Sophisticated Swag: Alex Brewer

You’ve more than likely seen this artist’s work.  His painted church in DC was all over the interwebs last year.  But artist Alex Brewer aka Hense, does more than just create amazing ecclesiastical transformations.  Brewer takes elements of the style he honed as a graffiti artist and applies it to canvas and paper, resulting in abstractions that are sophisticated with a bit of swag.

Mural by Alex Brewer

Mural, acrylic, ink, aerosol, graphite and oil bar on canvas, 58×58

Brewer takes those quick gestures and gritty scribbles from his street art background and translates them into layered, slightly rowdy compositions.  Full of riotous color and the spontaneity of street painting, these pieces seem like screen captures of fleeting moments in paint.

Day Two by Alex Brewer

Day Two, acrylic, house paint, ink and spray paint on wood, 42×48

Rearrange by Alex Brewer

Rearrange, acrylic, aerosol and latex house paint on wood, 72×72

Red Painting by Alex Brewer

Red Painting, acrylic, spray paint, ink and house paint on wood, 42×48

The layers of paint interlace with each other, so that we aren’t sure where one layer begins and the next one ends, like one artist’s graffiti slightly covered by the next to come along.

Untitled Blue by Alex Brewer

Untitled Blue

Want to see more work by Alex Brewer?  Check out his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.



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Insert the Artsy: Casey Matthews

In my not so distant past, I worked as a Project Manager/Art Consultant for a gallery & art consulting firm.  What does that mean exactly?  It means I looked for artwork for clients.  A LOT.  Matching up the right art to fit the client’s space, budget, design, and taste was what I did and something I plan to start doing again ( keep your eye on this page! ).  When I see a blank wall, instinct takes over and I immediately start thinking of what artist’s work would be perfect in that space!

When I saw the empty wall above this bed, the wheels immediately started turning.. Clean, modern bedframe, fabulous funky black Bertoia chair, graphic striped rug and bright green coverlet.  So we want something with some texture and color but not too much.. enter this pair of abstract paintings by Casey Matthews!

ITA_Casey Matthews


interior | artwork 

Casey’s work feels fresh and young, but still sophisticated enough to add a grown up vibe to what could otherwise feel like a “starter” room.  And I love putting a pair or series of work where a single large piece is the more expected choice.  What do you think?  What artwork might you place in this space?

Stay tuned for more details regarding services coming soon to Artsy Forager!

Images via artist’s representing gallery, Gallery Orange.

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Shifting Perceptions: Katharina Grosse

I find myself continually fascinated by the work of artists who very literally paint outside the lines.  Artists like Margie Livingston and Laura Moriarty use paint as a medium for sculpture, who see beyond paint applied to canvas to what else these aqueous pigments can be.  German artist Katharina Grosse paints across spatial planes, creating psychedelic landscapes which push and ignore our perceptions of boundaries.

Untitled by Katharina Grosse, Nasher Sculpture Center

Untitled ( 2013 ) by Katharina Grosse, Nasher Sculpture Center

Pigmentos Para Plantos y Globos by Katharina Grosse

Pigmentos Para Plantos y Globos, acrylic on balloons, soil, wall, floor

Our realities are really all about perceptions– each person’s reality is different depending on their perceptions.  When we were in Friday Harbor last weekend, we received wildly different answers to the question “What is it like to live on the island?” Because of their own unique experiences, each person we asked had a completely different answer.  Their perceptions had shaped their reality.

Untitled 2008 by Katharina Grosse

Untitled, 2008, New Orleans, acrylic on wall and floor

Grosse’s work takes the process of “painting” off the canvas and onto any surface, often ignoring spatial boundaries.  Her installations cause us to change how we perceive reality through her eyes and perhaps changes our perceptions permanently.

One Floor Up More Highly by Katharina Grosse

One Floor Up More Highly, 2010, styrofoam, acrylic on wall, floor, soil and reinforced plastic

Picture Park, 2007 by Katharina Grosse

Picture Park, 2007, acrylic on wall, ceiling, soil, latex balloons and canvases

If you’d like to see more of Katharina Grosse’s work, please visit her website.  Have you seen any interesting installations lately?  Perhaps ones that pushed boundaries?

All images via the artist’s website.


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This Artsy Life: Weekend 29 [ One Last Island Before We Go ]

If you’ve been following the This Artsy Life posts, you know Mr. Forager & I have been doing a bit of island hopping recently. Once we decided for certain we were leaving Seattle, we knew we wanted to make sure we hit one last island. One thing about living a traveler’s lifestyle– you make sure you get out and see as much as you can, as you never know when you may pass by that way again. As many times as Mr. F & I had been to Seattle in the past, we’d yet to make it over to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. And since it’s possible that we could soon be on the other side of the country, we decided to make a weekend of exploring the island.

San Juan Island ferry[ friday harbor ferry dock ]

20130722-125353.jpg[ gothic view ]

20130722-125603.jpg[ orca! ]

20130722-130804.jpg[ lavender ]

20130722-132121.jpg[ romantic boat ride ]

20130722-133439.jpg[ sunday morning fog ]

The island did not disappoint!  We explored from one end to the other, the range of activities as diverse as the weather.  Next weekend: we finally hike in the North Cascades!  Want to see more from This Artsy Life?  Follow me over on Instagram.

All images by Artsy Forager.

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Let’s Get Real: Kang Kang Hoon

Sometimes I have a love /hate relationship with certain blogs. While I love the pretty pictures and aspirational lifestyle, I hate how unrealistic it can seem. None of our lives are perfect and I don’t think that anyone is trying to say they are, but who wants to show the boring stuff? The embarrassing stuff? Admit your vices? These hyperrealistic, somewhat goofy paintings by Korean artist Kang Kang Hoon reinforce that when we are in our truth, not denying how silly or mundane we really are, there is magic to be found.

So in that spirit, I’ll let you in on a few of my own little secrets I might prefer to keep under that rug over there..

I am addicted to cheesy reality shows. Seriously can’t get enough So You Think You Can Dance, MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, HGTV Star and the like. I just have to know who wins! We don’t watch a ton of tv, but when we do, it goes like this– The Daily Show, Colbert Report, and [ insert cheesy reality show here ].

Kang Kang Hoon

I bastardize my coffee. I embarrass Mr. Forager every time I order coffee at any Seattle coffeehouse and ask for “lots of room for cream”. He’s just lucky I don’t order what I really want, a Salted Caramel Mocha Frappacino.

Kang Kang Hoon

I always wear at least a little makeup when we’re hiking
. I know, totally against the outdoorsy girl code. But I look half dead without at least a little flavored Chapstick ( Cherry ) and a bit of mascara. A girl needs to look her best, even in the woods!

Kang Kang Hoon

I frequently fall asleep during movies. These days, when we snuggle in to watch a movie, it has to be either really good and interesting or I guarantee I will doze off about mid-way. If there are a lot of dark scenes and mumbled dialogue, I don’t stand a chance.

Kang Kang Hoon

I don’t paint much, but not for the reasons you might think
. It’s not because I’m too busy ( see reality tv addiction above ), don’t have the time, space or resources. It’s that I get terrified of disappointing myself. Since no one else really sees what I work on, I’m the only one judging and I am my own harshest critic. It’s something I need to work on. After I finish this season of MasterChef.

Kang Kang Hoon

 I’ve told you my secrets.  Now you tell me yours!  Let’s really revel in our collective goofiness.  Want to see more of these fabulous paintings by Kang Kang Hoon?  Check out his website.

All images via the artist’s website.  Artist found via The Artful Desperado.

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Design Foraging: Throw in the Towel

No, I mean throw ME the towel. Preferably one of these awesome little beauties from Leif Shop. Maybe one of these might make washing dishes seem like less of a chore!






OK, maybe not. But they would sure add a little artsy to your kitchen! Go to the Leif Shop website to purchase and see more!

All images via Leif Shop.

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Finding My Own Artsy: A Letter to Seattle

Dearest Seattle,

It’s not you it’s me.  Ok, it’s not you, it’s us.  You know how much we love you.  How much we dreamed of Mr. Forager finally getting a contract here, of me finally living in a city where there was art overload.  There is so much about you that’s perfect.  You don’t believe me? OK, here’s a list–

Stunning views in every direction.  We never cease to be amazed when the mountains “come out” ( ie, the clouds break enough to see the distant Olympic Mountains, Cascade Range & Mt. Rainier ).  Few cities can boast such natural beauty.

Mt Rainier from marina

Overabundance of delicious food choices.  Coming from tiny Joshua Tree, CA, it felt like we went from famine to feast.  Whatever our stomachs were desiring, you could deliver– sushi, Thai, Vietnamese, German, Mexican ( Senor Moose! ), and some of the freshest produce and seafood ever.


Diversity of humanity.  We love seeing different colors of skin every where.  Mr. Forager loves it when he meets a patient who has immigrated here from a far off place.  It makes us feel like a part of a much bigger world.


The art. Oh, the art!  It’s almost overwhelming, the amount of art happenings, museums, and galleries in the city.  Tonight, there are at least half a dozen different events going on and I want to go to all of them.  And the diversity of the work to be found is as varied as the people who live here.

Foster/White Gallery, Seattle, WA

You’re just a beautiful city.  Last night, we walked down to a little park near our apartment with a view looking back toward downtown.  The sun was shining brightly from the west but the city was backed by clouds.  And we were reminded of the elegance of your skyline and your architectural beauty.

Seattle skyline

If we were going to live forever in a city, you would be it.  When we came to you, we were overwhelmed with joy to be here, to be back in the Northwest after a long six months in the desert.  Before we knew it we had signed a twelve month lease and I started looking for a full time job.

But then something happened along the way.  As much as we adored you, something was off.  We felt uneasy among the noise and the crowds.  Our hearts longed for quiet and wilderness and a slowed pace.  We’re just not sure we’re cut out for urban life.  And we longed for adventure.  We really hadn’t planned to stop traveling so soon, circumstances came about that kind of pushed us in that direction, but then the tide seemed to turn in the other direction almost as quickly.  If we settled down, we knew we would miss the excitement, we would miss out on exploring all sorts of places we might never see otherwise.  So, dear Seattle, as much as we love you, we just can’t stay.  Please can we still be friends?  We so want to be.

Yours always,

Artsy & Mr. F


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Live the Artsy: Camp Like an Artsy

If you’ve read the blog for a while, you know that Mr. F and I are the outdoorsy types.  We’re those people who are happier sleeping in the woods than in the midst of a busy city.  There is something about sleeping under the stars that rejuvenates the creative spirit!  Good gear is important, but you don’t need to buy out REI to enjoy being an artsy in the outdoors!

Camp Like an Artsy

Here are a few ways to camp like an artsy!

1.  Create a playlist 

The journey starts before you ever leave home!  Get your mind in the mood by creating a playlist for the road. The perfect music can set your spirit off in the right direction as you begin your adventure.  Mr. Forager created a playlist that we usually listen to when we’re headed into the wilderness.  Heavy on Eddie Vedder, Nick Drake, and Ben Harper, it’s our own way of getting Into the Wild.

Camping_Into the Wild


2. Bring along bits of home

Camping doesn’t have to equal uncomfortable!  Bring that favorite blanket, bed pillows, and tablecloth.  A tent feels more like home when you’re surrounded by your favorite things.

Camp Like an Artsy_Anthropologie


3. Camp civilized

Artsy camping doesn’t mean franks & beans and gross coffee!  It’s super easy to make coffee via French Press when camping ( just boil water! ) and we love to make fresh foods like pasta and fajitas rather than the old standby burgers.  A little red wine may even help you sleep. ;-)


4. Don’t forget your artsy tools

You are bound to be inspired by the quiet and the beauty of your surroundings.  So make sure you pack what you need to take advantage of the situation!  Whether it’s a sketchbook, some watercolors or a guitar, gettin’ your artsy on is the perfect way to relax at camp.

Camping_colored pencils

5.  DO forget your iPhone 

Yes, your iPhone can come in handy for taking photos and you might even use it for its outdoorsy apps like StarWalk.  But having it along is usually more of a distraction than a convenience.  Besides, if you’re really out in the wild, chances are you won’t have service anyway!  So take the time to completely unplug.

Camping_Disconnect6. Just relax and enjoy

The more you let yourself settle into the ease and quiet of the outdoors, the more relaxed your mind and spirit will become– and the more awakened your creativity will feel!  Let your mind wander as your feet do the same.


Happy Camping, Artsies!

Images by Artsy Forager unless otherwise linked below the image.

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Nothing But Blue: Vittorio Ciccarelli

After yesterday’s afternoon post, it seems my obsession with blues continues, but this time, I’m gushing over the blue skies of photographer Vittorio Ciccarelli’s Invisible series.

Invisible 1 by Vittorio Ciccarelli

Invisible 2 by Vittorio Ciccarelli

We’ve had no shortage of cloudless, blue sky days lately and I’m always struck, as it seems Ciccarelli is, by the juxtaposition of architecture against an azure expanse.  The skies in Ciccarelli’s work almost seem unreal, unbelievably translucent.

Invisible 6 by Vittorio Ciccarelli Invisible 8 by Vittorio Ciccarelli

The bright aqua skies leave our eyes to feast upon the simply beauty in the ordinary urban sights we take for granted.  Suddenly, we notice the gentle curve of the street lamp, never realizing before its beauty.

Invisible 9 by Vittorio CiccarelliIf you’d like to see more of Vittorio Ciccarelli’s work, please visit his Behance page.

All images are via Behance.  Artist found via Trendland.

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Color Harvest: The Deep Blue Sea

Maybe it’s finally living in a place surrounded by water after living in the desert last year, but I have been finding such inspiration in the various hues of blue to be found in the waters around Seattle!  So many gorgeous shades from the deepest, darkest blue to green aquas, I just want to plunge right in and see what mysteries await!

IMG_1114It’s only natural that this blue obsession is trickling over into the artwork I’m foraging on my Pinterest boards.. here’s a little deep blue sea inspiration to get your own seas churning!

Color Harvest_Deep Blue Sea


[ clockwise, from top left: Elena Kalis |  John Armleder | Miranda Lake | Emily Ferretti studio | Michal Fargo | Jennifer JL Jones

What colors are inspiring you this summer?

All image credits linked above.



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