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!
I first saw the work of Anna Valdez over on Boooooooom, and I can’t seem to get them out of my head. The meticulous detail, mash up of patterns, textures, and plants that inhabitant her interior spaces are a delight to view. Boy, do I wish I had that collection of rugs and plates…
In 2010, I attended the Vermont Studio Center for an artist residency. (To anyone who is considering applying — you should! I had a great experience.) There, I met Maria Britton, a fellow artist in a different studio. At the time, she was painting abstract images on sheets stretched taut over stretcher bars.
Fast forward to lately, and I thought about Maria and her work. What does it look like now? Upon Googling her, I see she’s still working on sheets, but in a more refined way. Now, instead of simply painting on top of them, she works into them, incorporating embroidery, techniques. Here’s a statement about her work:
From conception to death, the surface of a bed is a place where one both experiences and escapes reality, a physical connection between dreaming and waking life. In the studio I seek out homespun innovations to play up the materiality of the patterned sheets on which I have been painting for the past 10 years. Recently I have started to incorporate smocking, a form of embroidery, into my paintings which enables me to manipulate the surface of a sheet into a bumpy, textured, and patterned surface. After the hand stitching is done on the reverse side of the sheet, I then carefully stretch the sheet on a stretcher, keeping an eye on what each pull does to the surface. Using washes, glazes, and streaks of acrylic, I work intuitively and impulsively with brushes, sponges, and squeegees. While painting, I am compelled to conceal and reveal the dated floral patterns that I find simultaneously comforting and repulsive. The end result is a mishmash of painting and crafty techniques which transform the predictable patterns into wrinkled innovations.