Friday, February 29, 2008

etsy shop: MultiPolar
listing: ITS OK
artist: Sighn

The Etsy shop, MultiPolar, is run by MultiPolar Projects, a loosely collaborative collective who represents various artists in Chicago.

"ITS OK" is a hand-cut sculpture which is a "limited" edition series of 1 million. The phrase "it's ok" has a universal appeal that can refer to countless things which ties in perfectly to the massive scale of this edition. The artist, Sighn, provides some great insight in this video.

Here's a transcript of the video:

I wanted to make sure that whatever phrase I picked I would want to cut out and repeat a million times. So I was careful of what phrase I picked out and really felt that "it's ok" was the perfect mantra to repeat over and over again.

One of the reasons for working on this project was to use up all the scrap pieces from larger projects and all the found materials that have been building up in my studio. The first 500 are really out of an interesting array of all sorts of different types of wood that have come through my life in the last 5 to 10 years. There's quite a bit of prep work before cutting the piece as far as pulling together all the materials and cutting them all to the same general size.

So as a completely entire edition, I've begun to standardize the process. I took the original and had it photocopied to create a template for the project. All the copies are placed on a piece of paper stuck to the wood. Even though there is a template, each piece is hand-cut creating a unique piece in and of itself. The actual cutting of the piece itself is quite therapeutic doing the same thing over and over again.

The most exciting part in the entire process is when you're able to remove the positive from the negative. And then it actually finally exists. All that hard work is worth it.

I keep all the reverse pieces for authenticity as well as keeping a record for myself to prove to me that I actually did it. So it's my physical record for myself. And when the entire edition is complete, I'd like to show them all together. A million times. It's OK.

Even though I'm cutting out so many of these, I'm very careful to make sure that they'll still refined. Each piece comes with a hand-numbered card explaining a little bit more about the project. I really enjoy the close to impossible challenge that this project creates. This project will definitely grow old with me because it will probably take my entire life to create.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

etsy shop: hisss
listing: Charles

From the Etsy Description:

This is Charles. He is stern, reclusive, and enjoys a good cigar. His favorite subjects are geology and biology. His favorite animals are mockingbirds and turtles. Is anybody catching on?

Hi, Charles.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

etsy shop: MSArt
listing: Dirt Road
artist: Melanie Plummer

Melanie Plummer is a digital painter whose works possess a surreal sense of fluidity. It's surreal because of the duality between digital and reality. The paintings have a strong sense of highly glossed polish that suggests a digital realm. At the same time, the way that she shapes her paintings strongly suggests a human painterly movement and weight.

"Dirt Road" is a great example of her mastered techniques in Fluid Surrealism. It's abstract in its pure visual forms with oozing and dripping shapes streaking across a velvet-like surface. Yet it's also a depiction of a landscape which offers another level of Surrealism. It's a co-existence of representing reality and simplified abstract decadence.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

etsy shop: gogokittenart
listing: ORIGINAL INK DRAWING Circle 5

gogokittenart offers original drawings unique to Etsy. They are highly detailed original drawings featuring repetitive black and white forms. She used a rapidograph for these drawings. Ah, the good ol' Rapidograph. In today's digital age, it's great to see artists committed to the Rapidograph.


Monday, February 25, 2008

etsy shop: printsdrawings
listing: Woodcut
artist: unknown

"Woodcut" is a sophisticated study into the physical attributes of a wood plank and man's role in such. The imagery of wood grain is the result of mankind's involvement in handling this form of nature. To see wood grain, the wood must first be sawed. "Woodcut" investigates this relationship between man and nature.

Shown in "Woodcut" is a print taken from a milled slice of wood displaying the natural wood grain. This is "over-laid with original hard ground etching in black" as the artist states. This hard ground etching interprets the visual properties of the wood grain and it's quite a refined study.

In addition to mimicking the repetitive qualities of wood grain, there's a sort of structured human elements within. I offer two interpretations. 1: The bottom of the print is reminiscent of a two story structure with various pillars speaking to wood's role in architecture. 2: The vertical forms also say "bookshelves" to me which ties perfectly into the wood theme because books are made of paper.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

etsy shop: margins
listing: Language Barrier
artist: Evalynn

The recognizable image of a telephone in "Language Barrier" on the medium of a Japanese-English dictionary are decisive tools to symbolize the communication gap exisiting throughout the world. The use of a vintage telephone speaks to this gap's long existence.

By allowing ample space around the phone silhouette, it leaves that space open exploration whether it's by simply enjoying the translucent nature of the red paint or to represent the environment around the phone as it may show the eager anticipation to answer the phone; which brings up a good point. The phone is not being used. What use is it to use a phone to speak to a person who knows only Japanese when you only know English? In the end, the phone remains unused and there's no communication being made and worlds are closed off. Damn, that's symbolic.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

etsy shop: Andrzejewski
listing: Hungry Monkey
artist: Christine Andrzejewski

It's back-to-back monkey profiles on "Hungry Monkey" is an original, one-off artwork from a series called "Wild Animals". In addition to a monkey raiding the fridge there's a leopard jamming to a vintage tape player, a bear behind a classic video camera, and other various creatures. A wild bunch indeed.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

etsy shop: archdelineator
listing: Champion Chimp
artist: Zack Raithel

I felt inclined to do a little monkey safari on Etsy. It's about time featured a monkey. I was expecting to find cutesy, goofy monkeys jumping about. And I did. However, I stumbled across a mature, sombering gorilla painted by Zack Raithel.

The title "Champion Chimp" is intriguing for this ape's lugubrious state. What makes this Chimp a champion? It's hard to avoid the notion of the red splattered spray paint representing blood. Perhaps this loathing gorilla is chilling from a flagrant confrontation with a lesser male. Or perhaps I'm being too judgmental. Maybe he's a gentle introspective giant whose heart was broken by his mate. I'm glad to find such a mysterious primate on Etsy.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

etsy shop: EricFreitas
listing: Quartz No.1
artist: Eric Freitas

Eric's Etsy bio frames his work well:

I'm an artist who ambitiously dove into the dying realm of clockmaking to execute an idea, and show a slice of a world I wish existed- a dark, decaying hyper mechanistic world where gears are grown, machines have souls, and even something as logical and precise as a clock can be compromised by ungoverned subconscious thought.

Be sure to check out the details of "Quartz No.1". They are excruciatingly superlative.


Monday, February 18, 2008

etsy shop: bluesunlight
listing: aopaceo023
artist: Bluesunlight

Bluesunlight's aopaceo (acrylic on paper ACEO) paintings capture a moment of strong, aggressive exertion. Rendered as a visual carving of space against an empty, sterile white field, it's important to recall such dynamic forms slash about in a delicate 2.5 x 3.5" arena.

All at once these paintings are purposeful, yet natural. Bluesunlight's Etsy bio states, "So far these works are being generated using acrylic paint and fine gauge steel wire rolled, pushed, pulled, and slid horizontally across the page." So incidental elements of nature help develop details within the work while strong elements of control are clearly defined in the overall shapes.

I choose "aopaceo023" for this feature because I enjoyed it's architectural elements. Sure enough Bluesunlight works at an architectural firm by day. Ha. In fact, all his paintings have certain architectural undertones complemented by vigorous juts and swooshes of liquid paint.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Etsy shop: TinyArtbyJMullin
listing: Diminutive Improv - Tiny Original Watercolor
artist: J. Mullin

I have to admit that when I saw the title for today's feature that I didn't know what "diminutive" meant. defines "diminutive" as "small; little; tiny". That makes sense since J. Mullin's etsy shop is called "TinyArtbyJMullin". And get a load of this. "Diminutive Improv" is only 1.5 x 2.25". Did Picasso ever make a painting that small? I don't think so.

I mention the uber-famous Spainish painter because Mullin's work is post-Cubist. There's some interpretation of three-dimensional subject matter in the painting. In the sorta-center of the painting is a profile of a face. However, "Diminutive Improv" breaks away from Cubism in that it doesn't offer different vantage points of the same subject matter. Instead there's a collection of graphical shapes merging together, some iconic such as hearts and others purely graphical such as swirls and jagged shapes. As a result, "Diminutive Improv" has countless fun nooks and crannies from which to explore; all jammed into a diminutive 1.5" x 2.25" space.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

etsy shop: artstudio
listing: Paris Reflections
artist: Marie Louise Eriksen

"Paris Reflections" offers different observations into the culture of Paris.

The color palette is quite sophisticated. The turquoise looks great with the dark brown. It speaks to the prevailing intellect of Paris. The colors also dance about on the surface in a vibrant fashion reflecting Paris' liveliness.

I'm curious about the use of an English newspaper as the substrate. It harkens to the 20th century development of the United States becoming the world leader in great abstract artists. This painting tells us that Paris pays homage to those great American artists. (At least that's how I interpret it.)


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

etsy shop: konyskiw
listing: Earth Tones
artist: Kim Onyskiw

Kim's Etsy bio states: "I like acrylic paints, I like stripes, and I like painting lots of little animals on them." Her etsy shop features many cartoon paintings of animals, but her abstract stripe painting is the focus of this feature.

The soft, blurry background contrasts well with the solid, parallel geometric bars. These elements are fused together by the monochromatic color palette with a focal touch of gold which adds another elemental dimension.

Any sort of association can be developed from this series. Candy bars? Skyscrapers? Fashionable robots?


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

etsy shop: casagalleria
listing: Humble flower
artist: Katie Alleva

Katie is brand spankin' new to Etsy. I enjoy giving exposure to excellent artists who are new to Etsy. Since the inception of this blog three weeks ago, I have profiled several new Etsyians including lesbusstudio, nayarts, BergmansBear, phraser, littlehalfhead, polaroidsandpinholes, finalapproach, and louisartworld. Now I can add Katie Alleva's casagalleria shop to that great list.

Katie's shop features delicate collages depicting organic forms in basic geometrical forms. The modest size of the pieces lend a personable touch which compliments the discreet and friendly subject matter portrayed in simple, unobtrusive forms resulting in a timeless, serene series.

From Katie's Shop Announcement and bio:

My name is Katie Alleva. I live in Australia and I have been in love with all things beautiful and arty for as long as I can remember!!!! My aim is to make art with integrity and with my heart.
The name Casa Galleria came from the idea of opening up my house as a gallery so I could exhibit without all the red-tape, commissions and consignments that commercial art galleries live by. I have Italian heritage so I was inspired to change 'House Gallery' to 'Casa Galleria.'

She has a couple photos of her home studio at her blogspot site. It's always interesting to see active studios.


Monday, February 11, 2008

etsy shop: lebusstudio
artist: Cinda LeBus

From Cinda's Description for this listing:

CENTER OF CHAOS, by artist Cinda LeBus, is a digitally-rendered art print in vibrant warm tones. This stunning fractal image explores the false-dichotomy of order and chaos; the unpredictable path of the unknown merging with the absolute truth of stability and harmony in all things. This piece is an artistic interpretation of an archetype that is universal.

I like having Cinda's work follow Friday's feature of Las Vegas' Nay. It's quite a contrast. Though interestingly enough, both featured pieces from Cinda and Nay coincidentally have the same color palette.


Friday, February 8, 2008

etsy shop: NayArts
artist: Nay

Outsider Artist, Nay, from Las Vegas, sounds like a fun and interesting person to have lunch with. Nay's word paintings are based on his experiences in life whether it's his personal thoughts or things he hears from friends or passersby.

I did a similar series a couple years ago on playing cards with a hole-punched moose speaking different thoughts. Seeing Nay's work makes me want to continue this autobiographical/biographical series.

Nay's word paintings are best viewed as a collective whole. The more paintings you look at, the more you can crawl into Nay's mind and see what's going on. It's a fun ride. I find it hopelessly addicting not only looking at each painting, but reading extra insight provided in the Description field. "WE JUST FIRED HIM" is a good example of his curious side. Here's what Nay has to say about this painting:

This little gem comes from my mind. One day while shopping at my fave store I asked Hey, why don't you have the bread I like most? They responded "we just fired our bakery manager for drinkin on the job"- so that's what it means to me.

Other paintings are quite philosophical including, "TOO MANY PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE A PROXY FOR GOD" and "SET YOURSELF BACK TO ZERO". While other paintings push conventional thinking and are easily offensive. But that's part of the value of Nay's art. It makes us think about things.

Nay's style of painting is quick and energetic. This matches the expressive nature of the statements themselves. He has a lot of thoughts running through his head and needs to get them down on canvas in a quick manner.

It's great to see a wide range of ideas in Nay's paintings from gutsy and gritty to introspective to playful. It's a dynamic range that makes the whole of Nay's work a delight to experience.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

etsy shop: BergmansBear
listing: The Folding Field (oil on canvas, 12x9)
artist: Carrie Bergman

Upon first viewing Carrie Bergman's "The Folding Field", it's clear this is no ordinary landscape. Mysterious spike forms gather below an even more mysterious architectural form resembling a house or barn hovering in an ominously, yet active gray sky.

Carrie Bergman's Etsy Description for "The Folding Field" expands on the story:

This is a place where the land is bored with being flat. It wants to stretch up into the sky. The sky also wants to be closer to the land; it is forming a shape of a house or tent to shelter the little land-spikes. The severe shape of the land-spikes looks unnatural, but after making this painting I learned that there are undersea mountains (seamounts) shaped like this.

This relationship between land and sky is seen in her other paintings. Some scenes are tranquil. Others share similar enigmatic settings with "The Folding Field". I was tempted to feature one of Carrie's circle paintings. That series is rich in symbolism, but I will save that feature for another day.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

etsy shop: phraser
listing: Louis Armstrong candid portrait in two tone wood
artist: Drake

Drake's etsy shop, phraser, currently features three unique portraits on oak plywood. I am very impressed by the technique used on all three. Each portrait is "done on high quality oak ply, stained with a gun stock base coat and then a mahogany top coat for all of the dark areas," as described by Drake. I've tried doing something very similar in the past by "painting" stain onto various woods to create high contrast graphic portrait. I failed miserably. The stain bleeds like mad even if you use strong tape as a masking agent. I don't know what gun stock base is, but it does a great job. I'm happy to see someone make this technique work.

The feature of this blog post is Drake's "Louis Armstrong candid portrait in two tone wood". There's an ample amount of compelling things going on in this painting. (Yes, I call it a painting because he painted on the stain.) There's a great sense of depth in this portrait which is a nice visual play because of the high contrast imagery and simplified color palette. The seat of the chair against the wall is crucial in defining the depth.

The chair also serves an excellent background from which to define Armstrong's trumpet. I'd love to see tighter details of the trumpet area. I'm just amazed at how much detail Drake was able to attain with this staining technique.

Whether intentionally done or not, the background is partially defined by a wall which speaks to the use of oak plywood. It's subtly implied that the wall is made of oak.

And the most alluring aspect of this painting is the reflection in the mirror of Armstrong. It allows us to see two interesting portraits. The first is the large, dominant portrait of Armstrong on the left with its sharp details defined by open light. The other is smaller, subdued, mysterious mirror image bathed in darkness.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

etsy shop: leeluandpiggy
listing: whipped
artist: Amy

Amy's paintings are tightly cropped realist studies which echo the early work of James Rosenquist. He was one of the leaders of the Pop Art movement in the 1960s. Amy and Rosenquist share the same slick, almost airbrushed painting style. Both artists also paint their subject matter in a tightly cropped manner focusing on certain details which results in a strong, graphically appealing image.

Rosenquist and Amy differ in that Rosenquist infused many images together on an enormously large scale often resulting in social commentary. Based on Amy's shop items, she prefers to keep the paintings intimate in size while focusing on a singular image. If you like the cherry painting shown above, then be sure to check out her donut paintings. She did a great job of capturing the lustrous glaze.


Monday, February 4, 2008

etsy shop: littlehalfhead
listing: Sinking-Original Artwork
artist: unknown

littlehalfhead sells monochromatic surrealistic original pen and ink drawings. My favorite of his current batch on etsy is "Sinking", because it's the most mysterious from my perspective. The horizon defines the representation of an environment setting suggesting the two spiraling forms are objects. Yet, there's a delicate vertical line dividing the space perhaps eluding to a before and after further puncuating the title, "Sinking" suggests that the form is, well sinking somehow. What the form exactly is and why it's sinking is up to the viewer to decide and I love that. It's a very curious work that I enjoy contemplating.

Other works in littlehalfhead's shop include menacing, yet exquisite insects, mechanical little half heads (reference to the etsy shop name), and chairs with mammothly lanky legs. All of which have a whispering minimalistic quality that is a nice contrast to the crazy, surreal subject matter.


Friday, February 1, 2008

etsy shop: polaroidsandpinholes
listing: Marble motion no. 2 10x8 print
artist: Rowena Dugdale

PHOTOGRAMS! PHOTOGRAMS! PHOTOGRAMS! I love photograms and Rowena Dugdale does great justice for this artform from the darkroom. What's a photogram you ask? Rowena explains it well in her Etsy bio:

For the darkroom work, objects are placed onto photographic paper and exposed with light. It's an intensive, dark, claustrophobic and chemical working method but I love the physical and tactile way of working in contrast to the clean, dry and somewhat detached digital process sitting in front of my mac. Like the delicious static on a vinyl record, any dust specks, light leaks, torn edges or quirks are an integral and honest part of the process and character of this body of work and have been deliberately left in rather than airbrushed out.

Both Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy, independent of each other, pioneered this field of cameraless photography in the 1920s. Man Ray self-absorbingly preferred to call the medium "rayographs" while Moholy-Nagy preferred the name "photogram". Moholy-Nagy is one of my favorite artists of all time. There have been many artists throughout time that have changed the way we look at light. Some of the artists on that short list include Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, and László Moholy-Nagy.

Rowena Dugdale proudly continues the experimental spirit left by Moholy-Nagy. She pushes the medium in new directions. Her marble photograms demonstrate this by "introducing movement into the static environment of the traditional photogram process", as Dugdale explains in the Etsy Description of the photogram shown above. Visit her website, and you'll more imaginative images including photographs from a Pringles tube she rigged. Simply brillant.

Her prints are filled with enchanting mystery and endless creative spirit. polaroidsandpinholes is a true asset of the Etsy community. Etsy needs more artists like Rowena Dugdale.