When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dan Hillier

"Lunar Seas"

"Diamonds in the Mine"



Dan Hillier does some very cool collage. Is there anything else I should say? I can't think of what it might be. OK, I'll try. The beauty of collage, as in so many forms of art, is often found in simplicity. Sometimes just two found images recombined in just the right way can deliver an incredible impact. Too much fussing, and too many layers of imagery can ruin the thing. Dan Hillier gets this. His remade imagery mostly from old engravings, tends to lean toward the quasi-mystical with occasional dashes on horror. In other hands such subject matter might look like mere pop-culture new age ephemera but somehow he gets the effect just right. And one other thing... you can get t-shirts and tote bags in addition to framed prints. So, go see the rest of his work at www.danhillier.com

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jeane Myers

"Far South of Dawn"  oil and cold wax on panel  36" x20"

"Her Hand Me Down Idea"  oil and cold wax on panel  24" x24"

"Sitting In The North"  oil and cold wax on panel  16" x 16"

"White moth in the Closet"  oil and wax on panel  24" x 24"

"She Saw The Claustrophobia"  oil and beeswax on panel  12" x 12"

I don't post abstract work all that often. Not because I don't think it's worthwhile but mostly because I myself don't work that way and feel I have less to say about it. But sometimes some work just grabs your attention, and for the very reason that you're not sure why, it demands an attempt to explain it. In these oil and wax paintings Jeane Myers is pursuing a form of abstract expressionism, building up layers of thick encaustic textures, spreading pigment is gestural swathes and scraping and scrawling through it to allow previous layers to emerge. Her relatively monochromatic palette lends the work an earthy, almost archaeological feel, as if these were segments of some ancient stone walls that had been alternately plastered, painted, cracked, scratched, gouged, graffitied, and worn by the elements over countless centuries. Some look like the interior of a cave where you can see indications of geological layers covered over with deposits of lime and guano and subsequently clawed by some errant bear. Perhaps it is this intimation of time that appeals to me. They are truly abstract and make no direct reference to the observable world, but all visual art, even the most purely abstract is still a response to that world. I cannot help but think the artist must build these images with the compression of time in mind, trying to recreate through the creative process, the layers of chance events that accumulate over vast expanses of time in the textures that surround us, mostly unnoticed and unappreciated.

Not all of her work is pure abstraction. "Figures -", she says, "they come all of a sudden and stop just as suddenly". They have made an appearance in her most recent pieces. Who knows how long they will linger. Will they recede into the surface of the work, dissolving back into abstraction gradually or will they simply vanish all at once? Or will they linger and evolve into a new kind of work for the artist? To find out you can follow the artist's blog: www.jeane-artit.blogspot.com

To see many more paintings go to her website www.jeanemyers.com
or better yet check out her Flickr page.

you can see her work in person in Port Townsend WA at Simon Mace Gallery
and also on Bainbridge Island, WA at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stephanie London

"Iceberg no.3"  oil on canvas  12" x 16"

"Iceberg no.4"  oil on canvas  12" x 16"

"Glacier"  oil on canvas  12" x 16"

"Iceberg no.6"  oil on canvas  12" x 16"

"Shipwrecked no. 2"  oil on canvas  16" x 20"

Ice, water and wind interact in the frozen seas to create a never ending source of abstract sculpted forms, forms that have obsessed many great artists over the centuries. These icebergs, ice sheets and glaciers are a perfect prompt for Stephanie London's gift of using simple shapes and subtle shifts of value and hue to create spare poignant compositions. Her work also includes more domestic still life paintings that echo this minimalist approach; an empty box, a single flower, a vase, etc.,. And she has a few semi-abstract images on her website based on simple bridge forms. But in the iceberg series her penchant for brooding meditational imagery coalesces into her most powerful work. To me they evoke an emotional state that I think is familiar to most, yet difficult to describe; a sense of welcomed loneliness or sorrow that is not a negative but rather a necessary and possibly even exhilarating process. The unavoidable analogy of the iceberg's hidden depths cannot help but come into play here. What we observe seems simple. But of course it isn't. As in all good craftsmanship, simplicity of form is often the most difficult to achieve. And like our understanding of ourselves or others, the basics of what we observe are so immediate, so fundamental as to require little or no analysis. But beyond that we recognize a profound complexity too vast to fully comprehend. That larger hidden aspect of ourselves, as in the allegorical iceberg, sometimes shifts, forever altering the visible, knowable surface, reshaping it once again into something new, evolving, changing, living.

There's more work on her website: stephanielondon.net though only a few more iceberg pieces. I look forward to seeing more.

Her work can be seen in person in New York city and Bridgehampton NY at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts or in Pasadena CA at Tirage Fine Art Gallery.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Elsa Muñoz

"Controlled Burn 1"  oil on panel  24" x 50"  2012

"Controlled Burn 2"  oil on panel  24" x 55"  2012

"Night Shore 1"  oil on panel  60" x40"  2012

"Burning Branch"  oil on panel  24" x 36"  2010

"At The Table"  oil on panel  20" x 25.5"  2011

The dark plays a prominent role in the finely crafted work of the young Chicago artist Elsa Muñoz. Not that all her paintings are night scenes or of dimly lit rooms, but there is almost always as much hidden as there is revealed. This is sometimes the case literally, as in her nearly horizonless night shore paintings, and sometimes figuratively, as in her still life of a burning branch upon a table in which no clues or details are offered to elucidate the inherent mystery. In "At The Table" both aspects are on display as the daylight coming through the nearby window illuminates just a small fragment of the seated figure leaving both her physical features and her emotional context in doubt. In her "Controlled Burn" paintings the fire, which we usually associate with light, is instead a source of smoke and haze, concealing rather than revealing the forest. It is this constant tension between the revealed and the hidden, between description and suggestion, that lends her work an emotionally powerful sense of drama.
You can see more online at her website: elsamunoz.com
and at Zygman Voss Gallery in Chicago.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bill Frederick

"Two Lane Highway"  ink and watercolor  30" x 55.5"

"Beach and Vapor Trail"  watercolor  19.5" x 31"

"Migrating bird"  ink on paper  25" x 40"

"W.T.'s Gas for Less"  ink on paper  25" x 40"

"Sinking Ship"  ink on paper  13.25" x 25"

Photo realism is usually not my cup of tea as the saying goes. I prefer the artifice in art to be apparent, not disguised. But that is a big part of what makes Bill Frederick's work so astounding. While it may not be obvious from these digital images, the originals disguise nothing of the medium. Up close they are almost gestural with rich washes and broad confident brush work. The details only serve to snap the image together and create the illusion of photographic realism at a distance. Beyond that he has a terrific eye for composition, lighting and drama. While many of his scenes are of the most mundane moments, views from a car window, a random glance down a city sidewalk, etc., he is nonetheless able to capture something of those fleeting moments that strike us in some peculiar but meaningful way, but which we all too quickly flush out of our short term memory. The sinking ship above is an obvious exception. This is certainly not the kind of ordinary scene one might see just any old day. It is a moment of innately heightened drama. But the fact that his other scenes, objectively so ordinary, wield the same kind of cinematic impact speaks volumes about the power of his painting.
You can see more at his website: williamlewisfrederick.com
and there's more online or in person at Zg Gallery in Chicago.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Amy Casey

"High-rise," acrylic on panel, 48" x 36"

"Inner City," acrylic on panel, 30" x  30"

 "Lean To," acrylic on panel, 16" x 16"

 "Megalopolis," acrylic on panel, 36" x 60"
"Distant Lands," 2 color etching on paper, 8 ¼" x 10" (signed and numbered edition of 30)

It is rare for me to be able to see artwork that I post here in person. Which is unfortunate. It is often impossible to assess artwork online. Such was the case with Amy Casey's work which I first posted in July of 2009. As much as I enjoyed the imagery it was simply impossible to appreciate the delicate detail in her originals which I saw recently at Zg Gallery in Chicago. The work is still up for a while if you happen to be in the area. Amy's work has been exploring the complex web of the urban environment for quite some time. In her earliest pieces buildings still rested upon terra firma though often via rickety stilts. The stilts grew, swayed, tottered and finally collapsed leaving her buildings to fend for themselves in a white void. Now the buildings must rest upon other buildings (like the mythical turtles that were once thought to hold up the earth one imagines it's nothing but buildings all the way down) or they are bound together by wires, bridges, and brick walls. Trees, grass and rivers no longer exist upon native soil for all of that has vanished. The urban architecture itself provides the only haven for small green places. These are meditations on how cities exist, how they grow and evolve, becoming a life unto themselves until the landscape upon which they once stood is impossible to detect. It is beautiful, humorous, poignant work.
You can look through her work at the galleryy link above or at her website amycaseypainting.com