Friday, October 31, 2008

Art (hit) & Run

Really quick --- sneaking this in to hold me until a longer post (hint: daydreaming of work spaces again...) --- but how could I not share Pascal Campion? I mean, look, flocks of soaring long eared bunnies! Must be shared!

Nicely graphic-imaginative-dreamy-cartoony stuff. You can see more of/about Pascel here --- prints available at Thumbtack Press.
And...away I go! Back to daydreaming. (Having left what I hope is a charming note of excuse on the windshield of your mind).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How the day feels...

This is how the day feels, gray and muted, misty and blue... altogether lovely & promising.
Even gray days are beautiful here, in the fall especially --- I love the northwest this time of year --- this past week has been a reaffirmation of that for me. It's been foggy and dampened down in the mornings and then the fall colors break out and shimmer through the cool sun in the afternoon. Makes me happy and contemplative and grateful...
[MarianneS is responsible for the creation above that perfectly captures 'how the day feels', she makes bea-u-tiful crocheted things like this, and this. Have a peek at her Etsy site...]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shaun Tan (The Red Tree and others)

So this will be my first attempt (in this blog format at least) at conveying how much I love the whole genre of children's picture books... When I was a kid and the "appropriate' age for picture books, my Dad was reading us Robinson Crusoe and Pilgrim's Progress --- I learned to read when I was really young and I am not sure that I lingered much in the realm of picture books before reading the majority of the local library's content (adult novels and manuals about the care of exotic birds included) at the age of 10(ish). The books my dad read aloud when I was a kid where wordy, and certainly they sparked the imagination, but they had very few illustrative (visual) elements.

I re-discovered picture books with a passion in my early twenties. That was a tough period for me and I was seeking and embracing things that re-connected me to a time (being 'little'), that while never carefree, was at least without the adult fears and responsibilities I was facing in my late teens, early twenties...

One of the things I found I was drawn to the most in children's picture books were the illustrations. As an adult I have a much readier appreciation for having my imagination led by illustrations- well, not so much led --- my imagination still works and does stuff on it's own, I'm not saying that I need illustrations now as an adult to complete the transformational journey a story can be --- What it is for me now is a fascination and a thrill to be let into someone else's imaginative construct of what the words that make up the story convey to them. It's wonderful. I love it. "So this is what they see, what they want me to see" I say (in not so many words)! It's an epiphany of camaraderie and connectedness, even if I never meet or speak to the illustrator.

I want to create a series of homages to the best of the 'connections' I've had (and continue to have) with certain children's books & their illustrations/illustrator's... I'm starting in no particular order, but I will start with one that I don't own myself but that has stayed nearby to me because I gave it to my partner.

The Red Tree

Shaun Tan

What often amazes me is the extremely high and complex concept you'll find in many picture books --- The Red Tree is basically a chronicling of how we use metaphor in cognition and language to explain to our selves and others the feelings we are experiencing and to convey the thoughts we have... go here for a more detailed author's description of the book's premise and conceptual evolution.

With the the amazing array of really content rich and beautiful books that Shaun has been involved with I am likely to post further on his work in the future, fair warning!

And have I mentioned how much I love a well designed Web site? (Which to me means, good looking, personable, easily navigable and trimmed to the essential architectural features). If I wasn't already a fan of Shaun's, I would be cemented by this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ken Wong

Influences on Ken Wong's work; "I love the art of Gustav Klimt, Mike Mignola, Shaun Tan, Moebius, Zdzislaw Beksinski and James Jean. I listen to stuff like the Smashing Pumpkins (which has a huge influence on my work), Sparklehorse and various movie scores. Films I like include The Life Aquatic, The Thin Red Line, Blade Runner, Children of Men, Leon, Porco Rosso, Lost in Translation and the original Star Wars trilogy."

Klimt for sure in 'Blue'...

This is my favorite, 'Mistaken'

Many of the influences that Ken notes I really respond to as well, in fact I have a post on Shaun Tan that I'll publish later...

Friday, October 24, 2008


zand2ohs is, (self described as), "a two and one-half persons menagerie" made up of parents and a young one --- Mignon Khargie is the creator of the Snails, Foxes & Weasels below.

Using thoughtful, well placed lines and usually only a few pure, non gradated colors Mignon ends up with the essence of the subject matter --- akin to the effectiveness of Japanese wood block, cut paper collages and the best that tight editing of strong form and concept can bring to great graphic design. I'm impressed.

I'm almost as taken with this: as I am of the art work (I'm a total push over for a well designed Web site). Great portfolio page, a ("almost") daily blog, and a 'Things we Really Like' series...

[All images are copyrighted, Image ©, and used by permission...]

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Work spaces

I'd really like a dedicated work space for art, writing and all the other etcetera of creativity... Especially right now when I seem to be in the midst of a creative explosion and have multiple pieces in various stages of assembly. (alternatively know as 'mess of the century'.)
I've given it a lot of thought for quite a while, what my creative space might look like when I look up from whatever it is that I am working on and how I'll be able to work sooooo much better (we'll see!) --- it'll come about eventually given more of a personal 'economic' balance and the space, place and time... Until then I really enjoy looking at other people's creative spaces. This one belongs to Crafty Intentions and what a great space! I love the Robin's egg blue with the brick and white shelving (and a corner full of colorful felts just begging to be used doesn't hurt!)
[images from Crafty Intentions 'craftroom' flickr set]

It's the little touches (that count)-

Clever and good look'in --- individual containers like this are instant instigators of curiosity in me --- I want to be able to go and see what's in each one of them...

Clean and bright and full of color --- so how could you not make awesome stuff ? (Crafty Intention's etsy shop here)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gianluca Foli

One of the best things about Gianluca's art is the anime like color...

I'm so sorry fishy but you are just too delicious...
A nice little element of darkness (diff. from the 'sushi' above) in this one.

And if EVER there was a piece of visual art that I see me in, this one is it... It's how I see myself in my head.

Gianluca keeps a daily art journal --- take a peek.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ohhhh look!

Although Tracy Melton's work and the corresponding Etsy shop has been featured on other blogs in the past I hadn't seen it until I was checking out Etsy's front page this afternoon (an addiction for me I'll admit right up front).
I really love the colorful exaggeration of the naturally occurring elements (the tree's rings) --- it's aesthetically pleasing while having just a bit of a tongue-in-cheek awareness as well...
Love, love, love... Vanessa Tam is the artist.

If you don't already know about Thumbtack Press you should! Selected prints from current/relevant artists, both known and not, Thumbtack Press has a great eye for the modern market (and it's affordable!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

My (current) favorite color combination

Blue & orange. I wish I had clients bold enough to fall in love with me on this combo --- but alas...

Beautiful composition and texture shot in Mykonos [Image by Daniel Chong Kah Fui, flickr]
Another example of awesome texture (albeit in a wearable medium), thicks and thins --- fuzzy & smooth. Visit CricketsCreations's etsy shop for more...
Stephanie designs using up cycled plastic. In the case of these bangles it's NY Times bags for newspapers --- She's got alot more (other color choices besides blue/orange of course) here.

And in closing lacy blue metal against brickwork... St. Pancras Rail Station, London [image by gilltheaker, flickr]

Deborah Bell

I really like seeing, especially in the artist's own handwriting as well as their own words, what inspires them and how that thought is applied to the work ... From Deborah Bell's notebook:

Deborah is a very prolific artist, the three above are just a tiny portion of the pieces that should be viewed --- these three being representative of what I am drawn to the most in Deborah's work --- effervescent exuberance!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

(The amazing work of) Jennifer Maestre

So this is astonishing sculptural work, made so in many ways by the medium and techniques used in the creation (and how effective they are in the end result) --- Jennifer Maestre taught herself beading and sewing techniques which she then applied to her work. In particular she uses these techniques with her pencil sculptures --- cutting off the tips of sharpened colored pencils, turning them into beads and then stitching them together. Amazing.

The nail sculptures are actually my favorite though because of the contrast between the frailness of the subject matter --- eggs, nests & sea creatures (urchins) --- and the toughness of the medium --- nails, zippers and metal mesh...

Flora S Bowley

From Flora's bio: Flora Shannon Bowley is an emerging Northwest painter known for her strong use of color, subtle mark making, and multi-layered paintings on canvas and smaller work on bamboo.”

And from her artist's statement: “Fragments of bird wings, seed pods, hives, insects and petals rest along side ragged swatches of unpredictable color with sometimes subtle, sometimes not, counterpoints of pencil drawing, etching, dripping and stamping.”

Friday, October 17, 2008

Betsy Eby

Betsy Eby's work, particularly her paintings have a delicate, microcosmic feel to them. They are enthral, lyrical, lovely... But the pieces of hers that I really love are her works on paper.

The works on paper are small (12x12) and remind me of looking at layers of texture on the walls of old buildings --- each layer tells a story and represents a different point of time and reference...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New(ish) Marimekko Textiles

Tuuli, an all things Finnish design shop just south of Pike's Place Market on 1st Avenue downtown --- is the best (and possibly one of the only sources in Seattle?) for Marimekko textiles --- they always have a nice (although not large) selection in store...