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Monica Rohan Explores Self Portraiture Through Obscurity

Monica Rohan

Artist Mon­i­ca Rohan com­bines ele­ments of real­ism and fan­ta­sy to cre­ate works that are as beau­ti­ful as they are allur­ing. They’re inspired by a “rur­al-idyll of a child­hood in South East Queens­land” and 19th cen­tu­ry nov­els. Each con­tem­plates the genre of auto­bi­og­ra­phy, using this form of mys­te­ri­ous self por­trai­ture to do so. Here, the fig­ures’ faces are obscured by col­or­ful blooms, tall grass, and pat­terned fab­rics. Though they’re par­tial­ly ground­ed in some sort of space, the area around the sub­jects is emp­ty, giv­ing us the feel­ing that these peo­ple are float­ing in some sort of abyss.

Monica Rohan

Monica Rohan

Monica Rohan

Monica Rohan

Monica Rohan

Monica Rohan

Monica Rohan

Monica Rohan

Monica Rohan

Paintings by Monica Rohan

Paintings by Monica Rohan

Artist, Illustration, Painting

Saddo Uses Naturalism to Illustrate His Colorfully Strange Worlds


Sad­do is an Roman­ian artist whose career has switched gears. Start­ing out as a mural­ist, his style was was noticed by adver­tis­ing agen­cies and gal­leries in cities around the world.

Saddo’s visu­al lan­guage has many dis­parate influ­ences, includ­ing hor­ror movie posters, comics, Hierony­mus Bosch, Hen­ri Rousseau, nat­u­ral­is­tic illus­tra­tions of plants and ani­mals, pop sur­re­al­ism, and reli­gion. Wow! This is reflect­ed in his paint­ings and illus­tra­tions, which fea­ture real­is­ti­cal­ly-formed fig­ures that are often in busy, lus­cious­ly-col­ored scenes.

If you’re a long-time read­er of this blog, you might remem­ber when this artist col­lab­o­rat­ed with Aitch on Mem­o­ry. Check it out—it’s my favorite iter­a­tion of the clas­sic card game.











Artist, Paper Craft

Silhouettes by Eugenia Zoloto Transform Oridinary Portraits into Splendorous Nature Scenes

Eugenia Zoloto

Using an X-Acto knife and some care­ful cut­ting, Ukraine-based artist Euge­nia Zolo­to cre­ates intri­cate sil­hou­ettes out of twist­ing vines, beau­ti­ful blooms, and winged insects. The large, lacy portraits—around 15 inch­es by 11 inches—look stun­ning against a range of back­drops (check out the vibrant green grass, below). Some of them are now avail­able in Eugenia’s Etsy shop, where you can frame them how­ev­er you like.

Eugenia Zoloto

Eugenia Zoloto




Artist, Illustration

Curious Landscapes and Painted Fantasies by Kate Pugsley

Kate Pugsley

I’m a long time fan of Kate Pugsley’s paint­ings and illus­tra­tions. They fea­ture a fan­tas­tic mix of styles, rid­ing a fine line between real­ism, fan­ta­sy, and abstraction—it’s what makes her com­po­si­tions so mem­o­rable. My favorite pieces involve fig­ures in flat­tened land­scapes where the trees and plants are styl­ized ver­sions of palms and cac­ti. I find them both aes­thet­i­cal­ly pleas­ing and con­cep­tu­al­ly interesting—what will hap­pen to these hero­ines?!

Kate sells prints and orig­i­nals in her online shop. And fans of Instagram—don’t for­get to give her IG a fol­low! It’s a favorite of mine.

Kate Pugsley

Kate Pugsley








Col­lage artists—need some inspi­ra­tion? Here are some of Kate’s scraps:

Artist, Painting

Keri Oldham’s ‘Labyrinth’: Fashion, Demons, and the Search Within Ouselves

Keri Oldham

Brook­lyn-based artist Keri Old­ham has recent­ly opened her lat­est solo exhi­bi­tion at Kirk Hop­per Fine Art in Dal­las, Texas. Enti­tled Labyrinth, her beau­ti­ful water­col­or paint­ings are an alle­gor­i­cal series that’s inspired by the 1980 cult-clas­sic film, as well as the ancient myth of the Mino­taur.

The gallery describes the work in Keri’s show as com­bin­ing “images of demons and war­riors with trag­ic fig­ures and vic­to­ri­ous ones. With armored women at its cen­ter, these pieces spin a new sto­ry on The­seus enter­ing the maze and con­fronting the beast with­in.” The allur­ing pieces fuse medieval beasts with fash­ion and fan­ta­sy, rep­re­sent­ing inner tur­moil and desires the many of us feel—to find mean­ing and suc­cess in our adult lives.

I love both the con­cept of Labyrinth and the style of Keri’s at-times grotesque paint­ings. They’re cre­at­ed with pig­ment, graphite, and applied paper pulp, adding these bril­liant tex­tures to her dizzy­ing col­ors and pat­terns.

If you’re in Dal­las, check out her exhi­bi­tion! It’s up until Novem­ber 14 of this year.

Keri Oldham








This Hot Pink Room has a Patterned Wallpaper Comprising 5,000 Intact Bugs

Jennifer Angus

Artist Jen­nifer Angus has cre­at­ed an instal­la­tion that might gross you out, but it’s sure to fas­ci­nate you! Called In the Gar­den, she has wall­pa­pered a hot pink-paint­ed room with a gor­geous tex­tured pat­tern that com­pris­es 5,000 (!!) bugs. She col­lect­ed the crit­ters from south­east Asia and arranged them on the wall with their nat­ur­al col­or­ing intact—think iri­des­cent greens, blues, and pearly mauves.  The crea­tures form skull shapes and oth­er dec­o­ra­tive motifs and take over a room in the new­ly-ren­o­vat­ed Ren­wick Gallery at the Smith­son­ian Amer­i­can Art Muse­um. (This space offi­cial­ly opens on Novem­ber 13.)

Jennifer’s piece is one of nine art­works in Won­der, the inau­gur­al exhi­bi­tion of the Ren­wick Gallery. In addi­tion to her bugs, the oth­er artists will each occu­py a dif­fer­ent gallery in the build­ing and turn their space into a room-size instal­la­tion.  I’m not far from its loca­tion in Wash­ing­ton, DC, so I’m going to pop in one week­end and check it out. Fun! (Via design­boom)

Jennifer Angus





Artist, Illustration

Silly Childhood Superstitions, Illustrated by Natalia Yamshchikova

Natalia Yamshchikova

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.

Natalia Yamshchikova

Natalia Yamshchikova




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.



Artist, Embroidery

Part Tapestry, Part Friendship Bracelet: Weavings by Alicia Scardetta

Included in Coordinate Disregard

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!

Alicia Scardetta Alicia Scardetta Alicia Scardetta Alicia-6 Alicia-5 Alicia-4 Alicia-3 Alicia-2

Artist, Ceramics

Rebekah Miles Paints One-Of-A Kind Book Covers and Country Music Stars

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 Miles

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 Miles

Rebekah Miles






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.”









Laura Garcia Serventi Paints the Plants I Wish I Had

Laura Garcia Serventi

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!

Laura Garcia Serventi

Laura Garcia Serventi