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! )

Silent Visages: Courtney J. Garrett

There is something in the eyes of an animal that connects with us.  Their faces full of trust, loyalty and hopefulness can bring us peace in the midst of so many storms.  In her Equine & Herd series, Atlanta artist Courtney J. Garrett captures the tranquility of domestic animals, showing us the gentle spirit behind the bucolic.

The Little Foxes Turned and the Fields Stopped Bleeding No. 14, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 48×48

The Awakening, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 48×48

What is it about the presence of another species that seems to make life more bearable?  While we were living in Northern Idaho, a simple walk up to our mailbox, passing by the horse corral was enough to lift my spirits, as the horses trotted over to investigate.  Or even spotting a small bird flitting around city streets will instantly calm me.

The Little Foxes Turned and the Fields Stopped Bleeding No. 12, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 36×36

Perhaps we are envious of the simplicity of an animal’s life?  How they are provided for, whether by their human guardians or by the natural world surrounding them.  They’ve no need to fret over the presidential election, car payments, or forgetting to call on Mother’s Day.  They are happy merely to exist.

Free, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 60×60

Reconciliation No. 5, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 24×24

To see more of Courtney J. Garret’s work, please visit her website.

Artist found via Exhibit by Abersons, her representing gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Utopian Geometry: Melissa Manfull

I am continually fascinated by what inspires each artists.  It seems that the more unique the work, the more intriguing the inspiration.  Los Angeles artist Melissa Manfull takes her artful cues from the beliefs of Southwestern utopian communities of the 1960s and 70s.

Interior, ink on paper, 42×56

Diffusion, ink on paper, 16×18

According to Manfull’s website, these communities held a strong affinity for geometric forms and patterns and “just as the polygonal forms of minerals and the cellular structure of plants formed perfect complex systems, the growth patterns of these communities often resembled fractals in which a single shape repeated itself until a complex, organic cluster was formed.”

Web, ink on paper, 16×18

Dome ( Soleri Meet Gaudi ), ink on paper

The artists work embraces these affinities by beginning with a simple grouping of geometrical shapes which then build upon one another to form a fantastical structure, linking the architectural world with the natural one.  To see more of Melissa Manfull’s work, please visit her website.

Artist found via her representing gallery in Los Angeles, Taylor de Cordoba Gallery.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Mathilde Aubier

I’m a closet Francophile.  I loved my two years of high school French and think everything sounds better in a French accent.  I could watch Amelie every day.  The collages of French artist and illustrator Mathilde Aubier are so sophisticated and cheeky and French, I couldn’t resist featuring her in my Artist Watch over on Escape Into Life today.  Voir l’art ici!

Sous La Neige by Mathilde Aubier

Mathilde Aubier on Escape Into Life

Intuitive Scenes: Julie Schumer

To paint the feeling of a person or place, rather than a representation of your subject can be quite the task.  An artist must be able to interpret their impression into nothing but line, texture, color and form.  Through her abstract work, Los Angeles artist Julie Schumer gives us fleeting glimpses into the world around her.

Crowdscape, mixed media on canvas, 84×64

Through her use of color, expression, and texture, each canvas is given a sense of place.  You can feel the swish of people rushing by, feel the shade between the canyon walls, sense the warmth of the sun beating down.

Landscape Composition 21, mixed media on panel, 42×36

Canyon Suite 3, acrylic and cold wax on panel, 30×40

Just as music can abstractly transport us to another time and place, so can art like Julie’s.  It speaks to us visually, perhaps not in a language we speak, yet one that can understand.

Canyon Suite 1, acrylic and cold wax on panel, 40×30

To see more of Julie Schumer’s work, please visit her website.  Her work can currently be seen at several galleries across the country– see her website for more info on one near you!

All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy Around Town: Hwy 62 Art Touring

It seems like every Fall when the Open Studios and Art Tours gear up we seem to just miss them.  So I was elated to know we would be able to spend a Saturday checking out some of the local work Joshua Tree and the surrounding communities have to offer.  A day spent seeing new places, meeting artists , getting a peek inside their studios and process– what could be better?!  Wanna go along for the ride?  Buckle up.  Safety first in the Artsy mobile!

Not MY Artsy mobile, but someone else’s spotted in Joshua Tree

Our first stop took us down a few long, lonely dirt ( OK, sand, really ) roads.  We hoped the trek would be worth it.  And when we came upon Judy Wold’s studio, something told me it would be.

Outside Judy Wold’s studio

Judy and her husband Bob live in Santa Monica, but the desert keeps drawing them in, allowing them to enjoy the best of both worlds.  We were greeted warmly and with mimosas ( my favorite kind of hello! ).  Her little abode/studio is tucked away from the rest of Joshua Tree, overlooking an undeveloped valley and a spectacular view of the mountains to the north.

Views around Judy Wold’s studio

Mr. Forager and I fell hard for the painting in the bottom right above.  My photo doesn’t do it justice– it was full of color, depth and texture in person.  We’re contemplating a purchase..

If you’ve ever been on an Art Tour, you know that artists not only open their studios, but utilize other spaces to create make-shift galleries.  Judy’s Airstream guest room turned gallery was our fave.  It had just the right boho vibe.  Definitely got our wheels turnin’!

Wold’s Airstream gallery/guest room

Next we ventured out to Twenty-Nine Palms to check out some work that had looked a bit interesting in the brochure.. unfortunately, the photo was very deceiving and I found the building to be much more interesting than the art inside.  Bummer.

Artsy building filled with so-so art. Art Tour number obliterated to protect the innocent.

Back to Joshua Tree we went, this time heading to the South and the studio of wood sculptor Mark Doolittle.  This artist is one of those fascinating creatives that begins in a largely left-brained profession ( biomedical research ) then transforms into a beautifully creative artist.

Symbiosis, amboyna burl and basswood with bubinga base, 32x33x6. George Post, photographer.

Mark Doolittle’s work bench and the fossils that inspire him

In talking with Mark, he related to us how he was always struck by the aesthetic beauty in microbiology.  The same quiet, patient methodology needed to work in the biomedical world equips him with the ability to spend hours carving meticulously.  Truly phenomenal work!

A few more stops, among them an installed re-creation of Western Motel by Edward Hopper, created and installed by Jenifer Palmer-Lacy and the studio of Marjorie Franklin and Janis Commentz ( click on the artists’ names to check out their websites! )  One of our last stops was the home & studio of Karine Swenson.  Her paintings of desert wildlife really enchanted me, as did her postings throughout of random facts regarding her work and her process.

One of Karine Swenson’s rabbits with a little note about her process

What I love most about this kind of outing is the conversation.  Not only with the artists, but with Mr. Forager.  Coming from outside the art world, he looks and questions with a different perspective, one that always makes me stop and think.  Hope you enjoyed this little virtual Art Tour as much as I enjoyed the real one.

Quick question for my readers– Would you like to see more posts like this in addition to artist features?

Rocks at Judy Wold’s studio

The Poetic Palette: Brianna Angelakis

Reading an enthralling tale comes pretty close to the joy I get from viewing incredible artwork.  Some of my absolute favorite books have been the work of “classic” female authors such as Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen.  I still pick up my well-worn paperback of Persuasion from time to time.  North Florida artist Brianna Angelakis marries her own passion for literary characters with feminist  surrealism in work that is as wonderfully layered and moody as any Bronte novel.

God’s Orchestra, graphite and oil on canvas board, 36×24

Angelakis explores the idea of isolated femininity by placing her female subjects alone in wild landscapes and in her most recent series, Wonders of the Invisible World, we see young women falling from an unknown place to an unknown destination.

Neurathenia, graphite and oil on wood, 24×24

Modern Hero, graphite and oil on wood

Her use of a cool, limited palette add to the eery mood of Angelakis’ work.  We are caught in the midst of the story she is telling and left wondering.. and wanting to hear more.

Blind Contentment, graphite and oil on canvas board, 24×36

To see more of Brianna Angelakis’ work, please visit her website.  The painting above, Neurathenia, can be seen as a part of the Folio Weekly Artist Invitational at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, FL until December 6th.  Her work can also been seen beginning in December in Minneapolis, MN and in the United Kingdom.  More details on her website!

All images are via the artist’s website.

Friday Design Finds: If These Walls Could Draw

Happy Friday, Artsies!!  You may have noticed that the Friday round-ups have been a bit more design oriented of late.  It wasn’t intentional on my part at first, but once I noticed it, I decided to just dive in completely!  Artsiness abounds in all kinds of places– fashion and interior design, architecture, consumer goods, you name it.  So beginning today, each Friday I’ll bring you a group of artsy design goodies that I find inspiring.  Hope you enjoy!

Secret AF tidbit: The one and only time I was ever spanked as a child was for drawing on my bedroom walls with a permanent marker.  Now, there are wall coverings made especially for coloring or you can just draw/paint directly onto your wall ( if you’re an adult & own your walls ).  Instantly artsy vertical space.

Paint by Numbers mural created by Katie Blair for her son Max’s little art studio

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Wallpaper by Jonas Carlberg

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Colour in Wallpaper by Jon Burgerman

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Frames Wallpaper by Graham & Brown

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Audrey Hepburn wall mural by Ben Slow

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Don’t these make you just want to draw all over your walls?

All images sources are linked above.

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