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Artist, Sculpture

Felted Fungi (on Real Wood) That You Don’t Have to Forage For

Mushroom felt crafts by Close Call Studio

Maybe you don’t have a green thumb and all your plants even­tu­al­ly wilt. You know what? That’s okay. Because thanks to the mush­room felt crafts by Close Call Stu­dio, you can still have some­thing life-like in your home. Aman­da Adams, the illus­tra­tor and sculp­tor behind Close Call, cre­ates play­ful plants and veg­eta­bles that are an eye-catch­ing fusion of craft­ed nature with a piece of the real out­doors. She hand-sews and mounts small fun­gi, col­or­ful blooms, and prick­ly cac­ti on a slice of hand-cut wood. The result is a unique homage to nature that brings the beau­ty of the out­doors inside—but no extra care required.

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Artist

Impossibly Tiny People Enjoying a Tranquil Dip Amid Grandiose Landscapes

Joanne Ho Swimming Paintings

Almost a year to the day, I wrote about Joanne Ho’s exquis­ite swim­ming paint­ings. From a bird’s eye view, she intro­duced us to a bevy of anony­mous char­ac­ters who were so tiny they looked like ants among the grandiose land­scape. Well, Joanne is back with more! She recent­ly shared with me some of her lat­est works, which still fea­ture minia­ture folks doing what they do best—enjoying the scenery.

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Artist

Exquisite Wreath Weavings Frame the World in Real Flowers

Olga Prinku floral wreath weavings

I’ve fea­tured a fair share of hoop art on Brown Paper Bag, and it gen­er­al­ly involves embroi­dery thread—but not for crafter Olga Prinku. Rather, she’s reimag­ined this pop­u­lar for­mat with her flo­ral wreath weav­ings. Using a tulle (or mesh) fab­ric, Olga places small blooms—both fresh cut and dried—into art­ful arrange­ments. They com­pose half cres­cent shapes around the cir­cles in a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent-sized flow­ers, leaves, and berries.

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Artist

Vivid, Ethereal Landscapes are Dreams in Painted Form

Becky Blair landscape paintings

If you’re in the midst of win­ter, Becky Blair’s land­scape paint­ings are a beau­ti­ful escape from drea­ry skies and frigid tem­per­a­tures. Fus­ing real­ism with abstrac­tion, she lay­ers col­ors, tex­tures, draw­ing, and print­ing to cre­ate imagery that are like vivid dreams. These rever­ies are inspired by her exten­sive trav­el through India, Aus­tralia, and Europe, and she, in turn, “reflects the expe­ri­ence, rather than the vis­age” of a place. Through her paint­ings, we are part of these moments, too.

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Artist, Illustration

Energetic Landscape Paintings Represent the Yin and Yang of Life

Kirsten Sims

Once again, Kirsten Sims has cap­tured an incred­i­ble ener­gy in her paint­ings that recall the spon­tane­ity of pen­cil sketch­es. Her lat­est series was cre­at­ed for the Tur­bine Art Fair in Johan­nes­burg, and they fea­ture vibrant out­door and indoor scenes that act as a yin and yang—the beau­ty of soli­tude, as well as the hus­tle and bus­tle of large groups. Each is live­ly in its appli­ca­tion of paint; the col­ors swirl and mix on can­vas, dif­fus­ing and abstract­ing the illus­tra­tions. It’s as if they rep­re­sent one long, fan­tas­tic dream… or bet­ter yet, a mem­o­ry!

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Artist

Sketchbook Transformed in 100 Days as a Delightful Catalog of Pattern

Samantha Russo sketchbook

I’ve writ­ten here before about my pen­chant for 100 days projects, and artist Saman­tha Rus­so has recent­ly com­plet­ed one that’s full of col­or and pattern—plus, it’s all con­tained in her sketch­book. Page after page, she uses paint, mark­ers, and pas­tels to cre­ate vibrant abstract com­po­si­tions that exper­i­ment with scale and tex­ture.

If you’re look­ing for a project to start 2017 (or fin­ish 2016), this seems like a good one. It makes you focus on play, and I’m sure that ele­ments from these pages will be incor­po­rat­ed into Samantha’s work some­how.

Samantha Russo sketchbook

Samantha Russo sketchbook

Samantha Russo sketchbook

Samantha Russo sketchbook

Samantha Russo sketchbook

Samantha Russo sketchbook

Samantha Russo sketchbook

Samantha Russo sketchbook

Samantha Russo sketchbook

Samantha Russo sketchbook

Samantha Russo sketchbook
Artist

Dense Tropical Landscapes Showcase the Surreal Side of Jungles

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers

Artist Robert Bow­ers paints tran­quil jun­gle scenes that fea­ture four-legged friends nes­tled with­in their lush green leaves. His work is 50% to 75% plants that make it impos­si­ble to see beyond their walls of trop­i­cal flo­ra… but I’m not com­plain­ing. The low depth of field is oth­er­world­ly, and Robert’s images offer a form of escapism in which ani­mals rule the land and we’re mere­ly vis­i­tors.

Robert has an Insta­gram that includes a lot of works in progress—so a lot of plants. Give it a fol­low if you want Hen­ri Rousseau-inspired botan­i­cals in your feed.

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers

Robert Bowers
Artist, BPB Projects, Illustration

I’ve Curated an Exhibition in Los Angeles, and It Opens This Week!

postcard-5inx7in-h-front

Tomor­row, I’m trav­el­ing from Bal­ti­more to Los Ange­les for an excit­ing reason—I’ve curat­ed a show at the Flower Pep­per Gallery in Pasade­na! It’s called Inside / Out­side fea­tures works that explore indoor and out­door spaces. I’ve lined up fan­tas­tic artists and illus­tra­tors, so I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing it all come togeth­er.

The open­ing is this Sat­ur­day, August 13, from 6:30PM to 9:30PM at Flower Pep­per Gallery on Union Street. If you’re local, please stop by! I’d love to meet you and say hel­lo.

postcard-5inx7in-h-front

Here’s a sneak peek—a few more pieces that’ll appear in the show!

Anna Valdez, Plants on Black Wool Embroidered Bed Cover

Anna Valdez, Plants on Black Wool Embroi­dered Bed Cov­er

Betsy Walton, Resting Garden Two

Bet­sy Wal­ton, Rest­ing Gar­den Two

Sarah Burwash, Dawn and Dusk

Sarah Bur­wash, Dawn and Dusk

Artist, Sculpture

When is a Tree Stump Not a Tree Stump? When It’s a Book.

Handmade book by Pochiko HO

If it looks like a stump of wood… it might not be a stump of wood—it could be a book! Artist Pochiko HO has done exact­ly this with a hand­made text that’s about insects. The clever book’s nat­ur­al-col­ored pages are con­tained with­in a small chunk of tree bark. Sim­ply remove the book from the cir­cu­lar stump and reveal the winged insects that live inside.

Handmade book by Pochiko HO

Handmade book by Pochiko HO

Handmade book by Pochiko HO

Here’s anoth­er mixed media piece, also about insects:

 Pochiko HO

Handmade book by Pochiko HO
Artist

Colorful Portraits of People You’ll Want to Meet

Hayley Mitchell portrait

Hay­ley Mitchell paints peo­ple that you want to meet. Clad in bright col­ors, the Cubist-inspired ladies are adorned with beau­ti­ful head­pieces and jew­el­ry. They’re abstract, yes, but still dis­play unique per­son­al­i­ties, and the pig­ments give us some insight into who they are. Wouldn’t you like to know?

Hay­ley has cre­at­ed prints of these char­ac­ters and sells them all on Etsy.

Hayley Mitchell portrait

Hayley Mitchell portrait

Hayley Mitchell portrait

Hayley Mitchell portrait

hayley-mitchell-12

Hayley Mitchell portrait

Hayley Mitchell portrait

Hayley Mitchell portrait

Hayley Mitchell portraits