Are you superstitious? As a kid, I was, but as an adult—not so much. Russian illustrator Natalia Yamshchikova created a series of beautiful plywood paintings that pay homage to these unjustified beliefs. They sound silly now, but just think back to your childhood. Would you have believed any of these? I probably would have! Maybe that just makes me gullible…
If you throw your cut hair away birds will pick up it, build a nest, and give you a headache.
One hundred mosquito bites will lead to your death.
If you swallow a whole sunflower seed it will sprout in your belly.
If you yawn at your reflection in the mirror you will ruin your beauty.
If you look at the moon long enough you’ll become a lunatic.
Above: included in Coordinate Disregard
This past weekend, I went to the opening of Coordinate Disregard at the Terrault Contemporary in Baltimore. There, I saw the work Brooklyn-based fiber artist Alicia Scardetta, who I’ve been following on Instagram but hadn’t before seen her colorful weavings in person. And let me tell you, they are awesome. Intricate and jubilant, they combine a variety of weaving techniques and are “part tapestry, part friendship bracelet.”
To produce these meticulous pieces, Alicia uses frame tapestry looms and creates parameters for each weaving. Through this, she explores the possibilities and limitations of the “grid structure that forms woven textiles.” The process isn’t unlike illustration. In both fields, there are guidelines you must operate within, and part of the challenge is figuring out how to let your artistic voice shine.
If you’re local to Charm City, make sure you check out Coordinate Disregard. It’s up until September 26 and in addition to Alicia, includes work by: Randall Lear, Elissa Levy, Gabriel Luis Perez, and Curtis Miller. Plus, it’s curated by my pal Amy Boone-McCreesh, who is also an amazing artist!
Fun fact: I found Rebekah Miles’ work totally by chance. I was Googling someone of the same name, and her Instagram popped up as one of the top results. Thinking she was that someone else, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a portrait of Reba McEntire and June Carter.
Rebekah creates faux book covers in the same gestural style as her portraits. Describing this on-going project, she writes:
I paint one-of-a-kind book jackets on specific artists, photographers, and some literature. The selected books are a reference to art history and the art of libraries. I choose an image to paint for a cover illustration based on qualities such as poignancy and visual graphics. If the book is not illustrated, I find an image that is complementary to its contents.
Rebekah also makes ceramics. They are, as she describes, “interpretations of images that appeal to a sense of place and beauty, such as an antique loteria set (Mexican bingo) from the 1800’s, a seed savers exchange catalogue, and a California native plant identification book.”
Using acrylic, gouache, and watercolor pigments, Laura Garcia Serventi paints the plant collections I wish I had. The colorful scenes feature tall succulents and flowering cacti, neatly potted and sitting on a geometric floor. They’re healthy and flourishing, which is more than I can say for some of the plants in my apartment.
Purchase these images as prints in Laura’s Etsy shop!
Norwegian craft artist Anna Talbot produces colorful jewelry that’s beautifully unconventional. Vibrant, bold shapes are layered and create complex scenes featuring birds, floral arrangements, and tall trees. Each piece is special and dazzling, and conjures fairy tales and other fantastic stories. Wearable art indeed. (Via Lustik)
On both Monday and Tuesday of this week, I’ve featured illustrations that are strange. So, how about I make Wednesday just as weird? I recently posted the work of Eero Lampinen on my Instagram to great response. And, why not? The beautiful images are really well drawn and feature odd, interesting depictions of nature. Giant bugs crawl over stylish young people who dare to venture into lands unknown.
I would love to see what Lampinen does with a graphic novel. Considering the way they set up a single scene, panels upon panels of them would be amazing.
I posted about some wooden people earlier, so why not more? Melanie Ruston is a Baltimore-based artist who’s studying to be an art teacher (and about to graduate!). Her paintings are influenced by working with children as a camp counselor and an intern; specifically, them drawing from their imaginations without fear of the final result.
“When I paint, I take characters from my sketchbook and flesh out their existence in imagined stores, where they deal with embarrassment, triumph, and relationships with others,” she writes in an artist statement. Melanie goes on, stating, “Combining a Renaissance technique with the artistic skills of a child, I leave clues for the viewer to solve and understand these moments for themselves.”
Follow Melanie on Tumblr.
Here are some non-wooden people, including a mural!
Denver-based artist Sandra Fettingis creates bold sculptures, installations, and murals using a variety of geometric shapes. “…I strive to demonstrate relationships, communication, change, and mindful attention,” she writes in an artist statement. “I mix and layer materials such as acrylic, styrene, wood, paper and paint, and utilize the laser for its precision, while formulating systematic guidelines, repetition and purposefully restrained color palettes.”
Sandra strives to combine art and architecture seamlessly. Her beautiful pieces, strong shapes are a perfect match with beams, floorboards, and of course, walls.
One of my favorite discoveries of this weekend was when I stumbled upon Nail Art History Tumblr. The name is sort of self-explanatory. Taking inspiration from artists of both the past and today, art lover Susi Kenna gets an awesome manicure. Her nails are inspired by the likes of street art, abstract art, and more.
All work is done by Mei Kawajiri / @ciaomanhattan2012. The details on these tiny surfaces is amazing! I’m really impressed by the Barry McGee interpretation.
(H/T The Creator’s Project)
Gary Kachadourian is a Baltimore-based artist who takes over rooms and creates site-specific installations with his drawings. I was able to stand in the middle of his work years ago when he was the recipient of the Mary Sawyers Baker Prize and had his work exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art. And, let me just say that it was incredible. The entire space was covered in his enlarged photocopied drawings and it was the world according to Kachadourian. It was not only the wall, but the ceilings and floor, too.
His work differs from the full-size drawings of Charlotte Mann (featured earlier today), as Kachadourian’s uses graphite to render these engaging depictions of urban life. Once you step into one of his installations, you are a character in his drawings. Do so and love it.
All images via his website.