I have a sweet tooth. Always have, always will. I try to stay away from straight sugar candy (like those pictured below) as much as possible, but cupcakes, cookies, and chocolates don't stand a chance when in my presence.
Thus, the reason that I love today's featured artist, Robert Townsend
. Obviously, I would never share the work of any artist who I didn't think was extremely talented (so Townsend's skill and creativity is a given), but I'm also just totally smitten with his subject matter; Townsend's paintings are so playful, so carefree, so colorful, so childish! They make me very happy.
Oh, and beteedubs, all of these paintings have been done in WATERCOLOR. That's right, watercolor
. Gag me with a lollipop this man is talented!
You can view some of my favorite works by Townsend below...
I. Know. Saweeeeeetttttt, right? ;)
You can view more of Townsend's fabulous work on his website
or on his gallery's website
Also, a BIG thanks to Mr. Townsend for sharing his talent and for sending me a few never-before-seen images of his newest pieces (including the cupcakes at the top!). I'm honored.
Have a sugary-sweet day, everyone!
Finally, a weapon I can get behind!
If I had to buy a gun, or even a hand grenade, I'd want one made by today's featured artist, Sonia Rentsch
, who creates beautiful weapons made out of elements from nature.
One of the things that I find so interesting about these sculptures is that everyone sees something different in them. As I skimmed the internet this morning, reading what critics and other bloggers had to say about her work, I was surprised by the variety of interpretations.
Some see these weapons as an anti-violence statement, others see them as an environmental statement ("we're killing nature"), and others, a statement that "nature is a dangerous place." One writer commented
on the beauty of the form of a gun, and yet another noted
that the "pieces reflect the human proclivity to take elements of our environment and manipulate them through technology to suit our desires." Interesting, right?
This is what I love about art--everyone sees something different in every piece--and therefore, it perfectly illustrates how our personal experiences, viewpoints, and personalities color what we see and how we interpret the world.
You can view the rest of the pieces in this beautiful series below.
What do you see in these images?
Do you find them beautiful, sinister, sad, inspiring?
I think it's worth thinking about what they mean to you and why....
You can view more amazing work by Sonia Rentsch
(and buy prints!) on her website, here
If there's one thing I love, it's sleeping
If there's another thing I love, it's painting
And if there's a third thing I love, it's cuddling in bed with my honey and a comfy pillow or two.
Thus, I'd like to introduce you to one of my new favorite painters, Clare Elsaesser
. All of her work is fabulous, but I'm particularly drawn to her paintings of women holding pillows over their faces and couples cuddling in bed--probably because of my aforementioned love for both of these activities.
Although I think that there's a bit of a mysterious quality to her paintings, since we never see her subjects' faces, I still find them to be extremely soothing and beautiful--maybe it's because they immediately draw me in and bring up emotions that I wasn't even sure existed before looking at them, I'm not sure.
But, either way, I love these paintings and am excited to share them with you. You can peruse some of my favorite pieces by Elsaesser below, or view more of her work in her Etsy Shop, Tastes Orangey
(where she has prints of all of these pieces available).
At this point, I'm just trying to decide which one I want to buy...
If you, too, are in love with Elsaesser's work, you can check out a lot more on her website
, her blog
, or in her Etsy Shop
. I am simply enamored, and think her couples-in-bed paintings would be an amazing wedding gift for a couple who enjoys art (don't you agree?
I hope your Wednesday is soft, snuggly, relaxing, and just a little bit mysterious ;)
PS. I've just realized that my love for Elsaesser's work is probably influenced by my love of Toulouse-Lautrec's painting, In Bed
, one of my favorite works of art of all time. Check it out if you don't know it!
Christmas present for Navy Officer.
Illustration for promo materials.
Unlike many artists, I actually LOVE
doing commissions (commissions = art created on behalf of someone else, or "on order"). As I mentioned in a post earlier this spring
, I enjoy commissions because they give me a chance to help someone bring their vision or idea to life. I get to work with an individual to learn exactly
what they want, and am then challenged to create what they may not be able to create themselves--a work of art that meets their desires and hopefully, looks better than what they had imagined in their head--it's so fun!
So, with that, I wanted to tell you a little bit about commissions today. I promise, this isn't just a shameless plug (it kind of is, but really, it isn't!), as I want to encourage you--and everyone else out there in internet-land--that buying and commissioning art is a worthwhile endeavor. With the amazing accessibility and reach of Etsy, blogs, and websites, commissioning a painting by an artist that you like or admire is easier than ever these days, and often, the prices are very
reasonable and the quality of the work very high.
Not sure how to commission a painting or even what you would commission? Here are some ideas from past commissions that I've done:WEDDING GIFTS
Place where he proposed.
Not a commission, but something I made as a gift for our parents at our wedding. Used pieces of our invitation, quotes from ceremony, and an illustration from the programs.
Personalized bridesmaid gift for a bridesmaid who teaches yoga in a beachy place ;)
Wild horses on island where couple was married.
HOLIDAY/SPECIAL EVENTS OR BIRTHDAY GIFTS
Birthday/Mother's Day gift.
Birthday gift for roomate (this is the person's dog!).
Birthday gift for husband.
Birthday gift for Ben (obviously).
Christmas gift for wife--a yoga teacher.
Christmas gift for my parents (our dog who passed away).
Anniversary gift for girlfriend.
New baby gift for husband--this is where they lived when they first moved to DC.
LOGO DESIGN, LETTERING, OR PERSONALIZED "ART QUOTE"
Blog header for blog redesign (also created other design elements, not shown here).
Blog header/business logo.
Final product on t-shirt.
Promo material painting--final material above.
Tranquil Space Dedication painting.
TO PERSONALIZE YOUR HOME
Commissioner grew up in Hawaii--a way to bring Hawaii into her home here in VA.
Same Commissioner, another way to commemorate where she was born.
| || |
New baby's nursery decorations-5 paintings.
(What I spent last Thursday doing!)
See how much you can do by commissioning an artist? Isn't it fun and versatile?
Here are the typical steps for commissioning a painting:
- Reach out to the artist and ask if they're currently taking commissions (if it isn't posted somewhere on their website or blog).
- If they are, tell them what you want--materials (if you know), approximate size, timeline, vision (and if you have it, a price-range). Ask if they're interested and if so, ask for a price estimate.
- The artist should get back to you with a price-list or cost estimate. If they don't, please ask for one ensure they won't go over! The price could skyrocket during the creation process, so ensure that you have a clear understanding of how the pricing/payment structure works before agreeing to a commission.
- Some artists will ask for a "downpayment" or "deposit" for materials before starting, others will just send an invoice at the end.
- The artist should send images along the way, so that you can provide input and give them feedback. Remember that although they're an artist and may have a vision, you also want to be in love with the final product since you are paying for it. Don't be afraid to speak up if you're not happy with something in the painting--almost everything can be tweaked :)
I hope this helps! Do keep in mind that not all artists do commissions, as it's a very personal preference (not everyone loves them as much as I do, haha!).
I'm currently working on a moving gift for a fiance, a wedding gift from the bride to the groom, a 30th birthday present for a close friend, and a logo--each project is extremely different and thus, keeps me fresh and challenged, which I adore :) I hope to have time to do more work like this starting in June, when my schedule frees up a bit (!).
Want more info about commissions? Contact me
for pricing--I'm up for anything and I promise, my prices are very reasonable and I'm able to work with almost any budget.
Now off to enjoy my painting day...
I know this sounds a little hokey, but you guys, here's the thing: our apartment is full of boxes and boxes of my old paintings. And our apartment is really
small. There's no room for me to be lugging around art that I created 3 years ago, so I'm making some space for my new art by hosting an online "art yard sale" of sorts. What does this mean?
It means that
I'm selling some of my old (and even newer) pieces on the cheap. And it feels really good :)
Here's how it works: I've created a special page on my painting website
entitled "Spring Cleaning Art Sale."
All paintings listed in on this page are original works of art (by yours truly, of course), that have been heavily discounted; nothing costs more than $75 including shipping
. The items will be available at these discounted prices today (April 22nd) through Monday, May 6th.
Although the available pieces may vary in size, price, framing status, and age, they all have one thing in common--they need to move on to a new home where they'll be valued, loved, and appreciated--and won't be sitting in a box in a dark closet ;) Peruse the pieces here and pick one up to give me a hand with my spring cleaning! If you have any questions about the items for sale (or want to haggle, which is totally acceptable in both the art and yard sale world), contact me.
"Sweet" by Kelly Reemsten. All images courtesy of Reemsten.
Today, I'm very excited to introduce you to one of my favorite artists, Kelly Reemtsen
. You may remember my mentioning her in a Love This! post
more than a year ago, and if so, you'll understand why I was thrilled that she agreed to answer some of my questions about her work, her life as a career "artist" (a word that makes her "uneasy"), and what keeps her inspired.
Here's what De Buck Gallery
, the Gallery that represents her in NYC, has to say about her work:
Kelly Reemtsen’s beautiful, texture-filled paintings are characterized by headless and thereby anonymous female figures, clothed in vintage dresses, against vacuums of white. Though her ladies are dressed to the nines, they carry as accessories typical household, often “masculine,” items, such as wrenches, hoses and chainsaws. These women can, on one hand, be identified as stereotypical housewives, an effect magnified their dresses that evoke the 1950s. Reemtsen’s treatment of her subject shatters these stereotypes with results ranging from the quaint to the menacing, though in a vibrant and elegant manner.
So with that, lets meet her, shall we? You can read below for the inside scoop on all things Reemsten (pay special attention to the question about "balance"--I love her brutal honesty!)...
"Date Night" by Reemsten
When did you start creating? When did you first start calling yourself an artist?
I studied fashion design in college and gradually drifted towards fine art. I worked in a gallery until I was able to earn enough money just making art. I am a little uneasy with the word artist. I do not use it. I call my self a painter. If I had to pick an age I would say 30. That was the year I moved in to my first live/work loft space.
What time of day is most productive for you?
What does a typical studio day look like?
My days are never typical, but I work very long hours. I have a live/work studio. It works well for me. It keeps me in the thick of it.
What is your creative process like?
If by process, you mean making a painting: I find the dresses and props, work with a model on poses, photograph the ones I like, do a very detailed drawing, and then paint it. It is pretty simple and straightforward.
If you had to give one piece of advice to individuals who want to take the plunge and pursue their dreams of being an artist, working for themselves, or starting their own creative business, what would it be?
Work every day because you never know when creativity will strike you.
What's your favorite medium? Why?
Oil paint...because is it awesome. I also like printmaking of all kinds.
What is your favorite piece that you’ve ever created, and why?
This always changes. But I remain very fond of the installation, "Circa," made up of (84) 8" x 8" panels.
It took two years to complete. Why? Because it taught me patience and really helped me create my current signature style.
"Circa," full installation.
What inspires you?
Life, color, modern design.If you could study under anyone for a year, who would it be?Greg Kurstin.
He's a musician who can play multiple instruments. I would like to learn just one.What's your biggest guilty pleasure?Buzzfeed
--it makes me laugh.What's your favorite book and why?Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
. It is the best book written for the modern woman.How do you stay balanced?
I do not.
"Cotton Candy" by Reemsten
How do you unwind?
Visit with friends and walk around the Silverlake Reservoir (visit = cocktails).If you were exiled to a desert island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be (have to ask it because I love this question!)?
An espresso machine with a lifetime supply of espresso--is that two? And two wood-working tools to make a boat to get off the island.Do you listen to music, radio, or podcasts while creating? If so, what is your favorite thing to listen to?
Yes, Bird And The Bee
, Neil Finn
, odd and obscure covers, This American life
, and Bossy Pants
audio book (by Tina Fey).If you could live anywhere for one year, where would it be and why?
All over Europe. The train travel is so awesome. I was in Italy for two months last year and I could have stayed much, much longer.Who are your favorite artists (or favorite works of art?)?
My favorites always change. But these are always at the top of my list:
-"Lipsticks" by Wayne Thiebaud
(and most other Thiebauds)
-"Phillip Glass" by Chuck Close
"Lipsticks" by Thiebaud
"Phillip Glass" by Chuck Close
Want to learn more about Reemtsen?
You can view all of her fabulous work on her website, here
. You can also see her paintings in-person at David Klein Gallery
in MI, Skidmore Contemporary Art
in CA, and De Buck Gallery
in NYC. Her latest work will be presented at an upcoming exhibition at De Buck Gallery, which opens in September 2013.
Thanks for taking the time to tell me all about it
Have any requests for other inspiring people that you'd like me to feature in this series? If so, let me know
All images courtesy of Stef Cook.
Today's featured artist, Stef Cook
, seems to have found her niche--men in profile. Her watercolors are so simple, so soft, so beautiful, that they seem to bring out a softer side of her male subjects, even if their facial expressions or features suggest otherwise.
Since I've recently started working in watercolor much more myself, I'm blown away by Cook's mastery of the medium and her ability to use it to create such realistic portraits. She gives us a little peek into each of her subject's lives and personalities by capturing the differences in their appearances--their clothing, glasses, facial hair, and/or haircuts--and by noticing these details, we begin to feel like we know something about each of these guys. She has somehow captured the essence of these individuals in these paintings, and introduces them to us in a very intimate way through her work.
I'm also amazed that she knows so many different dudes, you know?!? ;)
Lets take a look at a few more of my favorites...
You can view all of Cook's work on her website, here
. SO. TALENTED.
Here's to the beauty of profiles (who knew they could be so fabulous?)!
All images courtesy of Elena Kalis
To create her art, photographer Elena Kalis
often uses a snorkel, scuba gear, and/or a compressor. In my opinion, to say that she thinks outside of the box is an understatement. Based in the Bahamas, Kalis creates beautiful, dreamlike, underwater photography series featuring girls in flowing clothing, fluid positions, serious facial expressions, and often, with interesting props. She shoots her subjects in both pools and in the ocean, and uses mostly natural light to capture her otherworldly scenes.
I'm simply amazed by her work and very inspired by her ability to bring her ideas to life. You can check out some of my favorite works by Kalis below, and can also see a lot more on her website, here
Makes me want to throw on a flowy nightgown and take a swim, you know? ;)
What I love about artists like Kalis is the (obvious) pure drive that they have to create. She didn't just have the idea to create images like this underwater, she actually made it happen--and for most of us, that's the hard part.
Follow Kalis on Instagram
for daily inspiration or view her portfolio
to check out more of her amazing work.
How can YOU turn your dreams into reality?
Nothing says Easter like a bunny doing yoga, am I right?
I'm obsessed with these images--especially the one of the bunny in savasana ;)
All if these amazing drawings were created by the artist Brian Russo
. You can check out more of his work on his website, here.
My morning: 5:25am wake-up call, oatmeal, studio: decorations for TSA Open House
, streamers, balloons, snacks, 6:45am yoga class, savasana (ahhh), chalkboard signs, more decorations, teach 9am family yoga class (freaking ADORABLE
), buy ice, clean-up studio, just a few more balloons, head home, email, paint.
It's amazing how different your day feels when it starts at 5:25, isn't it?
Now that I'm settled in at home and working on finishing two current watercolor commissions, I thought I'd share a sneak peek of each...because sometimes I think the little snippets can be just as exciting as the final product ;)
I'll share the full, finished paintings (and the process) when they're done and have been presented to their rightful owners.