Lizzy Stewart is a British illustrator who makes incredibly charming images. Inspired by Eastern European folk art and medieval painting, her drawings are wonderfully flat and full of simple shapes. Her work reminds me of some of her contemporaries like Pia Bramley and Carson Ellis, all of whom practically force a better mood on their viewer. Aside from her drawing and painting, Stewart makes graphic novel-style books as well. A lot of her stuff is available for sale in the store on her website too, so if you haven’t donated all your extra dough to the Red Cross’ Sandy recovery efforts, you can do some one stop christmas shopping and support a young burgeoning artist all in one foul swoop! (via)
Northwest artists Lenae Day and Kelly Björk are opening their new show tonight (Nov 1), at the Corridor Gallery in Seattle, with the ultra charming title Space Blanket / Space Cadet. For the show, Day spent a month in Florida studying the lives of astronauts’ wives to create a body of work that combines short stories with re-created photographs, playing every model herself. Björk makes large, energetic pieces that combine her love for contour drawings with still life portraiture and the colorful patterns in the blankets we covet. The show sounds like a ton of fun. If you’re in the Seattle area, you should check it out! The reception will have live readings by Day, but if you can’t make it, the show will be up through the first of December. Here’s the PR:
“Inspired by the people around her and the devices they use to soothe themselves, Kelly Bjork’s drawings depict weightless humans, surrounded by blankets and floating in comfort. When creating these pieces, Bjork had her subjects lounge on her couch for hours, each with their blanket of choice. Color is used to highlight the geometric shapes in the blankets, creating a colorful, abstract cloud in which her subjects lay.
Lenae Day re-stages old images from magazines by playing all of the characters herself and making most of her costumes and props. The images and stories in this show deal with the Mercury Seven Astronaut’s Wives, the Mercury Thirteen (women pilots who went through astronaut testing, but were not allowed to participate in the space program) and herself somewhere in-between. These works are a part of the forthcoming edition of “DAY MAGAZINE,” her third magazine produced in this fashion that will be released with a subsequent West Coast tour in 2013.” ( via )
Winnie Truong’s drawings are at once intricate, interesting, and funny. Fittingly, she has a lot of people recognizing her talent. Not only is she featured with big beautiful drawings and an interview in our Book 7 humor issue, she has a show at Galerie Trois Points from now until November 10. So, if you’re a fan, i’d suggest an impulsive Montreal vacation and picking up our Book 7 for plane reading. Happy travels!
Michelle MacKinnon‘s photorealistic portraits use the human face to investigate secrets and their relation to the idea of public/private. The artist explains:
“The series is a combination of a list of exposed secrets, and with no direct link to them, portraits of the sitters expressing their emotions/reactions to their listed secret. Provoked by the idea of confession, this series will explore the public/private relation of people and the exposition of their secrets. By anonymously submitting secrets to the artist and later posing for a portrait depicting their secret, this series strikes an interesting note of juxtaposition between the public and private sphere of secrecy. Publically, these secrets, and therefore their keepers, have been indirectly exposed. Out of instinctive human nature, curiosity drives the viewer to either intuitively match the portrait to their secret, or become empathetic to the portrait deriving from relation to their own secrets. Privately, the confession becomes an outlet for the sitter; a chance to formally acknowledge and confront their secret, yet knowing that, though it may be assumed, no one but themselves will be entirely accurate as to which secret is theirs. It becomes a veiled breach of the private into the public and a connection without fact; after all, we all have secrets.” – Michelle Mackinnon
Katie Scott is an illustrator and printmaker from England. Her works are equal parts 19th century science illustration and tarot card mysticism. Once you look at them long enough, all plants, and living organisms in general, start looking like inspired sculptures. Check out everything on her website, then go to the park and look at the plants!
Ryan Samuel Carr is a native artist/illustrator of Ventura, California. Ryan’s beautiful line work and dreamy figurative elements remain a constant reoccurring theme throughout his extensive body of work. When I look at Ryan’s work, even if the subject matter is just the roots in a pile of weeds he always seems to capture a rare and very sincere moment only hinting at whatever secrets the particular root, or bed of flowers have to say. Ryan’s unique line work evokes so much feeling and emotional manifestations. Ryan shares a bit of his mark making process in this direct quote from the talented young artist himself:
“I think a lot about the ‘immediacy’ of drawing (with ink and pencils), and the individual mark in a moment of time; what that all says…it’s very mystical and meditative for me.”
Sarah Burwash‘s watercolors weave elements of the past and the present. Her compositions read like narratives, merging elements of community, tradition, and gender into modern mythologies.
Mikie Poland does what he wants, and that is awesome. Some might read this and think that it’s juvenile, but in a world where most people play a passive role in their own lives – I’m truly inspired by someone who is willing to pursue their passions with everything they have at their disposal. Poland is on the road about half the year touring with one of the two bands he plays in (Giving Up or State Champion), and spends much of his remaining time working odd jobs and helping to promote Sophomore Lounge Records in whatever way he can. As the web manager, primary art director, and right-hand-man of the label’s creator (Ryan Davis) you might wonder where he finds time to do much else. As it turns out, there is a good amount of “downtime” in the van in between gigs, and Poland often spends this time productively. Whether he is drawing posters for upcoming shows or clever illustrations referencing everything from Jazz to Dracula – Poland stays busy.
The nature of his practice could force a comparison to Raymond Pettibon, but Poland’s aesthetic is very much his own. There is certainly a gritty quality to the work, but his quick wit and keen understanding of texture and mark making have an intentionality to them that belies the crude manor in which many of his illustrations are fashioned. Having a fine arts degree from a conceptually oriented school like the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (where Poland received his undergraduate degree) often leads one down a path of pretention that can be hard to escape, but Poland manages to keep things in perspective. His observations are honest, the tone is real, and I enjoy looking at the work. If you scroll through these drawings and at least one of them doesn’t put a smile on your face I think it might be time to re-evaluate how seriously you take yourself. Giving Up will be on an east coast tour this June, and if you like what you see below I encourage you to check out their shows and pick up one of Poland’s expansive zines at the merch booth.