Archive | August, 2011

Pick of the Crop: Meet Miss Maribel

22 Aug

It’s been such a grey, gloomy week here in North Florida, that I thought we could all do with a little sunshine!  Maribel Angel’s work never fails to make me smile.  Maribel grew up in a Spanish speaking family and their influence definitely comes through in the vitality and liveliness of her work.

Maribel’s work tells a story, one that comes from within her own imagination and world of dreams.  A place filled with festive color, galloping horses, flying bunnies and fanciful birds.

As Maribel’s work symbolically explores the effects of layers of time and history, so her treatment of her mediums are often a layering of paper, images, paint, text and symbols.

It is in these details that Maribel’s graphic design background comes through.   Not only in the use and placement of text, but also in the juxtapositions of color and pattern.  Actually, I’ve always thought she could be a very successful textile designer.  I would totally buy a fabric or wallcovering in the design of “Bohemian Blossom”  ( pictured below ), wouldn’t you?  I’m picturing a this on a full skirt with a crisp white shirt and floppy straw hat!

So, Maribel Angel.. Painter-Graphic Designer-Future Textile Designer ( if I had my way! ).. let’s see, any other hyphenates to describe this multi-talented artist?  Oh, that’s right–she’s also a sculptor!!

Maribel takes found objects and gives them new life in her assemblages and I must admit, I find every one of these “Cuckoos Nest” birds absolutely charming.   Seriously, I’ve never met one I didn’t completely fall for.   Maribel was sweet enough to give me a wonderful miniature guy and it is one of my favorite possessions.

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting acquainted with Maribel’s artwork.  I’m looking forward to sharing more with you soon!  In the meantime, you can check out more on her “Pick of the Crop” page here at Artsy Forager or on her own website. Her work can usually be seen in person at Plum Art & Design in St. Augustine, FL, Southlight Gallery in downtown Jacksonville or if you’re near Sarasota, see her work at Bolivar Art Gallery.


Savage Beauty: Madeleine Peck-Wagner

19 Aug

Madeleine Peck-Wagner has a way of taking subjects that could be trite and making them extraordinary.  Her latest series features mythical wolves and horses, but in Madeline’s hands, they are treated in a way that is contemporary and elegant.  The cross-hatching & precision of the lines are reminiscent of architectural drafting, giving the figures depicted a strutctural, landscaped quality.  Conversely, blots and washes of brightly colored paints call to the spiritual significance such animals, both living and decayed possess.

Fighting Hessians

Russian Winter II

Wolves At The Door

We Are All Tragedies

To see more of Madeleine’s work, visit her art blog, Art Isn’t Rocket Science or visit Jen Jones Art Consulting.

Friday Faves: Wax On, Wax Off

19 Aug

Encaustic painting is a favorite medium of mine.  Their waxy, frosting-like texture sends me over the moon.  Every time I’m in a gallery, I will be drawn to the encaustics, guaranteed.  So for this Friday round-up, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite waxy painters.

Why Stream Upstream by Mary Farmer, encaustic on canvas, 40×40

Whirl #1 by Wendy Franklund Miller, encaustic on wood, 12x12

River's Edge by Paula Blackwell, encaustic and oil on wood panel, 12x12

Interplay by Nancy Natale, encaustic with fiber, oilstick and oil paint on birch, 24x24

Do you have any favorite encaustic artists I should know about?  Do tell!  To see more work from these fabulous encaustic artists, please visit their websites.

1.  Mary Farmer

2.  Wendy Franklund Miller

3.  Paula Blackwell

4.  Nancy Natale 

Featured image is Crossroads by Nancy Natale.  All images are courtesy of the artist’s websites.

PS– As the hubby and I prepare to move from Aberdeen to his new assignment in Grants Pass, OR AND enjoy some camping and a visit from my mom-in-law, Artsy Forager will be rerunning some older posts over the next two weeks.  Hopefully, this will give new readers a chance to see some artists that were featured back when the only people reading were my family and friends. 🙂

Appetite For Destruction: Lori Nix

18 Aug

Upon first seeing Lori Nix’s photographs, you might think she must have an unbelievable knack for scoping out interesting places in various states of destruction and decay.  But look a little closer.  These places aren’t real at all.  They are tiny apocalyptic scenes of the artist’s own making.

Laundromat, 2008

This Brooklyn-based artist designs and creates a miniature diorama for each scene, always keeping in mind the angle from which the scene will eventually be shot.  The tiny models can take up to seven months to complete and two weeks to shoot.  The photos are reproduced at a large scale, so attention to even the minutest detail is crucial.

Library, 2007

Why the images of destruction?  Nix spent her childhood in rural Kansas, where natural disasters are a way of life.  As a child, she remembers the destruction as exciting, something new and unexpected breaking up the doldrums of every day life.  She is also influenced by the Hudson River School for its characteristics of romanticism and The Sublime movement, which focused on an “evocation of profound emotion”.

Aquarium, 2007

There is something quite fascinating about these images of devastation, in the wonderment of what could have wreaked such chaos, whether natural disaster, human neglect or perhaps something more sinister and subversive.

Fountain, 2008

In the deconstruction of the scenes, there is created a greater depth than there would be in an intact space.  We are caught in the midst of a story, like beginning a dream in the middle of the action.

Beauty Shop, 2010

I first saw Lori’s work in ClampArt gallery in NYC in 2009 and it stayed with me.  If you like it as much as I do, be sure to check out the artist’s website and Facebook page.  If you’re in the Portland, OR area, her work can be seen at G. Gibson Gallery or in New York at ClampArt.

Featured image is Natural History 2005 by Lori Nix.  All images are courtesty of the artist’s website.

The Pen is Mightier: Joan Salo

17 Aug

So many times when we think of paintings, it brings to mind mostly oils and acrylics.  But there are a few artists out there who are creating artwork on canvas utilizing a medium usually reserved for more prosaic pursuits– like making out grocery lists.  Artists like Joan Salo are creating large scale artwork using pens.

These aren’t your traditional pen and ink drawings.  These are pen-drawn abstract paintings on canvas, as rich and vibrant as any oil painting.

Untitled, pen on canvas, 59x59

These are like the spirographs we did as kids, taken to a whole new, grown-up level.  Vibrant colors, rendered in an organic, yet orderly composition.  These paintings have such a sense of movement, they almost seem alive.

Untitled, pen on canvas, 39x39

Some patterns are creations of color and shape woven together like textiles, creating a plaid-like composition.

Untitled, pen on canvas, 24x24

While others seem more like representations of wavelengths..

Untitled, pen on canvas, 39x39

… or call to mind a colorful cave filled with stalactites.

Untitled, pen on canvas, 59x59

Whatever it is that we see in Salo’s abstract works, she is reminding us that artists have long taken every day tools and used them to create the extraordinary.

To see more of Barcelona artist Joan Salo’s work, please visit her website.

All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.

Cure For The Mean Reds: Sarah Ashley Longshore

16 Aug

Today, I have a case of the mean reds.  If you know what that means, you’re awesome.  If you don’t know what that means, you need to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s asap.  Holly Golightly’s cure for the mean reds is to get in a cab and go to Tiffany’s.  Well, there is nothing even closely resembling a Tiffany’s here in Aberdeen.  It wouldn’t be my happy place anyway.  Anthropologie would be more like it, but there’s nothing like one of those here either.  So today, I’m trying to cure the mean reds by enjoying some artwork featuring Miss Golightly herself, the fabulous Audrey Hepburn.  Yes, I know I’ve already done a feature on Sarah Ashley Longshore’s Audreys. But she’s been busy painting some new ones, so I think they deserve a second look.  And a third and fourth look.  Really, as long as she’s painting them, they’ll be showing up here.

Now that is all the chatting I feel up to today.  Enjoy Sarah’s Hepburns.  Don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly seized by the urge to put on a little black dress and pearls.

Mariposa, acrylic on canvas with high-gloss resin, 60x72

Audrey With Peacock, acrylic on canvas with high-gloss resin, 48x72

Audrey Underwater With Goldfish, acrylic on canvas with high-gloss resin, 24x24

Audrey Rojo, acrylic on canvas with high-gloss resin, 24x24

You can see more of Sarah Ashley Longshore’s work on her website or by visiting the Gallery Orange website, her representation in New Orleans.

Imaginings Of Memory: Shannon Richardson

15 Aug

I am a lover of stories.  Ever since I was a little girl, cuddled in my grandmother’s arms, listening to her read me story after story, I adore being drawn into another world, wondering what will happen next.  Whether in novels, the spoken word, song or artwork, I adore anything ( and anyone!  My hubby George is a wonderful storyteller ) with a tale to tell.

So when I came across the work of painter Shannon Richardson at the RiverSea Gallery in Astoria, OR, I was drawn in by their narrative quality.  Each painting feels like the viewer is walking into the midst of a story.

In Dreams I Can Fly, oil on canvas, 20x24

These are illustrations of stories, but not completely fictional ones.  What Richardson paints, is memories of illusions of her own memories.  Not always as they actually occurred, but how they live in her mind, heart and dreams.

Church Belles, oil on canvas, 34x40

In these visual narratives, Richardson creates a fantastical world that is at once familiar and foreign.  Dream-like visages filled with other worldly characters and landscapes, but the feelings surrounding the imagery are universal– hopefulness and helplessness, elation and despair.

The Casual Departure, oil on canvas, 18x24

Her Spirit Would Stay As She Walked Away, oil on canvas, 24x36

Each image is a fable to which we can relate, not because of our experience of the fantastical creatures or dreamlike quality, but because we have all been in situations of betrayal, soaring happiness, quiet contentment and such.  We all have our memories of the heart in common.

Time For Togetherness, oil on canvas, 36x48

To see more of Shannon Richardson’s work, please visit her website.  In addition to RiverSea Gallery, you can also see her work in person at The Churchill Gallery in Newburyport, MA and The Joanne Artman Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA.

The featured image is The Companionship of Memories.

All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.