Friday, September 28, 2007

art fair faves

The Plaza Art Fair was here in Kansas City last weekend and although I usually don't like most of the work that's there, there are always a few gems that I really dig. I'd love to dedicate an individual post to each of these folks, but without knowing that much about them I thought I'd compile them into a single view so you can get a little taste of their work. (Click on the image to view it larger.) I always enjoy talking to artists about what they do and how they do it and several folks were kind enough to stop and chat with me. The warm temperatures didn't stop the crowds and it seemed like the fair had a good amount of traffic both Saturday and Sunday. We ended up purchasing a few pieces, too, which we're hoping to hang soon - if we can find a spot on the wall!

Top row, from left:
Dolan Geiman, Gabe Lanza, Mark Traughber, Audrey Heller

Bottom row, from left:
Jenny Mendes, Lynn Whipple, Betsy Youngquist, Mr. Hooper

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Flickr Feature: Lockwasher

Anyone who comes over to my house can tell immediately how much I love robots. Not sure why, but they've always fascinated me. I collect them and love to draw them...and I'm always looking for more cool ones, whether they're handmade or die-cast in tin. The robots that Mr. Lockwasher creates are really cool. He has a great eye for bringing all sorts of found bits (including some great dials, sprockets and gauges) together to make some of the coolest handmade robots around. The above two are a couple of my favorites, but there are so many more that I love.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Flickr Feature: Jeremiah Ketner

This morning I received an email from Jeremiah Ketner announcing his new show, "A Special Place" that opens on September 27th at Elizabeth Page Smith Gallery. He writes, "When the sky seems dark and the pressures of work have you stressed, one may find harmony and balance in the special place I have created for you to explore." I couldn't describe his work any better. Although Jeremiah's characters live in a world that is chocked full of recurring patterns that include drips, flowers, clouds and circles and might seem chaotic, these patterns harmonize and create a soothing, dreamlike place. To get a sneak peek of all the work that's in the show, check out his set on flickr.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Flickr Feature: Juliana Pedemonte

Juliana Pedemonte's (aka colorblok) work just makes me smile. This is the first piece I saw of hers and it just filled me with happiness, as does so much of her work. Juliana's world is full of happy quirky characters, bright colors and lots of energy. She's created vinyl toys, skate decks, animations and recently designed a belt for yummy industries, too, which is really fun. I'd love to turn over an entire gallery to her, someday, just to see what she'd do with it. What an incredible show that would be!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Flickr Feature: Ray Fenwick

I wish there was a larger version of this image available, so you could really see the wonderful genius and humor in it (if you click on it, it gets slightly larger, which helps). I first saw Ray Fenwick's work while looking through some illustrations on flickr one day. Even at thumbnail size, I could tell how cool his lettering was. But, Ray's work is not just about great hand-lettering. It's about observation, pattern, the exquisite line and having a wonderful (and somewhat cynical) sense of humor. I absolutely love it and am always delighted by what Ray posts. My favorite set on his flickr page is a typographic comic called the Hall of Best Knowledge, which is going to be published in early 2008 by Fantagraphics. Yippee!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Flickr Feature: Aaron Tucker

I like Aaron Tucker's work so much, that I had a hard time picking out which image to post. I have many favorites, but my most favorite pieces are his paper collage pieces like the one shown here called "Beginning Meets End". Anyone who knows me or my work knows that I am drawn to grids. I love them. Although my eye is drawn to Aaron's work because of his brilliant use of the grid, it goes beyond that. Working within a grid requires designing within it. He has a great sense of color, and the way he balances that color and the collaged bits within the grid is simply exquisite.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Flickr Feature: Betsy Walton

There's a certain amount of mystery to Betsy Walton's work that I absolutely love. It's like she's placing pieces of a story in front of you, but it's up to you to figure out what's going on. Working mostly with gouache and pencil on paper, her dreamlike images are stunning and are filled with layers of symbols and patterns. She has a great sampling of her work on her website, but there's even more on her flickr page where you can view her pattern studies as well as some pieces she did for a group show at Compound Gallery this past June. She also opened a shop on Etsy recently where you can purchase original artwork as well as limited edition prints (like the one above).

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Flickr Feature: David Fullarton

This week I thought I'd feature the artwork of some of my favorite flickr contacts. First up is David Fullarton. I actually first saw David's work not on flickr, but on, while looking through some of his available artwork. I was immediately drawn to his work not only because of the great drawings within it, but also because of how he collages things together. I really like all the textures and layers of stuff he puts in his work. If I had a chance to sit down with David, though, what I'd probably ask him about is the writing within his work and how he comes up with all that stuff. One cannot look at his work without noticing very quickly what an interesting writer and storyteller he is. (You can see this in his commercial work as well.) The above piece is one of my favorites, but I have many others. Take a look through his work. I bet you'll find a favorite too.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

my hero, Mr. Ed Emberley

The other day, as I was drawing floating heads, I thought of one of my heros, Mr. Ed Emberley. As a little girl, my mom would take my brothers and sister and I to the public library in Bloomfield Hills, MI. She'd take the four of us there for the afternoon and we loved it! Going there was an adventure. We'd walk out of there with a HUGE pile of books and records in our hands. My most favorite thing to do, though, was to look at Ed Emberley's books. I remember spending hours looking at all the cool things he'd drawn. I can't tell you how many times I checked out Make A World (first published in 1972) or his Book of Drawing Faces (first published in 1975, shown here). I loved them... and still do... and I think that's part of why I love to draw faces so much. In all of his books, he shows you how to draw things using simple shapes, step by step. All the books are also hand-lettered and many of the characters have silly names, like the ones on the page I've attached here. To this day, I find myself drawing this way, starting with simple shapes that help shape the floating head or crazy character that ends up living in my sketchbook or painting. Over the years, Ed Emberley has written and illustrated somewhere around 80 books (!) for children (13 of which are drawing books). My favorite is still the Book of Drawing Faces. Here's to you, Ed Emberley!

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Barry McGee

Since first seeing Barry McGee's work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art some 10 years ago, I've been intrigued. Not so much because of his melding of graffiti and painting, per se, but more because of the faces and the repetition of faces within his work. There's something about them that I can relate to. They have become iconic of his work and are so "him". They change, but certain qualities within them remain the same.

As I think about diving into some new work of my own, the images that seem to be floating around in my brain are masked faces & figures. Perhaps this is my icon that morphs and changes but remains the same. Time to start drawing...

P.S. His new solo show at the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan is up now through the end of September. For visuals from the show and installation pics, visit the Watari Museum's website, here.

Images taken by Brandon Shigeta.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

mi bulin! (a.k.a. Mr. Ed)

I'm not sure where I first saw the work of Mr. Ed, but I sure do like it. Mr. Ed (a.k.a. Edgardo Carosia) has a wonderful blog, that I recently added to my RSS feed. Although most of it is written in Spanish (his home is in Barcelona), I am always excited to see when he's posted a new entry. In addition to his fun paintings & mixed media pieces, he also does a ton of great illustration work that includes some amazing mixed media caricature. (One of my faves might be the one of Lou Reed...but there are so many it's hard to pick! I, of course, couldn't help but love this gridded piece. Such fun color and great characters on here. I mean, what is that funky puffy blue thing (third row down, four from the left)? HA! I dunno, but I love it. I could look at this forever... and always see something new in it. I love that.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sinking In the Lonesome Sea

In a continuing effort to show some of what I consider to be some of the coolest art/artists out there, I present you with Laura Park. I first saw her work on flickr, and have been a fan ever since. In addition to doing these really cool mixed media paintings (like the one pictured here), my other favorite pieces are the great comics she's done that illustrate the little details of (her) everyday life -- including dealing with creative blocks. She's also done some really swell band posters, tshirts, and lotsa other cool stuff -- all of which is worth checkin' out.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

oh how i love dave warnke's work

Man oh man - I love Dave Warnke's work! I don't know if it's the crazy fun color, the funky shapes all over the place or just the absolute happiness that it brings me! Ha! I'm guessing that it's probably a combo of all three things. Be sure to check out his site for all kinds of cool stuff. If you visit his flickr page, you can catch a glimpse inside his studio from time to time. My favorite part about this piece would have to be the happy orange gumdrop lookin' thing in the center!

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