiring long before my blogging days.  I first spotted this month’s Facebook Featured Artist, Susan Melrath’s work in print form during my art consulting days in Florida.  I was always drawn to the beauty in her limited palette and the way her distilled compositions were powerful in their simplicity.

Party Table, acrylic on board, 22×19

Charger, acrylic on board, 12×12

In her Figurative series, Susan takes those quick little moments that often pass by unnoticed, capturing the sweetness of this particular day, that particular party.

Landscape, acrylic on panel, 30×25 framed

Although her shapes are simple, Susan uses color and pattern to create depth and visual texture, especially evident in her Garden series ( although she’s now playing with pattern in her Figurative series as well! ).  Her use of floating, layered patterns give her florals a colored gossamer effect, leaving them distinct yet beautifully distorted.

Memory of Magnolia, acyrlic on paper, 20×26 framed

To see more of Susan Melrath’s work, please visit her website and be sure to check out her gorgeous cover image and album on the Artsy Forager Facebook page.

All images are via the artist or her website.

ARTSY FORAGER IS MOVING ( and needs your help! )

A few weeks ago, I let ya’ll know about plans to move Artsy Forager away from WordPress.com & over to its own domain, asking you to help me decide on a newly tweaked site design.**  I’ve been working on getting all the backend functionality up & running and hope to move this little blog over into its new home soon– soft target move date, Wednesday November 7th.  Yikes!!  I’m excited and extremely nervous about this move.

I’m excited to see the blog continue to grow and evolve and with a self-hosted domain, the opportunities for where Artsy Forager can go and how it can serve the art loving online community are endless!

But here’s why I’m nervous– 1 out of every 10 Artsy Forager blog followers are following via the WordPress.com platform and when the blog moves, your follows do not move with it.  So while there will be a redirect if you visit the old artsyforager.com site, if you are a WordPress.com follower, unless you resubscribe with an email subscription, you will no longer receive notifications of new content on http://www.artsyforager.com.  I don’t want to lose you & I don’t want you to miss out on all the wonderful new artsiness I have planned for you! :-)

So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you “follow” Artsy Forager via your WordPress.com dashboard, please take a moment to become an email subscriber.  I’ve even moved up the Subscription Box in the sidebar to make it easy to see!  This way, you’ll be guaranteed to continue seeing all the artist features, Friday Design Finds, studio tours, and some exciting NEW features comin’ to ArtsyForager.com!

You guys make writing, maintaining and now growing this blog such a pleasure for me.  Artsy Forager would not be what it is without you!

Love & Artsiness,

Lesley

**The overwhelming majority of you loved site design Option A and it was also my first choice.  But many of you also loved the square logo represented in the other designs ( me too! ).  I think everyone will be happy with the new design. ;-)

Meet Artsyo!

I have a huge soft spot in my heart for Seattle.  While Mr. Forager has lived in Seattle, I haven’t yet.  But when I do ( and when I visit! ), you can bet I’ll be utilizing the recently launched site, Artsyo to find local artists and their work.  The brainchild of Sarah Brooks and Stella Laurenzo, Artsyo is a searchable site providing users with ways to find the kinds of local artists and artwork they love, connect with those artists and ( hopefully! ) buy a work of art they adore.

Co-founder Sarah Brooks gave me a little time yesterday to chat about the how, what, why of Artsyo–

Artsy Forager | How did Artsyo get started?

Sarah Brooks |  When I moved to Seattle in 2007, I had my first apartment and my first real job, and I was really excited to buy a piece of original art for the first time. I was going to art walks and loving the art scene here, but it was harder than I’d expected to find a piece that I both loved AND could afford. I knew that somewhere out there in Seattle, maybe at a coffee shop in Ballard or a studio in Georgetown, there was a perfect piece for me that was also in my price range…but how would I ever find it? I was working a lot, and I didn’t have enough time to visit every gallery and every art walk, and I was wishing for some way to see a bigger visual of what was out there to guide my search. I finally decided last year to leave my job and start working on building this big visual map of the Seattle art scene for real.

Free Fall by Tracy Boyd, available on Artsyo

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AF | What do you see as the biggest challenge to connecting would-be art collectors with artists and galleries?

SB | One big challenge I see is that there are a lot of people who don’t think of themselves as collectors. Because it’s historically been this thing only for the really wealthy and the people-in-the-know, the prospect of buying art is intimidating. And the way most of the avenues are set up now — you have the gallery that’s only open by appointment, for example — reinforces that very formal, art world exclusivity feeling. Which is great for some, but I think there are a lot of people who would rather be able to get familiar with pieces in a stress-free setting, like in their own home. I think more and more people are starting to realize that anyone can be an art collector, and that not every piece costs $20,000. There are a bunch of great people working on the same problem in Seattle right now: Sharon Arnold with LxWxH, Wynne Greenwood with SeaCat. It’s an exciting time, and the more people who realize that they can be appreciators and owners of art, the better for everyone!

War Horse by Rachel Denny, available through Artsyo

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AF | What is it about Seattle that attracts so many artists?

SB | Good question! I think it has something to do with the freedom to be different over here, and that’s got to be linked with creativity. I’m from the northeast, and one thing I love about Seattle is that out here, you can be weird. And that’s cool. I think it’s also the reason that we have such a great tech community here…there’s room to be creative and weird and try new things, and the whole culture out here embraces it. Look at the Solstice Festival! I can’t imagine that happening where I grew up…

Connotation No. 29 by Shaun Kardinal, available through Artsyo

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AF | Have you purchased any Artsyo featured work for yourself yet?  Any particular piece you’re coveting?

SB | Not yet! I knew I was putting myself in a dangerous spot with all of this amazing art right in front of me all day every day, so I made a solemn promise that I wouldn’t buy a piece until I found a way to make Artsyo financially sustainable. Right now all of my expendable cash is tied up in getting Artsyo off the ground. But there are so many pieces on the site that I would love to take home with me. Ryan Molenkamp’s Cut Bank in particular (but you might have guessed that from the Artsyo home page design).

Uptown by LR Odette

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AF | What are the hopes and dreams you & Stella have for the future of Artsyo?  Any plans to expand to other cities?

SB | Our hope is to make Artsyo the site that we were dreaming about before it existed: a new way to discover art in Seattle that makes it easier and more fun to find art and buy art and live with art. With that in mind, we’re working on an art map (so that if you’re going for a walk in your neighborhood, you can see what’s up at every place nearby and drop in if something catches your eye). We’re about to add “last mile” services, too — the whole process of framing and installation is daunting for a lot of busy people, and so we want to take care of that and make it as easy as possible. In terms of new cities, we’d love to try Artsyo in Portland and San Francisco in the future…actually, I think there are a lot of cities that need an Artsyo. But first, we want to make sure we’re doing it right in Seattle.

Thanks, Sarah, for taking the time to chat– now here’s a fun little announcement for you!  To commemorate its launch, Artsyo is running a Pimp My Wall contest for Seattle art lovers!  Basically show Artsyo that your wall is in major need of some art lovin’ and you could win an Artsyo work of art of your own choosing ( worth up to $500 ).  See the Artsyo blog for more details!  Sorry, the contest is only open to those lucky enough to live in Seattle. ;-)

Friday Design Finds: Tie One On

An artsy scarf, that is!  Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a bonafide scarf junkie.  I wear them all year round and my favorite is a vintage silver crocheted scarf that my mom wore in the 70s.  It has such a bohemian, artsy air. Turns out I’m not the only artsy in love with the neck cloths.  Here are some wearable sculpture faves I’ve discovered lately!

Sunrise Rose by Jenne Giles on Artful Home

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Terra Cotta Flower scarf by Vital Temptation on Etsy

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Tickled Pink Knits by Elena Rosenberg on Etsy

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Sabrina Scarf by Sonya Mackintosh on Artful Home

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I’m so bummed to be living in the desert during prime scarf-sporting season!  Mr. Forager & I are headed up to Idyllwild tomorrow.. maybe I’ll be able to break out one of my faves.  Happy weekend!

To see more artsy fashionable finds, check out my This Fashion is Artsy board on Pinterest!

All image sources are linked under the images above.

There’s a New Facebook Featured Artist! It Must be November Already!

While it certainly doesn’t feel like it here in Joshua Tree, Fall is in full swing and November is upon us!  A new month means a new Featured Artist is up over on the Artsy Forager Facebook page.  I’m thrilled to feature this month’s artist, Seattle artist Susan Melrath.

Dog Park by Susan Melrath

Stay tuned throughout the month of November for more from Susan Melrath!  Make sure you check out the Artsy Forager Facebook page to see her beautiful cover image. ( And be sure to check back often, as we’ll be rotating several of Susan’s images as our Facebook cover- fun! )

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