It’s funny how we get into routines. When i find an artist I like, I see who they like, and who else likes them, and before I know it I’m looking at nothing but colorful abstracted coastlines. I took a bit of a break from posting here (a lovely winter vacation) and when I returned I had a fresh start. Immediately I came upon Kim Leutwyler. She’s an American artist working in Sydney – you can read all about her on her website (which includes a collection of her work called “Queer Dinosaurs” so I have to imagine that Kim is pretty awesome all around).
As for her art, it has everything I typically like – bright bold colors, abstracted forms, and so on. And she features women whose bodies blend with the colors and patterns of her works, whose beauty is in part realistically rendered and in part drawn from the shapes and colors she employs. I see a joy and an exuberance in her work. I like how her subjects are presented directly to the viewer. I get the idea that what we use to cover ourselves up is just so much color and shape and line.
As much as I’d like to, I’m not sure I’m able to say anything thoughtful about her themes of gender and queer identity. I’ve never been terribly good at taking any sort of message from art (must work on this). Just writing down any kind of commentary about art, let alone a real critique, is daunting for me. Perhaps that’s a topic for future posts. In the meantime, enjoy Kim’s fantastic art and check out her website, twitter,and instagram accounts.
Kim Leutwyler – www.KimLeutwyler.com
I guess I’m a sucker for abstracted landscapes (I think half the artists I’ve written about on this blog paint some kind of landscape). I really like how Marilina Marchica’s works reorder and restructure what I see in a typical landscape. Her use of flat and smooth neutral colors for both backgrounds and foregrounds gives her work a very expansive feel.
I think it’s interesting how so much landscape art captures the beautiful and dramatic – coastlines, mountains, etc. – while most of the world around us is relatively flat and monotone. I’m not sure that “monotone” is really a fair characterization of these works, though. Sure, there isn’t a ton of color, but there is quite a bit of variety among the neutrals and grays, and certainly a lot of variety of color value. As with much of the art that I tend to like, the more I look at these images the more I see.
Marilina Marchica – marilinamarchica.tumblr.com
Follow her on Twitter and see more of her work for sale here, here, and here.
Agrigento, Sicily, Italy
*all images from marilinamarchica.tumblr.com
There is something about Stephen Nolan’s art that really grabs me. I think maybe it’s the flatness to the way he applies his colors and shapes. There is flatness to individual sections but the result is a layering and a depth that is very expressive. As a result I get a really interesting sense of perspective. There’s perspective in the traditional sense in that I see a view from a particular spot and I can see what is near and what is far, what is clear and what is hazy. But more than that I get a sense of time and of things being old. The general messiness (for lack of a better word) of the edges also contributes to the temporal nature of his works. Anyway – very interesting stuff!
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments. I always love to hear other people’s thoughts.
Stephen Nolan – www.Stephen-Nolan.com
And check out his great Twitter feed here.
* all images taken from stephen-nolan.com
Dyanna Dimick’s art is fun and quirky but it also draws me in and gives me something to think about. I love how she combines abstract forms with clear graphic shapes and images. She delivers plenty of what I tend to like about abstract work – color, shape, depth, and contrast communicating with the viewer – and she amplifies that with different techniques and materials. I’ve seen plenty of artists who use a broad swirling brush stroke technique and pop a little figure on top… Dimick’s work seems somehow more narrative and intriguing. I get the sense that there is a story happening somewhere and her paintings give me just a glimpse of the action. Good stuff!
Dyanna Dimick – www.DYDArt.com
Check her out on Twitter and see more of her work for sale (pretty affordable!) here and here and here.
San Francisco, CA
* all images taken from DYDArt.com
I really enjoy looking at Rebecca Appleby’s paintings, ceramics, and other sculpture. I love the shapes and forms which makes me think of the kind of industrial “junk” I used to see in my dad’s metalshop. I love the color palette – some of her paintings remind me of the inside of a dumpster (in a good way, in the way that years of abuse and rust and all kinds of stains make a design that is quite beautiful). Really cool stuff all around.
Rebecca Appleby – http://www.RebeccaAppleby.co.uk
More here, here, and on Twitter as well.
* all images taken from RebeccaAppleby.co.uk
In general I tend to prefer abstract art over more figurative stuff. I find that the combination color and line and shape can be incredibly powerful without needing to depict any thing in particular. Angela Smith’s work combines the best of both worlds. She tends to give her viewers a subject – human, animal, etc – but gets there using various methods of abstraction. The creature-ish nature of her work is beautifully offset by the brightness and even cheerfulness of her color palette. There is a whimsy and a mystery to her subjects. And beyond that, the abstract techniques she uses to create her figures lends an additional meaning to those figures… faces that have contrasting colors running throughout them, dismorphic bodies with eyes or other features made up of negative spaces, etc. Really interesting stuff!
Angela Smith – www.AngelaSmithArt.com
See more images here
And catch up with her on Twitter
* all images take from AngelaSmithArt.com
I’m pretty comfortable with 2-dimensional art. I have spent a fair amount of time studying art history, and I’ve done a fair amount of drawing and painting and 2-d mixed media. I know what I like – I know what elements of a 2-d piece draw me in.
I don’t have much experience with sculpture. The work of Alberto Bustos, however, really resonates with me. Putting aside for a moment the incredible construction of these pieces – and there are tons of awesome workshop/process photos on his website – there is so much to like. The colors are fantastic. There is a sense of direction and movement, hard and soft… I love it all.
Alberto Bustos – www.bustosescultura.es
And on Twitter here
* all images taken from bustosescultura.es
As an artist myself I often experiment with combining “tube colors” (straight from the tube, unmixed) with colors that I mix myself. In general the more I mix colors together, the less intense they become. This leads to some interesting variety of value, can create depth, etc (well, when done by a skilled painter it can work that way… when I do it, I meet with mixed results).
Andrew Bird’s paintings are the kind of thing I’m aspiring to. He has tremendous variety of color value, spacing, depth, perspective, and when I look at his work I can’t help but think of what colors of paint he started with. Add to this the effects he gets by layering colors and then sometimes removing top layers to expose color underneath. Great stuff.
Andrew Bird – http://www.ABirdArt.co.uk
More images here
*all images taken from abirdart.co.uk
Scouring Twitter and Pinterest for art has led me to a whole host of UK artists who feature varying levels of abstraction and whose work often draws inspiration from coastal landscapes. Many live and work in Cornwall, which led me to learn a bit about the St. Ives school of art – a group of artists exploring the abstract and then avant-garde over the past almost 100 years. Neil Canning is another Cornwall artist carrying on this tradition. I love the use of hyper-bright colors and bold non-figurative shapes that still conjure up images of the seaside.
Neil Canning – www.neilcanning.com
Lots of write-ups of this artist along with more commentary on the St. Ives school on his website.