We all have our own ways of achieving ~zen~, and for me, it’s witnessing the beauty of grandiose natural landscapes. The vast, seemingly never-ending horizon reminds me of just how big the world is, dwarfing whatever worries occupy my brain. Maggie Chiang captures this feeling with exquisite snapshots of open spaces. Inky and drawn textures mimic desert scenes, rapid waters, and gray skies. In every image, the Earth looks magnificent and makes me want to find the nearest hiking trail!
Jess Phoenix loves color. When she’s not illustrating and designing products for Compendium, she creates electric floral paintings that are adorned with gold and neon paint. Most the bouquets are imagined, she writes, “and act as a vehicle for her to create vibrant color relationships.” I’m sorta glad they aren’t real—that way, we can always enjoy their beautiful arrangements.
Jess sells prints of her work through her online shop.
Hayley Mitchell paints people that you want to meet. Clad in bright colors, the Cubist-inspired ladies are adorned with beautiful headpieces and jewelry. They’re abstract, yes, but still display unique personalities, and the pigments give us some insight into who they are. Wouldn’t you like to know?
Hayley has created prints of these characters and sells them all on Etsy.
A long weekend is quickly approaching us here in the US, so if you find you’ve got some extra time, why not try this fun exercise: Use watercolors to dab or brush a spot of paint on the paper and then create a character from it (in pen or pencil). Illustrator Marion Barraud regularly does this to great effect—her doodles are imaginative and delightful. With just a few different flicks of the brush, she’s able to produce diverse monsters with a ton of personality.
If you can’t tell by my posts over the past few weeks, I’m excited for the summer time. After a whole bunch of snow, the thought of warm weather has me over the moon! One thing I love about summer is the pool. Sadly, I don’t make it there as much as I used to, but I still fantasize about riding a waterslide. Joanne Ho’s illustrations depict these sorts of fun times with whole lotta tiny figures enjoying the water. Each painting is from a bird’s eye view, dwarfing the bodies so that they look like ants poking out of fantastic fields of blue.
Joanne sells prints of her work on Etsy.
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 and illustrator Alice Wellinger creates surreal imagery that deals with the troubles of daily life and of childhood memories. Her realistic approach to these figures and accompanying subjects has a eerie effect—it’s as if they actually exist, but in a way that’s similar to a vivid dream. Did these things really happen or was it just a figment of your imagination?
Her conceptual—and often, thematically dark—work lends itself well to things that aren’t so cheery. Most recently, she created a series of illustrations about Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, Othello.
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!
Loris Lora’s illustrations are a wonderful fusion of contemporary imagery and a retro artistic style. Using gouache, a dry-brushing technique, and sometimes cut paper, she paints portraits of people admiring their surroundings, dressing in costume, and strumming on the guitar.
Loris was recently in a show at the Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, California. The exhibition was called An Open Diary, and it brought together artists who “share a playful sensibility and enjoy highlighting life’s small and oftentimes overlooked moments.” You can definitely see these instance in Lois’ work — she shows us that it’s not all about hustle and bustle. Sometimes, you have stop and appreciate what’s right in front of you every day.
Buy original art by Loris through Flower Pepper Gallery’s website! (Also: follow them on Instagram. They’re always posting great stuff.)
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?