Our friends over at the Sketchbook Project recently launched their latest global art endeavor, the Pen Pal Painting Exchange. Based on criteria you provide, the project pairs you with a like-minded artist and you’re both provided with a pre-gessoed 4″ x 4″ canvas, a custom canvas bag, and loose guidelines. After finishing the artwork, the paintings are then swapped in the mail. The first theme, “flight,” proved wildly successful, and the next theme, “classic,” is up for registration through September 1st.
Colossal teamed up with the Sketchbook Project for their 2014 Tour which has upcoming stops in Oakland, San Francisco, and Portland. If you want to participate in the 2015 tour, you can signup here for a sketchbook.
sol H, 2012, 35×35 cm
When looking at Swiss painter Conrad Jon Godly’s mountainous paintings, it takes a moment to truly appreciate the incredible skill behind what seems to be such an effortless application of paint. Up close the landscapes appear to be a thick, almost random mix of blue, white and black, the result oils mixed with turpentine to create a thick impasto that Godly often leaves dripping from the canvas. Take a few steps back (or just squint your eyes a bit) and miraculously you might as well be looking at a photograph of the Swiss Alps. It’s a visual trick that the artist has perfected in both small and large-scale paintings over the last few years.
Godly studied as a painter at the Basel School of Art from 1982 until 1986, but then worked as a professional photographer for 18 years. He only returned to painting in 2007 and it would seem his photographic work has had a subtle influence on his abstract painting. The artist most recently had exhibitions at Gallery Luciano Fasciati and Tony Wuethrich Gallery in Switzerland, and you can see many more paintings on his website. (via OEN, A Wash of Black)
sol H, detail
sol 13, 2013, 35×28 cm
sol 16, 2013, 75×60 cm
sol 43, 2013, 85×70 cm
sol 56, 2013, 47×40 cm
sol 15, 2013, 67×50 cm
tony wuethrich satellite, zürich
Born in Hanoi, artist Phan Thu Trang paints decorative landscapes inspired by images of the city and Northern villages of Vietnam. In her colorful yet minimalistic paintings she works with limited colors and textures, focusing on only bare essentials to create each piece centered around billowing, pointillistic trees. See more of her work over at ArtBlue Studio in Singapore, and if you enjoyed these also check out Lieu Nguyen Huong Duong. (via Art of Animation)
Equally versatile in medium, canvas, and subject matter, Spanish artist Pejac seems comfortable working on the smallest drawing to the largest outdoor mural. While his ideas and motivations are often crystal clear, it is his minimalism and subtractive techniques that make his work truly stand out. His figures are often rendered only in silhouette or fine lines and familiar patterns like bricks or the folds of the human brain are transformed into flocks of birds or the branches of trees.
You can see much more of his work on Facebook and learn a bit more over on Arrested Motion.
Inspired in part by the 8-bit graphics of old Atari and Nintendo video games from his youth, artist Adam Lister paints quirky watercolor interpretations of pop culture icons, art world happenings, and famous paintings. Trying to describe his style can be difficult as it’s not quite digital and it’s not quite Cubism (though maybe it’s a tad Etch A Sketch?). While all of Lister’s works are distinctly humorous, many are also strangely nostalgic, recalling moments from the recent past including comic book characters, Star Wars references, and even numerous interpretations of iconic TV painter Bob Ross.
Lister has several limited edition prints available on his website, and his work most recently appeared as part of a group show at Catalyst Gallery. He’s also turned several pieces into 3D printed objects. (via Yatzer, Huffington Post)
Mona Lisa at the Louvre
The Selling of “The Scream”
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
Artist Samantha Keely Smith paints abstract oceanic landscapes that are at once menacing and serene, a clash of light and color that she refers to as “internal landscapes.” Using oil paint, enamel, and shellac, Smith uses an additive and subtractive process by partially destroying her progress several times before completion. This cyclical process, much like the timeless crash of ocean tides against the shore, adds an additional level of texture to her work. She shares in a 2013 interview with NeverLazy Magazine:
My images are not at all real places or even inspired by real places. They are emotional and psychological places. Internal landscapes, if you will. The tidal pull and power of the ocean makes sense to me in terms of expressing these things, and I think that is why some of the work has a feel of water about it. My work speaks of things that are timeless, and I think that for most of us the ocean represents something timeless.
Currently based in New York, Smith generally doesn’t work with galleries but instead interacts directly with collectors. You can see more recent work on Tumblr and Facebook. (via My Modern Met, Incomplete)
Cattedrale di Milano (2014). Oil on canvas, 40 x 40in.
Manhattan (2013). Oil on panel, 35 x 48in.
Driving on Madison Avenue (2013). Oil on panel, 48 x 24in.
Broadway and West 25th (2013). Oil on panel, 24 x 16.5in.
Duomo di Milano (2012) Oil on linen, 39 x 56in. / Facade (2012). Oil on panel, 24 x 30in.
Bivio (2011). Oil on panel, 40 x 24in.
La Strada (2014). Oil on panel, 48 x 40in.
It’s hard not to get lost in these dramatically blurred architectural renderings and cityscapes of New York and Italy by Italian painter Valerio D’Ospina (previously). The artist transforms the street The Pennsylvania-based artist most recently had a show last year at Mason Murer, and you can now follow him on Facebook and Instagram. (This Isn’t Happiness)