painting

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Art Illustration

Layered Paintings by Betsy Walton Build Memory into Colorful Explorations of the Pacific Northwest

January 17, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Betsy Walton loosely imitates the landscape of Portland, Oregon in paintings infused with geodesic rocks and female subjects dressed as spellbinding goddesses. Walton works in layers, leaving some areas of the paintings bare with minimal sketches, while others have been painted, mixed with new media, or patched over multiple times.

“I paint over old versions of images so that there is a kind of memory to the painting,” she explains to Colossal. “I like being able to create an image that slowly unfolds. My hope is that a person looking at the finished work is able to have a long relationship with the image—lots of nuance to discover over time.”

Although Portland’s winters have become a primary point of inspiration, Walton likes to also bring in elements of travel by including flora that exist outside of the Pacific Northwest. She also includes natural phenomena or invisible structures that we might not see in everyday life, such as winding tree roots or the ribs of a female subject. “In each painting I am working through a kind of mindfulness process wherein I try to stay faithful to my ideas as they arise, even if I can’t explain it or it seems like a hard turn from where I started,” she explains. “It’s a delicate dance between unconditional acceptance of new ideas and subsequent editing phases where I try to refine the image and gain more clarity in the expression of the image’s story. ”

Walton’s first solo exhibition will open in May 2020 at Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland. You can view more of her paintings on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Head Instructor: A New Glass Sculpture by Thomas Medicus Analyzes the Human Mind Through Four Anamorphic Images

January 15, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Thomas Medicus (previously) is a master of illusion. The Austria-based artist builds sculptures from segments of painted and hand-cut glass which present a different image depending on which angle you view the rotating cube. In his most recent work, Head Instructor, concept follows form. The piece presents several viewpoints of an androgynous human’s head, showcasing the hidden thoughts and viewpoints that might occupy one’s mind.

“In Head Instructor I tried to show that when you look at a person, a brain, or the world, what you will see always depends on your perspective and the method you use,” he explains to Colossal. “There are always facets that will remain fragmented or hidden when you only approach from only one side.” You can take a look behind-the-scenes of how one of his hand-painted panels is constructed on Vimeo, and see more of his perspective-altering work on Instagram and Facebook. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

Discarded Books Get a Second Chance in Mike Stilkey’s Towering Installations

January 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photo c/o Starfield Library

Photo c/o Starfield Library

While libraries are certainly safe havens for books, the always-evolving taste of readers and the inevitable wear and tear on each tome means that many books are eventually phased out and destined for the dumpster. Los Angeles native Mike Stilkey (previously) works with local libraries to give those books a second chance with his massive art installations. Stilkey arranges the faces and spines of books in groupings of varying size, ranging from a half dozen staked together to thousands-tall-towers that fill public spaces. With a combination of colored pencil, ink, paint, and lacquer, he then paints lively characters using the books as his canvas. The colors, sizes, and titles offer unique blends of backgrounds for dancing couples (both human and feline), dapper birds, and bicycling bears.

Stilkey uses fanciful colors and anthropomorphized animals to add a sense of timeless whimsy to his paintings, which have been exhibited throughout the US. The artist has also traveled the world to create site-specific installations in South Korea, Italy, Switzerland, China, and the Philippines. He will be installing a new work at the LA Art Show in Los Angeles, California from January 23 – 27, 2019. You can see more of his work on Instagram and Facebook. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art

Swirling Gestural Marks Create Cinematic Scenes by Painter Wilhelm Sasnal

January 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Multi-disciplinary artist Wilhelm Sasnal explores contemporary visual culture by working with found images sourced from newspapers, magazines, and the internet. Sasnal’s paintings juxtapose broad swirling brush strokes with precise, flatly rendered details. Abstracted landscapes surround small human and animal figures in limited color palettes. Although the artist frequently works in oil on canvas, his work also spans acrylic and watercolor paintings and filmmaking.

In an artist statement on Hauser and Wirth gallery’s website, Sasnal explains, “I think images aren’t important because of the numbers that surround us. But painting has a chance. There is always painting, like there’s song. I don’t think it needs speculation as to whether it is alive or dead.” Sasnal lives and works in Kraków, Poland. You can see more of the artist’s work on the websites of Hauser & Wirth and Anton Kern Gallery.

 

 



Art

Watch a Conservator Delicately Remove Murky Varnish and a Warped Wooden Panel From an Aging Painting

December 28, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Julian Baumgartner, of Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration in Chicago, condenses over 40 hours of delicate swiping, scraping, and paint retouching into a 11.5 minute narrated video of a recent conservation project. Baumgartner walks the audience through his restoration of The Assassination of Archimedes, which involved cleaning a darkened varnish from the surface of the piece, removing the work from its original wooden panel using both modern and traditional techniques, mounting the thin paper-based painting to acid-free board, and finally touching up small areas that had become worn over the years. You can watch the entire process in the video above, and learn about Baumgartner’s other conservation projects on Instagram and Youtube.

 

 



Art

Oil Paintings by Clive Head Layer Gestures to Express the Passage of Time

December 21, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

British artist Clive Head captures the complex beauty of everyday movements in his dizzying oil paintings. His long career has seen a dramatic evolution of his style, from early work in the tradition of Realism to more recent math-inspired works. Head first gained prominence in the 1990s for his Realist urban landscapes, but began to experiment with spatial mathematics in the 2000’s, sparking his current intuitive style.

“Rejecting the conventions of perspective, the resulting panoramas seamlessly merged different spaces into plausible but impossible totalities,” a statement on the artist’s website explains. Often set in cities, Head’s painting’s depict travelers on public transit or customers at coffee shops, environments where frequent and dense movements are natural. Each painting contains fractured gestures that demonstrate changes in time, while also presenting a psychological perspective.

The artist, who lives and works in York, U.K., has exhibited his paintings widely, and previously founded and chaired the Fine Art department at U.C.Scarbrough for York University. In addition to painting, Head also works in printmaking, drawing, and has published essays on painting. You can explore more of the artist’s work on his website. (via Hi-Fructose)

 

 



Art

Hundreds of Artists Scale Down Their Work for Giant Robot’s 14th Annual Post-It Show

December 20, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Image via Mark Todd

Image via Mark Todd

This December marked the 14th annual Post-It Show held by Los Angeles-based gallery Giant Robot. Each year the exhibition gathers thousands of scaled down artworks from emerging and established artists, and sells each one of the 3 x 3 inch pieces for $25. Over four hundred artists participated in this year’s exhibition, including works by Yoskay Yamamoto, James Jean, HuntzAnthony Zinonos, Hayley Powers Thornton-Kennedy, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and many, many more. Although a majority of the included artists decided to simply paint or draw directly onto the miniature canvas, others like Sean Chao add their own spin, placing a miniature clay raccoon through a small hole in the orange paper as if the sculpture is bursting through.

Despite the creative takes on the exhibition’s premise, each artist starts with the same prompt and medium, and their work is sold for the same flat fee. “I think Post-its are great since they’re ubiquitous items that people doodle on and at the same time provides a great medium that confines but at the same time challenges,” Giant Robot owner Eric Nakamura told My Modern Met.

Post-It Show 14 ended earlier this month, but you can still browse works created for the exhibition on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

Work by Sean Chao, image via @giantrobot

Work by Sean Chao, image via @giantrobot

Post It Show 14 installation, image via @giantrobot

Post It Show 14 installation, image via @giantrobot

Post-it by Huntz

Post-it by Huntz

Image by @apbozalis

Image by @apbozalis

Image by Mark Toddy, post-its by Anthony Zinonos

Image by Mark Todd, post-its by Anthony Zinonos

Post It Show 14 installation, image via @giantrobot

Post It Show 14 installation, image via @giantrobot

Post-its by Yoskay Yamamoto

Post-its by Yoskay Yamamoto