I’m envious of those who complete 100 day (or longer) projects. Sticking with something for more than a week is both impressive and provides a valuable opportunity to really explore a theme—to pick it apart, bit by bit, and take it to weird and wonderful places. For 76 days (and counting!), craft dabbler and monster enthusiast Becky Margraf has created tiny faces out of of felt. Aptly-called Felt Faces, she produces a daily portrait that’s similar yet different; each follows the same square portrait format and is affixed with the same beady eyes.
Throughout the two-plus months she’s embarked on this project, Becky has created a variety of characters. Some are fuzzy, others scattered, and one is a window. Each has its own charms and fits neatly into the palm of your hand. Once Felt Faces is complete, Becky will sell them through her Etsy shop. But for now, enjoy seeing them on her Instagram!
Collage is known best as paper-on-paper creations, but there are infinite possibilities with this technique. Often, the mashup of two disparate elements makes for the most exciting compositions, as is the case with Angie Lewin’s exquisite works. An illustrator, print maker, and pattern designer, she uses pieces of driftwood as the backdrop for her printed nature-themed imagery. Angie is inspired by the Mid-century modern movement, and its crisp lines and strong shapes offer a striking juxtaposition to the soft, uneven textured surface of the wood.
These pieces were originally produced as part of A Natural Line at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2014. But you can bet I’m keeping my eye out for more future works in this vein.
Here are some of Angie’s non-driftwood creations:
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.
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.
Here’s a sneak peek—a few more pieces that’ll appear in the show!
Anna Valdez, Plants on Black Wool Embroidered Bed Cover
Betsy Walton, Resting Garden Two
Sarah Burwash, Dawn and Dusk
Do you have a totem to carry around? You know, a small object that brightens your day and brings you good luck? If not, might I suggest the adorable works by Danielle Pedersen, aka Small Wild. Her ceramic pieces feature a myriad of animals—such as dogs, giraffes, alpacas, and more—decorated with tiny patterns and best of all: gold. Your day can’t get that bad when you’ve got a fancy elephant by your side!
Danielle sells her work through her online shop. New products drop on Sunday at 11AM MST, so set your alarm if you want to scoop one up!
Illustrator, ceramicist, and canary keeper Polly Fern follows in the long historical tradition of adorning clay with pictures. Her colorful vases, plates and bowls feature everyday scenes: a table set with a long baguette; men and women digging holes among the trees; and people riding on horses. They tell short stories—perhaps of not the most glamorous lives, but ones that are filled with people, pets, and good food. It all sounds lovely to me!
Polly sells her ceramics through her online shop.
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.
Here’s another mixed media piece, also about insects:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sometimes, you just wanna look at beautiful flowers. Artist Carrie Schmitt creates vibrant compositions of blooms in a couple of visually-striking styles. Some of her paintings feature thick sculptural strokes, while others utilize expressive lines and haphazard drips. Both are lovely.
Carrie’s career in the arts came later in life. In 2009, she developed a life-threatening allergy to heat and couldn’t leave her home for months. She turned lemons into lemonade, however, and used the time indoors to pursue her dream of becoming a painter. Carrie explains, “Creating became my therapy and escape as I struggled with being homebound.”
Carrie’s work—originals and prints—are available in her Etsy shop.
For years, I’ve admired the bold, illustrative works of Gosia Herba. They instantly appeal to me because of the art history influence—specifically, Picasso and the Cubist movement. The bold pieces feature abstracted figures and multiple viewpoints, which is used to great effect: it provides us a lot of visual information and offers a full scope of who these characters are and the situations they’re in.
Gosia sells prints of her work in her Etsy shop!
Sometimes, a painting can take you somewhere exciting and new—a place where you’ve never been, much less imagined going. That’s how I felt when looking at the work of Tiel Seivl-Keevers, an Australian artist creating ethereal abstract images. With pockets of colors and organic marks, Tiel communicates places of of both splendor and despair, where the path ahead is unknown but there’s an awesome journey along the way.
“I build layers. I erase. I assemble. I alter, until I am satisfied that I have captured the mood and beauty that nature provides,” Tiel writes on her website. “Nature is repetitious and each season brings a memory; a visual, overlapped map that tells a story of new life and death. The destruction that rain and fire can bring, and the beauty that results. Each pod, seed, pebble and shell share a story.”
Tiel’s work is for sale on her website!