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.

This Artsy Life: Weekend 10 [ Stuff We Did. Stuff We Didn't Do. ]

Please forgive me for getting this latest This Artsy Life post up a bit tardy. The last seven days have been a bit out of whack around these parts, with our beloved ( and much relyed on! ) Macbook taking a nosedive late Tuesday night, three treks to the Apple store an hour away in five days, major life decisions made, a visit with the only blood family I have in Cali, and the time change, well.. the actual life part of This Artsy Life took a bit of precedent. ;-)

In all that craziness we did manage to squeeze in a little ArtWalking in Joshua Tree and some much needed downtime with my San Franciscan cousin in Palm Springs. We found some new artists to love at both The Red Arrow Gallery & Joshua Tree Art Gallery and bonded with my cuz over being the only family members crazy enough to choose the West over the South. I so enjoyed the time with my cousin that I didn’t snap one photo all day. You’ll just have to take my word for what a gorgeous day it was! But I’m happy to share a few snaps from the one time I did take out the camera– at the Joshua Tree ArtWalk.

[ almost bought this piece by Judy Wold a few months ago.. still coveting ]

[ we both loved this sculpture by Steve Reiman ]

[ lovely lines and texture by Bret Philpot* ]

[ Mr. F's fave ( right ) and my fave ( left ) ]


[ awesome painted cubes ]

Things are inching back toward normal today in This Artsy Life, though it will only be a few more weeks before we begin making plans to move on to our next spot.  And then what madness will begin!  Want to see more from our JT ArtWalk? Follow Artsy Forager on Instagram.  I might even show you obligatory-Instagram-lunch photos.

*Bret Philpot’s website doesn’t appear to be working.  Sorry.  If you’d like to get in touch with the artist, please contact The Red Arrow Gallery.

All images by Artsy Forager.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Misha Ashton-Moore

It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.  Double-exposure photography is hardly a new concept, but the way Portland, Oregon photographer Misha Ashton-Moore does it is something special!  I immediately feel for her warm + cool palettes and mixture of images, sometimes subtle, sometimes completely yet beautifully disparate.  Check out more of her work in my Artist Watch today over on Escape Into Life.  See it here!

Portland OR USA by Misha Ashton-Moore

Portland OR USA by Misha Ashton-Moore

Misha Ashton-Moore on Escape Into Life

Artist found via Daily Dolan Geiman.  Image via the artist’s website.

Springing Forward: Marion Lane

Did the time change knock anyone else for a loop?  Mr. F and I were fine ( fantastic, actually! ) the first day, OK yesterday, but both exceedingly groggy this morning.  Everything feels just a tiny bit off.  But we relished the extra daylight yesterday.  Everything around us seems to be basking in the glory of spring.  While we were in Palm Springs on Sunday, blossoms were everywhere.  Perhaps that’s why I was so drawn to this series of work by Los Angeles artist Marion Lane, Spring.

Untitled by Marion Lane

Untitled, acrylic on panel, 13×13

Untitled by Marion Lane

Untitled, acrylic on panel, 13×13

The paintings in the Spring series remind me so much of what spring is like in the city.  The lushness of blossoms bursting forth against the hard-edged verticality of urban architecture.

Untitled by Marion Lane

Untitled, acrylic on panel, 13×13

Untitled by Marion Lane

Untitled, acrylic on panel, 13×13

Spring is, after all, a season of transition, and as such still filled with wet, grey days.  But it is those spring showers that nourish and bring to life all that was dormant.   New life suddenly sprouts everywhere, as Lane’s oozing organic shapes remind us.

Untitled by Marion Lane

Untitled, acrylic on panel, 13×13

To see more of Marion Lane’s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.


Making Seen the Unseen: Bannon Fu

The wind is howling outside. That’s the thing about desert storms. Not much in terms of rain, but holy cow the wind is enough to peel the paint off your house. Truly, I think that’s what happens to many of the little houses here in Joshua Tree! So as I was deciding on my artist for today, I came across the work of Chinese American artist Bannon Fu. Meant to be.

Fu_Skirts Dancing in the Wind

Skirts Dancing in the Wind

Two Ruffled Skirts in Wind by Bannon Fu

Two Ruffled Skirts in the Wind

Bannon Fu, deaf from the age of one year, chooses to paint the wind. So how do you paint what is not seen, but only experienced? By painting the effect of that force on the objects it touches.

Clothes Dancing in the Wind #8 by Bannon Fu

Clothes Dancing in the Wind #8

Dancing Clothes in Wind #9 by Bannon Fu

Dancing Clothes in Wind #9

For Fu, the beauty of the swelling and swaying of fabric in a breeze is a profound and moving sight. Wind carries with it energy, whether with the destructive force of a hurricane or the soft whisper of an summer breeze. We know its presence not because we see it, but because we feel its energy.

Sunlight on Clothes by Bannon Fu

Sunlight on Clothes

The artist is helping us to see what is unseen, we see what the motion of the fabric and know the force behind it. Mysterious yet obvious.

To see more of Bannon Fu’s work, please visit his Bannon Fu website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Grateful.  For Saturdays + These Folks.

Aren’t Saturdays just the best days of the week?  Sleeping in, breakfasting out, just doing whatever you like, no worries kind of day!  I’m feeling especially grateful this Saturday and wanted to publicly thank a few artsy folks who were kind enough to give the City Mouse | Country Mouse online show a little web love this week!

In no particular order, a big merci beaucoup to…

Inward Facing Girl | The IFG herself shared some CM|CM love on Twitter.. thanks Melanie!

Beautiful Hello | Emily published a beautiful post about CM|CM on her blog!

Curate 1k | Norah knows an art bargain when she sees it!  Thanks for the post & including a CM|CM piece in this week’s collection!

The Artful Desperado | Gab included a CM|CM piece in an awesome little spring hued round-up!

Help spread the word by Facebooking, Tweeting, and/or blog posting about CM|CM and get a little shout-out with a link to your site next week!  Just shoot me an email to let me know you’ve done it at artsyforager(at)att.net.

CMCM will be up in found through March 28th.  If you haven’t seen it yet, please click over to found and check it out!  Beautiful little small originals, perfect for gift giving!

Friday Design Finds: Cuff ‘Em

There was a time, prior to marrying Mr. F and hitting my fourth decade ( gulp! ), when I was a teeny little wisp of a thing and my wrists were so small some bracelets fell right off.  Enter = my love for cuffs!  Not only were they easily adjustable, but I loved ( and still love! ) their simple, bold chunkiness!  So as it warms up here in Southern Cali and I begin to bare my arms to the world once again, here are a few artsy cuffs I’m loving!

Valencia Cuff by We Dream in Colour


[ I am seriously in love with the Valencia Cuff. Serious. Love. ]

Organic Cuff by Deborah Mullen at Grey Area


[ see more of Deborah's work on her website here ]

Woven Wooden Cuff by Henry Wischusen at Uncommon Goods

source [ please scroll down for a product review of this baby! ]

Discus Enamel Cuff at Anthropologie


Brass Cuff by Nada Sawaya


 We’re heading over to Palm Springs on Sunday to spend the afternoon with my cousin whom I haven’t seen since we were tweens. Supposed to be a beautiful SoCal day, think I’ll be busting out a cuff or two!

**Uncommon Goods recently sent me the Woven Wooden Cuff by Henry Wischusen for review.  I’ve been looking for an organic, neutral cuff, so I was excited to receive it and try it out!  The packaging for the bracelet was thoughtful, a lovely little paper box and recycled t-shirt pouch, plus I appreciated that UG included an artist’s bio with the bracelet.  Artist acknowledgement always goes a long way with me!  The bracelet design is beautiful, I love the intertwining wood and it looks lovely on my wrist.  I do wish, though, that the wood had been covered a bit more with a resin or coating of some sort, as the edges and veneer are still a bit rough, so I will have to be careful when wearing it with more delicate fabrics.  The cuff runs very small, so for women with larger wrists than mine ( and as previously mentioned, mine are pretty small! ), the fit may not be very comfortable. With all that said, though, it is a pretty little cuff, handmade, organic in material and look and I will proudly wear it all summer long, I’m sure!

Artsy Forager received material goods in exchange for the above review, but all opinions are her own.

Artsies, are you interested in seeing more product reviews on the blog?  I’m still on the fence about doing them.  Inquiring minds want to know..

All image sources are linked above.

Artsy Diggs: In the Studio with Deann Hebert

One of my favorite activities in the world is visiting artists in their studios or even getting a little peek inside through photographs! Whether an artist is working from a light filled loft or a small corner in the kitchen, the way an artist approaches their workspace says so much about their creative process. I suspicion you enjoy studio visits, too.. And so dear Artsies, I thought I would treat us to a little jaunt to the studio of Deann Hebert website You may recognize Deann’s work from the City Mouse | Country Mouse show currently online at Found Gallery here at Artsy Forager.

Everyone, say hello to Deann!

Deann and I decided this trip to her studio would give us the perfect opportunity for you to get acquainted a bit better. So she indulged me by answering a few questions inquiring Artsies might like to know..

Artsy | You have such a unique style of applying paint to canvas! Can you tell us a bit more about your process?

Deann | My process has definitely evolved over the years. I have always been attracted to texture, and palette knife painting. I wanted to create a style that married these two together. A key factor in this was the opportunity I had to study abroad while receiving my formal training. It exposed me to different cultures, ways of thinking and creating art. It was really just a trial and error type of thing. It’s a process of applying layers on top of layers. With each layer reacting with another. Once I got into my “groove” of painting, it just felt right. I literally had an “ah-ha” moment, of “this is who I am!”


AF | How have you seen yourself grow as an artist over the years?

DH | Oh I have changed so much over the years. I think it’s only a natural progression that a fine artist changes and grows. I hope I am always changing and evolving, not being static. I think this is where true creativity comes from. Over the years my work has gone from bright, bold colors and still lifes, to more muted tones of blues, creams, greys, and landscapes. Who knows what the future will bring!


AF | What is the most exciting part of painting for you?

DH | The most exciting part of creating for me, is watching the painting literally become something right before my eyes as it is on the paint table. But, the créme de la créme, is evoking an emotional reaction from the viewer, for whatever reason.


AF | What is it about the country that captures and holds your imagination?

DH | Well, this little country mouse grew up in a small town and my family always owned horses and cows. So growing up “in the country” was our way of life, and I absolutely loved it. The texture of an old barn or fence, or grass growing in the fields remind me of my childhood days. Unfortunately, many of these old structures are falling victim to time and neglect, but still are a direct link to the past, and the present. These barns tell a story, too, if we could only listen to them, to me, they are the heart and soul of the South. Even my studio walls are made from reclaimed wood from a historic barn that was torn down, so my inspiration, is quite literally, everywhere. Now, I am lucky enough to call Tennessee home, and the rolling hills and landscape are truly inspiring to me and beautiful. In my own little way, I want to pay homage to that.
Margaret Britton Vaughn, Poet Laureate of Tennessee, says it best in her poem:


I miss the barns of my youth,
The ones that read, “See Rock City.”
Hungry Caterpillars ate them alive,
Spitting out nails
To become thorns in the side
Of crawling asphalt,
Erasing small towns
To link big cities
They die hard, these old barns,
Leaning on the everlasting
Shoulders of Time
That cushion the fall of rotting boards.
Light seeps through decaying skeletons,
Causing shadows to tiptoe
Like ballerinas dancing the waltz of the wind.
In our hurry to get there
We destroyed the landscape:
Masterpieces of America.


AF | You are very involved in children’s art activities, like Art Camp. What do you see as the most important creative lesson a child can learn?

DH | Since I have two children myself (2 and 6), exposing children to the arts is very near and dear to my heart, and I think the most important creative lesson a child can learn is that art can be used to express yourself in ways that nothing else can. That you can actually say something with your art.


AF | Obligatory question. If you weren’t an artist, what would your dream job be?

DH | It’s so hard to answer that question because I am living my dream job…. but let’s see, since I love to travel, I always thought Samantha Brown had the coolest job ever to tour the world and work for the Travel Channel show, “Great Hotels”. How cool would that be?!

That would be a pretty sweet gig, but I have a feeling most folks would trade with you in a heartbeat! Thanks so much for opening up your studio to us, Deann!

To see more of Deann’s work, please visit her Deann Hebert website and the City Mouse | Country Mouse online show and sale in Found Gallery here at Artsy Forager. Big thanks to Ray Sanduski of With an Eye Photography for the gorgeous shots of Deann’s creative space and process. Be sure to check out Ray’s website!

Eternal Spring: Temre Stanchfield

It’s March. This time last year, we were in Northern Idaho and I’m pretty sure we were still wearing heavy sweaters and boots. But spring has officially sprung here in the desert! Although the emerging season definitely looks different here. The paintings of Temre Stanchfield remind me that somewhere there is a spring filled with soft petals, not cactus blooms.

Starlight by Temre Stanchfield

Starlight, oil on canvas, 36×36

Truffle by Temre Stanchfield

Truffle, oil on canvas, 30×36

The artist’s floral groupings have a delicate strength, much like the plants themselves. Only slightly reminiscent of traditional floral still lifes, these bouquets seem much more fresh and alive.

Chortle by Temre Stanchfield

Chortle, oil on canvas, 24×24

Twinkle by Temre Stanchfield

Twinkle, oil on canvas, 36×36

As seeds float away from petals, we are reminded that the blooms we cherish so much are just one part of the life cycle of the plant. That the more quiet, dormant periods of a life are essential to the blossoming.

Merry Dew by Temre Stanchfield

Merry Dew, oil on canvas, 36×36

To see more of Temre Stanchfield’s work, please visit her Temre Stanchfield website.

All images are via the artist’s Temre Stanchfield website.

Art to Inspiration: Laura E. Pritchett

Art to Inspiration is back!  The time for this collaborative blogging project is here once again and this month’s inspiration is being provided by artist Laura E. Pritchett.  I have always loved the possibility inherent in the disappearing path.. One of the artists showing in our City Mouse | Country Mouse exhibition in found galleryDeann Hebert, also has a love for roads that lie before us.  So for my Art to Inspiration, I’ve put together a little gallery of Deann’s own paths taken.

The inspiration–

Out of the Woods by Pritchett

Out of the Woods by Laura E. Pritchett

The gallery– 

The Path by Deann Hebert

The Path**

Country Road by Deann Hebert

Country Road**

Gracefully Growing by Deann Hebert

Gracefully Growing**

The Good Life by Deann Hebert

The Good Life

The Path I've Chosen by Deann Hebert

The Path I’ve Chosen

Asteriked work can be found ( heh, get it? ) in the City Mouse | Country Mouse exhibtion.  The other work by Deann can be found on her website.  What paths are you contemplating these days?

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! 

Out of the Woods image via Laura E. Pritchett.  Other images via Deann Hebert.

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