ARTIST INSPIRATION

Artist profiles

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Photo: Jordan Doner -  Courtesy of Avery Marriott

 

These vintage Eame’s chairs, wonderfully and imaginatively collaged by artist Phillip Estlund, would be perfect for my studio!

In Estlund’s own words:

“These chairs were realized, rather fortuitously, while working on a series of collages in my West Palm Beach studio. I often work with imagery from field guides and books containing detailed images from nature. As I was organizing cut out images of flowers I laid them out on several surfaces, including on the seat of my Herman Miller, Eames molded fiberglass chair. The otherwise stark surface became immediately activated in a way that I hadn’t considered and after arranging and adhering the flowers to the seat the result was the Bloom Chair.”

At $3,600 each, I’ll have to let them pass, alas!

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Two hundred and forty two Vermont fine artists and craftspeople will open their studio doors to the public over Memorial Day weekend – May 25 & 26, 2013,  as part of the Vermont Open Studio Weekend, a statewide celebration of the visual arts and creative process.  I always look forward to the weekend and try to visit a number of studios each year.

I target an area with the free map distributed by the Vermont Craft Council (also on their website) and plan my route – usually by bike. Finding the studios is always an adventure on roads I’ve never ridden before. It’s difficult to get lost as all studio locations are marked with bright yellow signs.

Meeting painters, printers and potters, catching a glimpse of how and where they work, and being able to ask them questions about their art always energizes me. Artist’s studios by nature are inspirational and I love seeing work in progress. There is always the opportunity to purchase or commission art.  Not being able to tuck a piece of art into my jersey pocket and pedaling home with it  buys me time to ponder a purchase. If I still really want the piece by the end of my ride, I can always pick it up in my car.

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While roaming the aisles at the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter Market I had the pleasure of meeting artist Marina DeBris and Carolynn Box, the Environmental Coordinator for The 5 Gyres Institute. The two had teamed up to bring attention to the tons of waste dumped into the world’s oceans, mostly by maritime industries such as cruise ships, commercial fishing, oil platforms and the shipping trade.

They were bedecked in tangles of ocean debris that Marina found on the beaches near her California home. The trash beautifully entwined in their hair and around their necks made an effective visual statement and prompted me to stop and chat with them.

I learned that a gyre is a spiral oceanic surface current driven primarily by the global wind system and constrained by the continents. Plastic pollution gathers in the world’s five sub-tropical gyres.

Box explained that The 5 Gyres Institute’s mission is to conduct research and to communicate about the global impact of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and to employ strategies to eliminate the accumulation of plastic pollution in the 5 subtropical gyres.

DeBris collects ocean trash and converts it into art. She encourages the viewer to question the use of single use items and to consider ways to reduce waste so it doesn’t end up in our oceans or landfills. To see more of her work visit her site Washed Up - Pollution Reborn as Art. I encourage you to click through her portfolio!

I was inspired to take the Plastic Promise and encourage you to do the same.

I was just learning to use a new camera when I took this picture of DeBris (L) and Box – pretty awful! But I hope it gives a sense of Marina’s DeBris’ humorous artistic flair.

You might also like  “Re-cycle Runway”.

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Finally (!) winter has come to northern Vermont and snow has been on my mind ever since last weekend’s big powdery dump. It’s hard to concentrate on my work when there’s so much fluff to play in. Needless to say, the “Studio Closed – Gone Skiing” sign was hung on my door for most of last week.

Michelle Aldredge, the creator of art blog Gwarlingo also had snow on her mind last week when she posted an article and photos about Simon Beck’s snow art. I’d never heard of Beck, who lives in Les Arcs, France and was immediately smitten with his work.

According to Gwarlingo, Beck is an Oxford educated, self-employed mapmaker. His gigantic snow drawings, which he stomps out with snowshoes, are the size of three soccer fields and take about two days to complete.

The biggest challenge for Beck (besides getting overly tired) is finding a way to reduce the visibility of his own tracks when he begins and finishes a piece. Sometimes, he might work all day only to have his design covered by fresh snow overnight. At other times, he finishes a design right at sunset and doesn’t have enough light remaining to photograph his work properly.

Beck’s geometric snow designs have a textile quality to them and remind me quilts, snowflakes, solar discs, crop circles and ancient symbols.  How DOES he make such perfectly aligned designs on such a large scale? A mapmaker’s sense of place and desire for accuracy must come into play.  I wonder if he finds tromping back and forth, and around and around, filling in his patterns meditative? I think I would!

Visit the Gwarlingo site to see more about Beck and images of his work. There are more photos on Simon Beck ‘s facebook page where these pictures came from. Be prepared to lose yourself, as I did,  for a bit if you venture there!

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The ephemeral quality of Beck’s work is shown here, a short time before it completely dissolved into the lake.

To see more ephemeral snow art on my blog click here

To “Like” Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook click here. To follow my inspiration board on Pinterest click here.

 

 

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A malfunctioning Polaroid SX-70 camera is the tool photographer William Miller uses to create vividly hued abstract art. The camera, found at a yard sale is as unpredictable as the images it spits out.

Miller explains, “it sometimes spills out two pictures at a time and the film often gets stuck in the gears, exposing and mangling the images in unpredictable ways. Over time I’ve figured out how to control and accentuate aspects of the camera’s flaws but the images themselves are always a surprise. Each one is determined by the idiosyncrasies of the film and the camera.”

Most people would have tossed the camera out along with the unrecognizable images it yields but Ruined Polaroids explores “the failure of a (photographic) process” and “the artistic value of chance”, says Miller.

The intriguing colors and shapes in Miller’s polaroids appeal to me, but what I like most about them is how such an uncontrollable “broken” process yields such interesting and beautiful results.

Visit Miller’s website to see more ruined polaroids and his work as a photojournalist.

Follow Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook and color and design inspiration boards on  Pinterest

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Looking for the perfect gift for the skier in your life? Look no more. Vermont fine artist and passionate skier Tracy Dunphy recycles vintage wooden skis into works of art. She removes ancient pine tar, then sands and stains the wood to its original perfection. Her steady hand then applies a painted garland of colorful folk art flowers inspired by alpine cultures. As a finishing touch, the skis receive a coat of hand rubbed wax, adding depth and warmth.

“Skiing is such an important part of my life, it’s natural for me to use skis as a canvas where I can explore illustrative imagery associated with skiing history and mountain environments,” says Tracy.

Tracy just finished working on these beautiful circa 1970’s 210 cm. cross country skis and dropped by my studio to show them to me. I love the way she remounted the original Rottefella 3-pin bindings. They add a touch of authenticity.

Wouldn’t skis like these make a sweet wedding gift if customized with his and her names? Or be a perfect decorating accent for a chalet or ski town restaurant? Tracy will restore your own wooden skis or select from her stock. Allow plenty of time for custom orders because it’s super time consuming to paint all those delicate flowers.

Admiring her fine brushwork, I find her asking price of $600 for this pair worth every penny. For more information about these skis email Tracy  at dunpher@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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Whether with ink, paintbrush, stone, loom, needle or mouse, keep on experimenting, pushing your limits, making a mess, dreaming! Be brave! Have fun!

Don’t forget to check out Poppy Gall Design Studio Thank You & Give Away! Do something creative this weekend!

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Nick Cave’s Soundsuits bring to mind the lyrics for the title song from the musical Hair, “…knotted, polka dotted, twisted, beaded, braided, powered, flowered and confettied, bangled, tangled, spangled and spaghettied…”

The sculptural, creature-like, wearable art pieces are made from layers of metal, plastic, found objects, textiles, fake fur, beads, twigs and other things that when rubbed together make noise – hence the name Soundsuits. They’re inspired by Cave’s background in textile arts and modern dance.

Currently an exhibit of his work, Meet Me at the Center of the Earth is on display at the Seattle Art Museum through June 5th. Cave discusses his creative inspiration in this short Art in Motion video. His furry monsters even appeared in the September 2010 issue of Vogue showcasing the latest boots and bags.

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For more about Cave click here.

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Isabelle de Borchgrave’s costumes are truly ‘pulp fashion’ – amazingly detailed garments that are painted, crinkled, crushed, folded and molded from paper!

Drawing inspiration from textiles and costume, the Belgian artist has created works based on the Renaissance finery of the Medici family and gowns worn by Elizabeth I and Marie-Antoinette to the creations of the grand couturiers Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Christian Dior, and Coco Chanel.

I find her work awe-inspiring and urge you to visit her website to view her vast portfolio. Better yet, go see Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco on display through June 5, 2011.

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I adore this illustration by Jo Holdaway. I want to be That Girl – hanging my laundry from the chairlift cable, living in a silver bullet trailer with a tapestry lined door within view of the Matterhorn, perking strong coffee slopeside in my espresso pot on a sunny winter morning!

Of her work Holdaway says, “I love to make visual captions for life’s interesting sentences! Always honest to the people, objects or environments in my compositions, I still like to blur the lines between fact and fiction to create a piece with a humorous twist.”

To see more of Holdaway’s work click here.

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To see more trailer lore click here.

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Artist Jim Denevan is in pursuit of the impermanent. From the vanishing curl of a wave to sand briefly stilled between tides, nature’s fleeting moments are his stock-in-trade.

The frozen surface of Siberia’s Lake Baikal presented a shifting, snow-blanketed canvas for Denevan’s specific brand of art: massive geometrical patterns carved into the earth, ever vulnerable to the elements.

These images document Denevan’s quest to create history’s largest work of art, while also illuminating the simple, arresting beauty of the natural world that he so keenly reveres.

Via: the ANTHROPOLOGiST

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To see more ephemeral winter art click here.

To become an interactive part of Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook click here.

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While I was “home” for Thanksgiving my mom delighted me in sharing a yellowed sketchbook of pen and ink drawings she’d made while touring Europe in 1949/50 after graduating from college.  Between pages of charming sketches of Sienna’s alleyways, views of Lago di Como and Venetian gondolas were scenes from her winter spent ski bumming in Zermatt, Switzerland. As Mom tells her story, her tour came to an abrupt halt; her plans for returning to Paris to study art abandoned when ski season began.

The following winters found her in Aspen, Colorado as the night clerk at the Hotel Jerome. In some of us, the lure of snow supersedes all else, and I guess I’m genetically inclined toward the stuff.  Thankfully I have a mom who passed that gene on and “gets” what the addiction is about. I hope that you enjoy her sketches.

©copyright 2010 Gayle Lee Gall

©copyright 2010 Gayle Lee Gall

©copyright 2010 Gayle Lee Gall

©copyright 2010 Gayle Lee Gall

©copyright 2010 Gayle Lee Gall

If you like this post, you might also like this one.

To become an interactive part of Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook click here.

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This is part of a series about artists within the Outdoor and SnowSports industries who create art outside of their day jobs.

A WWII-era Argus C-3 Rangefinder camera was a gift to Geoff O’Keeffe from his mother when he was a kid. “I shot rolls and rolls of very bad pictures and used my paper route money to have them developed”, he says. 

More recently, the VP of Global Sourcing for American Recreation Products uses a digital camera to create his images. “Digital has helped me settle down and look. Looking is most of it. Being able to make hundreds of images you can then delete is also great training.”
O’Keeffe’s photographs eloquently capture both East and West. Whether it’s a nature shot or a picture of a human face, one is transported to its composed essence. This melding of cultures is not a surprise since Geoff has lived in Asia and now works there for three months out of the year. His family roots are in the Rockies where he now lives. He’s a student of Zen. He speaks mandarin Chinese. When asked about his artistic process Geoff says that for him, “the best approach is none at all save for silence; empty mind, open eyes.” Zen teacher John Daido Loori’s photographs have inspired his work.
Besides being a photographer, Geoff is also an accomplished woodworker, guitar player and writer. One gets the impression while talking to him that he will never run out of ideas or things to keep him busy.
Being an outdoors person led Geoff, like so many in his footsteps, into the Outdoor Industry. “I began going to the Cascades with “Dharma Bums” in my pack in the 1960′s. I started working in the outdoor business in 1976 and have done a wide variety of things.” Last summer he wrote an essay about his love for the Outdoor Industry titled “You Are My Tribe”. As the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show approaches I feel this is an appropriate excerpt:
“We’ve been together, in some cases, for over thirty years. We grew up (and out) together, seen each other in the all too rare flashes of brilliance and during those occasional moments of notoriety. Like a tribe, we have a strong level of trust and familiarity with one another, seen each other weak and strong, wise and foolish, successful and groveling in failure.”

A WWII-era Argus C-3 Rangefinder camera was a gift to Geoff O’Keeffe from his mother when he was a kid. “I shot rolls and rolls of very bad pictures and used my paper route money to have them developed”, he says. 



More recently, the VP of Global Sourcing for American Recreation Products uses a digital camera to create his images. “Digital has helped me settle down and look. Looking is most of it. Being able to make hundreds of images you can then delete is also great training.”

O’Keeffe’s photographs eloquently capture both East and West. Whether it’s a nature shot or a picture of a human face, one feels the essence of place. This melding of cultures is integral to who Geoff is, and where his interests lie. He works in Asia for three months out of the year. His family roots are in the Rockies and stretch back for generations. He calls Colorado home. He’s a student of Zen. He’s learning to speak mandarin Chinese.

When asked about his artistic process Geoff says that for him, “the best approach is none at all save for silence; empty mind, open eyes.” Zen teacher John Daido Loori’s photographs have inspired his work.

Like so many who’ve followed  in his footsteps, being an outdoors person led Geoff into the Outdoor Industry. “I began going to the Cascades with “Dharma Bums” in my pack in the 1960′s. I started working in the outdoor business in 1976 and have done a variety of things.”

Besides being a photographer, Geoff is also an accomplished woodworker, guitar player and writer. One gets the impression while talking with him that he will never run out of ideas or things to keep him busy.

Geoff’s extended dream vacation is to drive around the west for a year in a Synchro Vanagon with guitars, camera, laptop, books, a Winchester Model 94 30-30 (I forgot to ask that that is for!) and cases of Bordeaux. He’d then move on and spend a year living between Beijing and Shanghai studying Mandarin and Chinese history and culture. He’d then spend a few months in New Orleans, and then Galway. He’d love to live in New York City for six months and would like to visit India and Nepal and Tibet soon. I can’t wait to see the slide show!

1. Lingyin Si, Hangzhou, China April 2009 for print

4th century Lingyin Si Buddhist temple in Hangzhou, China

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This photograph was taken at an iris farm in Boulder, CO.

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Red Leaf. Worcester, New York.

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Chinese Soldier. Hangzhou, China

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The poppy’s were taken outside Geoff’s house in Colorado.

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Woman Offering Incense – Lingyin Si Buddhist temple in Hangzhou, China

To see more artist profiles click here.

I will be blogging about more artists within the Outdoor & SnowSports industries in the upcoming weeks. The criteria is that they work within these industries, and that they don’t make art as part of their full-time job. If you are an artist or know someone who is, please drop me a line.

“Like” Poppy Gall Design facebook page to see what sorts of projects we’re working on and to become an interactive part of the studio.

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This is part of a series about artists within the Outdoor and SnowSports industries who create art outside of their day jobs.

Margaret McLennand considers herself a self-taught artist, though at Penn State she studied graphic arts and painting before settling on a major in art history.  Like so many art majors, her daily work does not involve making art, though she says that she and her family “live artistically every day.”

McLennand has a busy life between taking care of her family, her garden and her job as Assistant Product Developer at Eastern Mountain Sports in Peterborough, N.H. When she has time to paint, she says that she “mostly explores the paint.  I love to get lost in what I am doing. The hours go by without a thought.” She works in both acrylics and watercolors and keeps track of her ideas in a sketch journal.

While working on the road in the mid-90’s as a sales rep, Margaret frequented old diners and became fascinated with salt & pepper and sugar shakers and began painting and sketching them.

In 1997 Margaret and her family took their first trip to Hawaii. She fell in love with the islands and has visited many times since. Hawaiian and vintage fabric and bamboo influences are seen in her paintings.

“The history of art fascinates me as you can get ahead of new ideas by looking to the past.  Don’t wallow in the past, let it inspire and invigorate your mind,” says McLennand.

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To see more artist profiles click here.

I will be blogging about more artists within the Outdoor & SnowSports industries in the upcoming weeks. The criteria is that they work within these industries, and that they don’t make art as part of their full-time job. If you are an artist or know someone who is, please drop me a line.

“Like” Poppy Gall Design facebook page to see what sorts of projects we’re working on and to become an interactive part of the studio.

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This is 2nd in a series about artists within the Outdoor and SnowSports industries who create art outside of their day jobs.
Leslie Howa has as much energy as a hummingbird; she never seems to sit still. She’s an experienced apparel technical designer, a dedicated Nordic skier and trail runner and an accomplished artist. According to Howa, the three disciplines are all synergistically related, “I could not design technical apparel without my knowledge and commitment to sports.” A Fine Arts degree from San Francisco University doesn’t hurt either.
Howa has dedicated twenty-five years to the Outdoor Industry. After founding and selling American Hardwear (which was re-named Mountain Hardwear) Howa continued to put her stamp on the brand with her technical designs. From there her client list has evolved to include brands such as Adidas, The North Face and Patagonia.
Finding time to be creative at work and to create art “after hours” is not a problem for Leslie. Many of her ideas come while she’s skiing or running. “The truth of breathing really hard, brings a tremendous amount of creative energy to the brain,” she says.
Recently Howa has put her sewing skills toward creating creatures rather than garments. She’s not quite sure where these little muslin beasties sprung from, but she feels there are more on the way.

This is 2nd in a series about artists within the Outdoor and SnowSports industries who create art outside of their day jobs.

Leslie Howa has as much energy as a hummingbird; she never seems to sit still. She’s an experienced apparel technical designer, a dedicated Nordic skier and trail runner and an accomplished artist. According to Howa, the three disciplines are all synergistically related, “I could not design technical apparel without my knowledge and commitment to sports.” A Fine Arts degree from San Francisco University doesn’t hurt either.

Howa has dedicated twenty-five years to the Outdoor Industry. After founding and selling American Hardwear (which was re-named Mountain Hardwear) Howa continued to put her stamp on the brand with her technical designs. From there her client list has evolved to include brands such as Adidas, The North Face and Patagonia.

Finding time to be creative at work and to create art “after hours” is not a problem for Leslie. Many of her ideas come while she’s skiing or running. “The truth of breathing really hard, brings a tremendous amount of creative energy to the brain,” she says.

Recently Howa has put her sewing skills toward creating creatures rather than garments. She’s not quite sure where these little muslin beasties sprung from, but she feels there are more on the way.

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Catafly is a morphing caterpillar sprouting maple leaves for wings. 20”

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MadBall – Howa’s “anger management mentor” 7”x7”

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FrogDog – Half frog, half dog 12”

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Roxie – Homage to healing from a vicious pit bull attack

When asked where the inspiration for her work comes from, Howa replied, “I always consider, and become inspired by materials. I then pursue transforming these materials outside their intended use.”

Leslie has done just that in BumBulldog, an amusing life sized sculpture she created for the Dogs of Bark City Fund Raiser benefitting Mountain Trails Foundation, Friends of Animals Rehab Ranch, and Center of Performing Arts Foundation in her hometown of Park City, Utah. BumBulldog garnered $4,500.00 for the Foundations.

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BumBulldog – Mixed media stainless steel fiberglass, automotive chrome paint

Howa recently completed another piece of sculpture, BurdYurt that took 1st place at ‘For the Birds’ a juried fundraiser for Ogden Nature Center.

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BurdYurt – Recycled copper, aluminum, duct materials

New works are evolving in Howa’s studio – she’s currently working on a pierced steel weather vane and a 10’ by 30’ mixed metal ‘quilt’. And with a softer touch she’s been working on draping garments for her own personal exploration and wardrobe.

Let’s hear it for the natural dopamine provided by exercise that boosts Leslie’s creatively and inspires her to create her fanciful and eclectic art!

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I will be blogging about more “closet” artists within the Outdoor & SnowSports industries in the upcoming weeks. I think it will be a fun way to learn about the people that we do business with. The criteria is that they work within these industries, and that they don’t make art as part of their full-time job. If you are an artist or know someone who is, please drop me a line.

“Like” Poppy Gall Design facebook page to see what sorts of projects we’re working on and to become an interactive part of the studio.

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