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.
Kreh Mellick creates gorgeous monochromatic paintings that are alluring in their sheer amount of meticulous detail. The tiny leaves, facing all different directions, create a luscious movement throughout each piece and frame their curious cast of characters. I can’t help wondering—where are these people, and what is their story? They feel like they’re somewhere but nowhere, like they’re occupying someone’s dream.
Outside of that series, Kreh creates pieces that are less scrupulous, but still have the same, dream-like quality. Check out her Instagram for more! (Via Art Hound)
Este MacLeod is a UK-based artist whose works are full of color and personality. They’re cubist-inspired paintings that offer beautiful depictions of nature and still lifes, celebrating plants, animals, and idyllic landscapes. They use a flattened sense of perspective which makes their compositions complex. Every inch of her work is covered in vibrant hues and small shapes.
In her Etsy shop, Este sells prints, notebooks, and cards of her artwork. Brighten up your home with some of her vibrant works! How could you look at these and not feel happy?
I posted the above illustration on my Instagram (@brwnpaperbag) recently, but I like it so much that I had to share it here. British graphic artist Laura Knight painted these portraits that are inspired by Staffordshire Figures, a popular tchotchke for someone to have in their home.
I’m familiar with these types of things after having visited many antique stores with my mother and wooing over them. Laura explains their appeal to the blog Spitialfields Life. “They were on everybody’s mantlepiece and everybody’s dresser. They are a vivid background, deep in our memories of home. There wasn’t a kitchen without a piece of willow pattern or a mantlepiece without a piece of Staffordshire,” she says.
Do you/did you have anything like these figures growing up?
In some works of art, you can tell that the illustrator has really attacked the image. Not in a bad or destructive way, of course, but there’s a palpable energy left on the page. That’s how I feel when I look at the illustrations by Miroco Machiko. The loose, painterly style features different creatures in abstracted ways. We see every brush stroke and pencil line, which adds to the finished-sketchiness of each image. It’s not overworked but gives us enough information to visually put everything together.
Milkweed knows she’s attractive.
Painting and flowers, separately, are two wonderful things. But, better yet, Emily Isabella combines both of ‘em with her Plant People. She paints their faces and wardrobes and uses a myriad of flowers for their hairstyles. We see small, delicate pods as well as larger, broad petals that signify longer locks. I love how the blooms are arranged just so, and it allows her to mimic the shape of hair well.
Each image is accompanied with a curious sentence describing the person. I’ve included them, too!
Peony makes friends easily.
The temperature is starting to drop but White Wood Aster doesn’t seem to mind.
Chrysanthemum had a moment of indecision at the hair salon.
Sunflower isn’t always sunny.
Cucumber Blossom always adds a touch of beauty to each dish she prepares.
Gooseneck Loosestrife understands the power of a name.
Hosta’s Japanese name is Giboshi.
A– tisket, a-tasket, Petunia prefers a hanging basket.
Blazing Star has a wild side.
Daylily knows that night is inevitable.
I think Sweet Pea was lost when I found her on the roadside.
I was first introduced to Kris Chau’s work when I was in undergrad. She was a guest professor for a “lifestyle” illustration class I was taking, and I fell in love with her way of drawing. Chau uses beautiful lines throughout each piece that have a lyrical feel to them. And when she’s not doing that, she peppers her work with lovely patterns.
If you check out Chau’s blog, she does a lot of sketching. I’ve included some of them here, and they are handled more loosely than her paintings. She couples this treatment with ethereal depictions of goddesses, mermaids, and spirits. It creates an appropriately dreamlike world.
Instagram alert: she has one. Follow her! (And how about me, while you’re at it?)
Marianna Sztyma is a Polish artist and illustrator who creates beautiful images in both and collage. Here, I’ve featured many of her paintings, but take note of her mixed media works, too. They both are tied together in their use of soft, dry-brush/airbrush shading and penchant for pattern and the female figure.
I have the feeling that illustration is Sztyma’s primary way of working, and that her paintings are a secondary way that she expresses herself. Artists, illustrators, and general creative people: do you have something like this? Another media you work in to break up the monotony of working in one way or style? Let me know on Facebook!
PS: These paintings came from her Flickr!