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Art Illustration

Graphite Illustrations That Explore the Detailed Relationships of the Natural World by Zoe Keller

October 6, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Zoe Keller creates detailed illustrations pulled from the natural world. Her fauna-based drawings are done completely in charcoal, drawing the eye to the subtle markings used to create either fur or scales. Source imagery for the works comes from nature and how it becomes mediated in books and field guides, however Keller often fills in areas of question with pieces pulled from her own inquisitions or memory.

“My curiosity about the natural world is what keeps me dialed in to my work,” Keller told Colossal. “Drawing is the best way that I’ve found to understand how organisms and ecosystems work. In order to draw something realistically you have to understand how it sits in space, how it moves, the mechanics of its insides. So for me tuning into the natural world means chasing an endless series of questions. On the most minute, piece-specific scale, this can mean asking how many whorls are in the shell of a particular species of snail. On a larger scale, I’ve been developing bodies of work that ask big questions about visually engaging with the natural world in ways that honor it and inspire others to protect it.”

Often the Portland-based artist’s subjects are related in a way that might not be known to the common viewer. This can range from a drawing of plants that are endangered in Oregon to a work concentrated on flowers that can only be found in a particular part of the US. This strategy allows a deeper research to go into her practice so that the final image is not just about aesthetics, but relates to a more immediate concern for the natural world.

Keller recently participated in a week-long backpacking artist residency called Signal Fire in the Klamath National Forest which was one of many inspirations for her upcoming solo exhibition Swarm, opening October 27 at Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis. You can peek further into Keller’s practice on her Instagram and Facebook. (via Hi-Fructose) 

 

 

 



Art

Blooming Metallic Birds and Other Animals by Taiichiro Yoshida

September 28, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Hanasuzume, 2013. Copper.

Artist Taiichiro Yoshida forms the delicate wings of birds and fluffy fur of mammals from a variety of sculpted metal flowers of bronze, copper, or silver. Decorative hot metalworking in Japan is considered an ancient technique, beginning sometime in the 2-3rd century BC. Yoshida achieves the fragile nature of each piece through smithing, where the hot metal is carefully beaten and then formed into blooms before being colored.

You can see more of his work on Artsy. (via Cross Connect, Hi-Fructose)

Fire Bird, 2014. Wood, grass, copper, phosphor bronze, bird’s skull.

 

 



Art

Lisa Ericson Imagines Fantastical Ecosystems Carried on the Backs of Turtles

August 28, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

“Migration,” acrylic on wood panel, 12″ x 16″

Portland, Oregon-based artist Lisa Ericson blends her hyperreallist painting style with a vivid imagination, resulting in fantastical combinations of plants and animals. Ericson tends to focus on one specific flora/fauna combination at a time, like hybrid mouserflies or coral fish. Her most recent series, Mobile Habitats, highlights turtles that support small ecosystems on their shells. From mossy knolls surrounded by fireflies to gnarled trees leafed with monarchs, each turtle-world evokes a specific time and place.

Ericson chronicles her work on Instagram, where she shares, “these pieces are all about turtles and what they can carry on those amazing half-a-globe shells, and about things that need saving.”

The acrylic-on-panel paintings are featured in her solo show, currently on view at Antler Gallery. All of the originals have already sold, but the gallery is offering a limited edition of 50 full-sized, signed and numbered prints.

“Island,” acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″

“Carrier,” acrylic on panel, 16″ x 12″

“Raft,” acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″

“Terrarium,” acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″

“Migration II,” acrylic on panel, 12″ x 16″

 

 



Crafts

Incredibly Lifelike Felt Paintings of Pets and Plants by Dani Ives

August 22, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

Fiber artist Dani Ives conjures the natural world in her unique take on the traditional craft of needle felting. Ives describes her method as “painting with wool,” in which she applies her love of animals and her background in biology to build intricately layered portraits of a variety of flora and fauna.

Dogs, cats, birds, and farm animals come to life alongside toadstools and fruits, and Ives’ ability to capture the moisture and glint of animal eyes and noses adds an impressive degree of realism. While her plant life depictions take more of a traditional botanical angle, most of Ives’s animal subjects take center stage on the embroidery hoop, peering out at the viewer, further adding to the strong sense of unique personality, and it’s no surprise that she is in high demand for pet portrait commissions.

Ives sells originals and prints of her work on Etsy, and she continues her love of teaching by traveling from her home in Northwest Arkansas to lead workshops around the country, as well as offering e-courses in needle felting. You can also follow her work on Instagram.

 

 



Art

New Split-View Trash Sculptures by Bordalo II Combine Wood and Colorful Plastics Into Gigantic Animals

July 21, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Bordalo II (previously) has created a series of bisected animals, colorful plastics forming one half of the creature while a combination of wood and metal created a muted mirror on the other side. In one piece the Portuguese artist created a turtle with legs that extend to the ground, appearing to crawl along the side of a a low wall in Moncton, Canada. Other works are more monumental, such as a rabbit that extends two stories in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, and a raccoon that seems to dangle head first from a building in Pittsburgh.

The globally-placed installations are the newest evolution of his series Trash Animals, large public works that address the impact our carelessly tossed waste has on the environment around us. You can observe his process for collecting plastic and other waste, as well as follow more of his recent work, on Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

New Pen & Ink Depictions of Trees Sprouting into Animals by Alfred Basha

July 10, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Italian illustrator Alfred Basha (previously) continues his ongoing project of fusing animal forms with the branches of trees. The popular illustrations have recently been turned into both shirts and prints and you can see more of his recent work on Instagram.

 

 



Art Photography

Oil Paintings That Integrate Oversized Animals Into Found Vintage Photographs by Anja Wülfing

June 30, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Anja Wulfing adds large animals into the black and white scenes of found vintage photographs, turning the attention away from the somber faces of its subjects and to the creatures that pose quite naturally behind their backs. The surprising inclusions are painted in by Wulfing, and often take the form of birds—such as crows, owls, ducks, and the occasional rooster. The animals either join the members of the photograph or merge with its occupants, sometimes replacing the heads of those posing to create hybrid and humorous creatures.

You can see more of Wulfing’s subtle animal additions on her Instagram and Behance. (via Lustik)

 

 

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