Colossal

Interview: Lisa Ericson Dives into the Threat of the Climate Crisis and Why She Chooses Magic Over Scientific Accuracy

October 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Anchor.” All images © Lisa Ericson, shared with permission

In her hyperrealistic paintings, artist Lisa Ericson (previously) spotlights the myriad ways animal life and the natural world are connected, a theme she depicts by positioning various species on the backs of others and explains in a new interview. The vivid composites group marine and land creatures in unusual combinations that defy boundaries of habitat and authentic interactions.

The underlying subject matter may be based on a real-world issue (coral bleaching, habitat erosion, etc.), but my take on it is not scientific, and I won’t sacrifice the impact of the image for the sake of scientific exactitude. I like to spin the story in whatever way creates the most visual and emotional impact for the viewer.

In the conversation with managing editor Grace Ebert, Ericson speaks to how COVID-19 has affected her work, the destruction caused by the ongoing climate crisis, and why she forgoes a wholly realistic approach to her paintings. Thanks to the generous support of Colossal Members, our interview series is available to all readers.

 

“Safe Passage”

 

 



Illustration

A Curious Whale Explores Dry Land in Quirky, Melancholic Illustrations by Xuan Loc Xuan

October 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Xuan Loc Xuan, shared with permission

In a whimsical narrative by Xuan Loc Xuan, an adventurous whale named Lucille traverses a bustling urban center, densely populated forest, and other dry-land locales on her search for a new home. The Ho Chi Minh City-based illustrator renders the marine mammal in a range of playful and melancholic scenes, either resting on a bed of flowers or trapped alone in a city as the sun sets. Titled The Whale Gets Stuck, the vivid series chronciles the whale’s journey that’s ripe with nostalgia and longing for her ocean home, a tale Xuan tells in her book Babà la balena in città, which is printed in Italian.

Shop prints of the illustrator’s quirky pieces on Pinlze or at Toi Gallery, and find two of her other children’s books, Giant: A Panda of the Enchanted Forest and Snowy: A Leopard of the High Mountains, on Bookshop. Head to Behance and Instagram to keep up with Xuan’s latest story-based projects.

 

 

 



Photography

Serene Photographs Frame the Fleeting Beauty of Light, Water, and Other Natural Elements

October 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Cig Harvey, shared with permission

Cig Harvey is adept at spotting both nature’s sublime qualities and the beauty in mundane moments. The serene shots frequently feature a human intervention, like outstretched arms spotted with dots of light from a disco ball hung in Harvey’s home or a compost pile heaped with vibrant produce scraps. Spanning nearly 20 years of her practice, the photographs shown here frame instances of serendipity, whether showcasing bright pink azaleas briefly pressed against foggy glass or the sun gleaming on a dark body of water.

This year, Harvey was named one of the recipients of the Maine in America award, which annually honors artists who’ve made a considerable contribution to Maine’s role in American art. Explore more of the photographer’s images capturing the every day on Instagram and her site

 

 

 



Food

Piped in Geometric and Ornate Patterns, Buttercream Blankets Shag Cakes by Alana Jones-Mann

October 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Alana Jones-Mann, shared with permission

Los Angeles-based designer and stylist Alana Jones-Mann (previously) pipes thick buttercream onto her layered cakes, creating pastries that are closer in resemblance to lush floor coverings than typical birthday fare. From high-pile, ornate sheets to vibrant geometric rounds, the pointillist-style cakes often have a retro aesthetic that evokes either classic shag rugs or the psychedelic, wall-to-wall carpet popular in the 1970s.

To try your hand at similarly luxuriant frosting, Jones-Mann shares a range of DIY projects and glimpses her process on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Monochromatic Illustrations Personify the Power of the Sun and Moon through Fictional Deities

October 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Sara Golish, shared with permission

In her ethereal portraits, Toronto-based artist Sara Golish (previously) renders lavishly adorned goddesses and gods that exude a sense of power and wisdom. The charcoal, conté, and ink drawings are part of two ongoing collections, titled Sundust and Moondust, that imagine a series of fictional deities. Each figure belongs to one of the celestial bodies, a correlation that the artist visualizes through the paper’s color, with a warmer beige for the sun and a cool gray for the moon. “I chose to keep them monochromatic so they could be imagined in any skin tone to each individual viewer’s liking—an ease to envision themselves,” the artist says.

In recent months, Golish has been working on commissions and new bodies of work across mediums, which you can follow on Instagram. To add one of the mythical portraits to your collection, see what’s available in her shop.

 

 

 



Photography

In Flight: Dramatic Photographs by Mark Harvey Capture Acrobatic Birds Mid-Air

October 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mark Harvey, shared with permission

Throughout lockdown in the United Kingdom, Mark Harvey, who is known for his striking equine and canine photography, shifted his focus to the avian creatures gliding above his home in the Norfolk Broads. Now part of a series titled In Flight, the exquisitely detailed shots frame common birds —including magpies, blue tits, starlings, goldfinches, great tits, coal tits, long-tailed tits, and green finches—in otherwise unseen poses: some splay out an entire wingspan, while others wrap their feathers around the front of their torsos.

Hearkening back to the methods of famed birdwatcher Victor Hasselblad, Harvey employed similar techniques to capture the dramatic shots. He used a slow, medium format with the same camera Hasselblad manufactured for the outdoor endeavor, taking just one image at a time.

Harvey just released limited edition prints of the In Flight series, which are available in a run of 15 per subject in his shop, and shares more of his striking horse and pup portraits on Instagram. (via Creative Boom)

 

 

 

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