Tag Archives: Seattle

The Uncommon Familiar: Shaun Kardinal

23 Apr

Do you have any idea how bummed I was to miss out on Shaun Kardinal’s show, Connotations, while we were in Seattle?  So very very bummed.  But time was not my friend on this trip.  Two half-days and only one full day just isn’t enough to fit in time with friends, every gallery show I wanted to see and one on one time with the hubby.  But I know I’ll be back and I have a feeling Shaun’s work is going to continue gaining ground while I’m gone.

Connotation No. 18, hand-embroidered paper collage, 9.75x6.5

Kardinal increases the complexity of his collages with this new series.  Beginning with a foundation of vintage ephemera, he embroiders each piece with a geometrically intricate design carefully placed to compliment the retro imagery.

Connotation No. 25, hand-embroidered paper collage, 9x6

Kardinal’s work feels like sophisticated folk art and I mean that in the best possible way!  It is approachable, yet thoughtful.  Highly designed using common materials.  Love.

Connotation No. 24, hand-embroidered paper collage, 11.75x11.75

Connotation No. 19, hand-embroidered paper collage, 9.25x8.25

To see more of Shaun Kardinal’s work, please visit his website.  If you’re in Seattle, do what I couldn’t– go see his Connotations show at Joe Bar Cafe.

Featured image is Connotation No. 2, hand-embroidered paper collage, 11×11.  All images are via the artist’s website.

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Friday Faves: Seattle On My Mind

13 Apr

If you’ve been reading Artsy Forager for a while, you may have noticed me mention the love my hubby & I have for Seattle.  He was living there when we began dating and although we’d known each other a long time before, it was in the Emerald City that we truly fell in love.  Exactly 2 years from this Sunday, I flew to Seattle to celebrate my birthday ( the 15th ) and George’s birthday ( the 11th ) and to truly test the waters after 12 years of friendship, 1year of online flirting and 1 month of long distance dating.  Not only did I fall madly in love with George, I fell hard for the city of Seattle.  So we’re heading there on Sunday to spend a few days soaking in the delights of our favorite city.  Needless to say, I’m pretty Seattle obsessed today.  Hope you enjoy these artists’ renditions of our city of love!

Snow White by Deborah Scott, oil and mixed media on canvas, 36x60

65th and Roosevelt by Julia Hensley, gouache collage on Bristol board, 9x12

Parallel Bars #1 by Michael Prince, mixed media, 40x30

From the Explorations of the Viaduct series by Marie Gagnon

Family Trio, Seattle by Robin Weiss, oil, 12x12

Deborah ScottJulia Hensley | Michael Prince | Marie Gagnon | Robin Weiss 

Have a fantastic weekend!  Posts will be going up as normal for the next few days, but I’ll only be online sporadically to answer questions and approve/respond to comments.  See you on Wednesday!

Featured image is The Original Starbucks at Pike Place Market, Seattle by Marsha Glaziere.  All images are via the artists’ websites.

Requiem for Modern Relics: Michael Todd Harrison

16 Feb

I grew up in a household where old things were relished and appreciated.  My dad and brother refurbished antique cars.  My mom had a knack for painting and reusing old furniture.  Family vacations were taken to historic sites instead of Disney World.  So it isn’t any wonder that I have a fondness for the sculptural work of Seattle artist Michael Todd Harrison.

13, assemblage

Architectural fragments and wood are stacked together as building blocks of these humble monuments to the past.  Some of Harrison’s pieces, like the one above have a charming, vintagey-homey feel, as if they were plucked directly from the wreckage of a derelict Queen Anne home.  Others, such as Burst, are more abstract in feel and organic in shape, carefully hap-hazard.  In the artist’s hands, what could have simply been a pile of scrap wood becomes an explosion of line and shape.

Burst

Spiral

Harrison’s latest series, Skyscrapers, takes inspiration from walks through the city, with it’s tall monuments built long ago by men who have since been all but forgotten.  There is a poetic loveliness in these folksy, wooden sculptures paying homage to albatrosses of glass and steel.  A reminder, perhaps of architecture’s humble beginnings, as well as our own.

Skyscrapers

Small Church

To see more of Michael Todd Harrison’s work, please visit his website.  He is currently the Artist-In-Residence for the James W. Washington Foundation in Seattle during the month of February.  You can keep up with his residency work here!

Featured image is Horizon by Michael Todd Harrison.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Making Mountains: Liz Tran

7 Feb

I love it when painters explore their 3-dimensional side.  I’m not talking about donning special sunglasses to see the latest technology driven flick.  I mean, when artists who normally work in 2-dimensions explore the world of sculpture.  The result is often magical, their paintings come to life!  Seattle artist Liz Tran ( an Artsy Forager fave ) brings her color saturated paintings to life in ceramic form.

My Rayonier, glazed ceramic, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, 19x15x9

Perhaps what draws me to Liz’s work time and time again is her obvious love for the outdoors and the way she expresses that affection in joyful color and whimsical lines.  The sculpture above, My Rainer, holds a special draw for me, as Mount Rainier is my favorite mountain.  Rainier has been the site of some wonderful memories for my husband and I, and Liz has captured its magic in such a unique way.

My Rayonier ( detail ), glazed ceramic, acrylic ink, acrylic paint

Of course, who could forget her twisting, multi-hued trees?  She mimics their shapes and winding branches in these ceramic creations.  In this form, they almost take on an alien-like quality, which I am totally digging.

Untitled

Backbone Two, glazed ceramic, wood, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, 5x5x36

Then there are her Backbone pieces, which I must confess, are my fave!  They are one part tree trunk + one part stacked tea cup + one part graphic color = total wonderfulness!  How amazing would a grouping of these be in a children’s hospital?  Or tucked away in a garden?

To see more of Liz Tran’s sculptures and paintings, please visit her website.  You can also check out my feature on Liz’s paintings here.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Material Matters: Margie Livingston

28 Dec

If you are an artist, you know the joy and delight your materials bring.  The smell of fresh paint, the glow of molten glass, the feel of earthen clay.  Seattle artist Margie Livingston is one artist who obviously enchanted with her unique properties of her chosen medium– paint.

198 Angles, Mostly Yellow, acrylic, 33.5x29

Her paintings are not only explorations into the characteristics of the paint– color, texture, sheen, etc., but also studies in shape, form, line and space.

263 Angles, Neutral Over Red, acrylic, 33x24.5

She’s also taken this investigation of medium a step further– creating actual sculptures from paint, genius!

Paint Strip Tied In a Knot With the Ends Tucked In, acrylic, 4x13x10 ( via Greg Kucera Gallery )

Study for Spiral Block #3, acrylic, 6" cube

To see more of Margie Livingston’s adventures in paint, check out her website.  If you’re in Seattle, you can see her work in person at Greg Kucera Gallery.

Featured image is 414 Angles, Mostly Red and Yellow, acrylic, 32×24.  All images are via the artist’s website, unless otherwise stated.

Sleeping With Peas And Toads: Deborah Scott

8 Sep

Sometimes a princess has to do what a princess has to do.  Like kiss a frog, get a horrible night’s sleep with a pea stuffed under the mattress or maybe just open her eyes and wake up.  Seattle artist Deborah Scott has created an intriguing new series, Waiting For Prince Charming, which explores how traditional fairy tale themes would be translated in our modern world.

Snow White, oil and mixed media on canvas

For instance, how would Snow White’s modis operandi of relying on her beauty and reputation as “the fairest in the land” work to secure her prince in today’s world?  Mass media advertising, of course.  Scott depicts her, perhaps this most vapid of the fairy tale princesses, as a purely passive participant in her own fairy tale.  Her happy ending isn’t a result of anything she does or who she is, but merely because of her famous looks.  Sound familiar?

The Girl Would Believe Anything, oil and mixed media on canvas

And then there’s the chick from The Princess & The Frog.  How many women have been deceived into thinking that warty, nasty toad would one day magically turn into a prince?  He may seem debonair and sophisticated, but he is a frog all the same.  And once we realize how duped we were.. we are horrified at our own stupidity.

A Social Climber's Romance, oil and mixed media on canvas

In A Social Climber’s Romance, we see a well rested young woman and a pea peeking out from under the mattresses– she obviously hasn’t passed the real princess test, but is oblivious to the meaning of her sweet slumber.  In this series, Deborah continues to hone her classical, figure-focused narrative style, which works tremendously well to carry out the themes in each work.

Waiting For Prince Charming opens at All City Coffee in Seattle September 10th and will be on exhibit there until November 5th.  If you’re in the Seattle area, please check it out!  Better still, there will be an artist’s reception on October 21st, Deborah is a delight in person and meeting her will give you such deeper appreciation for her work.

In the meantime, stop by Deborah’s website to see more of her work and check out her introduction on Artsy Forager here.

Featured image is Princess And The Pea.  All images are courtesy of Deborah Scott.

Special thanks to Deborah for giving me a studio tour and a sneak peek at this new work when George & I were in Seattle last week!  Look for features on some of her talented studio mates on the blog soon!

Are Chickens the New Black?

1 Aug

I admit, I’m not always up on the very latest trends, I am in my 30’s after all.  I knew all about the “Put a Bird On It” trend, but had no idea that art featuring chickens had become such a big deal.  Chicken art makes me think back to my grandma’s house and her Americana farm scene prints featuring chickens.  And her ceramic chicken collection.  Needless to say, chickens aren’t the first subject that jumps to mind when I think of the latest in the art world.  But for whatever reason, these birds are fowls are ruling the roost.

Roost by Brian McGuffey

Seattle area artist, Brian McGuffey draws from childhood experiences in his creative process.  In “Roost”, pictured above, he elevates the rooster from lowly barnyard animal to a dignified, full-plumed specimen.  Just look at that profile.  You know all the hens would be clucking all over him.

King of the Hill by Sydney McKenna

Why did the chicken cross the road?  To attend a chicken-only art show, apparently!  St. Augustine, Florida artist, Sydney McKenna painted “King of the Hill”  specifically for a show at the W.B. Tatter Studio & Gallery celebrating not just chickens, but also the gallery’s sixth year anniversary.  I hope they served a vegetarian menu for the opening. 🙂

But the Tatter who is by no means the only chicken show I’ve covered in recent months.  Remember Yvonne Lozano’s What Happened to the Chickens show?  Yvonne created an entire series of painting centered around a family trip to Colombia and a few friendly chickens she met there as a child.

Here, Chicky Chicky by Yvonne Lozano

Out and About by Hilary Williams

But chickens in art aren’t just reserved for the barnyard.. In “Out and About”, San Francisco based artist Hilary Williams  depicts a little hen who seems to have escaped and is enjoying a lovely day on the town.  This chick is ready for a ladies lunch and some retail therapy.

Speaking of plucky adventurers ( pun intended ), Dolan Geiman’s Blue Highway also shows how chickens in art aren’t just for grandma’s kitchen anymore.  Geiman’s graphic, mixed media approach results in work that is more contemporary than kitsch.

Blue Highway by Dolan Geiman

Where is this upsurge in chicken art leading?  Only the chickens know for sure.  The banty in Jim Draper’s Cross Creek seems ready to take the road less traveled.  And maybe that’s what the chicken art movement is all about.

Cross Creek by Jim Draper

The featured images is Laughing About This Life by Hilary Williams.  All images are courtesy of the individual artist’s websites.

PS– I restrained myself from finding a Road Crossing Chicken joke to go with each piece of artwork.  You’re welcome.