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Textural Decay Defines Imperfect Pottery

   

Texture and nature are an inescapable part of my artistic spirit. When I find another artist with kindred inspirations, I can’t help but be drawn to their work and become inextricably connected. Ani Kasten is one of these artists, and she uses her passion for sculpture to create pieces that juxtapose the natural with the manmade. I admire the abstract roughness that is inherent in her work, often complimented with smooth lines, attempting to bring order to chaos. Kasten states of her own work, “The shapes and surface treatments take their influence from plants, water, rocks and clay, as well as from architecture, industry and machinery… The pieces are often truncated, off-center, weathered and perforated, combining natural movement and an apparent state of organic deterioration that invokes the cycle of life, death, decay.” I am consistently inspired by the natural and the imperfect. And its translation into art form. http://www.anikasten.com/

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Amor Só Comfusão

   

Vibrant street art is everywhere in Brazil. Commissioned or not, you can usually look beside you and find that you’re walking next to a colorful mural or striking graffiti. I found this cartoon-like mural and was charmed by its gaiety and youthfulness. The blue-tongued, buck-toothed boy rides merrily along, in tandem with the locals and visitors that pass by. Love seems to be a strong theme in Brazilian street art, woven through many visual story lines. Next to the boy’s mouth are the words “love is just confusion”…where, of course, someone found it appropriate to add their own tagline. What does this whimsical mural say to you?

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Not So Color Shy

   

During my exploration of Rio de Janeiro, I came upon a Brazilian artist whose vibrant palette and striking city subjects are the objects of affection for many passerby. Every day, Domingos Cardoso perches in his small studio, surrounded by endless paint bottles and a passion to capture Rio’s colorful culture. Commonly dismal subjects are given new life through his paintbrush, transforming power lines into charismatic contours and favelas into joyous, color-blocked waterfalls. Santa Teresa is embedded with artists just like Cardoso, though most are hidden gems in the landscape of bustling streets and busy neighborhoods. One thing I have learned from these artists is that the colors they use in their paintings aren’t an exaggeration, but a representation of Brazil’s vibrant way of life.

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Rio’s Tiled Treasure

   

Walking up the steps of Selarón’s staircase (Escadaria Selarón) in Rio de Janeiro was like ascending into a fantastical mosaic-tiled heaven. During a recent trip to Brazil, I found the land to be abundant with hidden slices of passionate art and wistful design that I could discover in every shop, neighborhood and street. I stayed in the artists' bairro of Santa Teresa and ventured over to the nearby Lapa Steps to view the cascade of reds, yellows and greens that loomed before me. Self-taught artist, Jorgé Selarón, is the creator of this stairway of wonder and can still today be found carefully adding pieces of majolica sent from all over the world to his sensational staircase.  

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Suspended Chaos

   

I love how sculpture & installation artist, Sandrine Pelletier juxtaposed a horse’s inherent grace and strength with chaotic, haphazard figure lines. These beauties are suspended wool coated with black latex and tar, giving off a feeling of transparent, melting bodies. The skeletal frames first hung in a Geneva gallery in 2009, yet five years later can still haunt the viewer as they gallop through their enigmatic landscape to a nameless destination.  http://www.sandrinepelletier.com  

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Global Textile Love

   

photo by Lauren Logan The popular blog Design Sponge expressed in a recent article what the most prominent design trends are: colorful, energetic and textural patterns. This reconfirmed my stylistic approach to design, and I was thrilled to read further into the article as they featured other pattern-crazy artists like myself. It discussed the home of interior designer Paige Morse and how she fills each room with pillows, throws, and other home décor collected from all over the world, fitting perfectly into her eclectic living areas. India is where the yummy pillows seen here once called home, repurposed from vintage wedding cloths. The settee is made from vintage kilim rugs and the textural throw made its way from Mexico. Do you have a place in your house for a little cultural pizzazz? http://www.designsponge.com/2014/08/dallas-textile-home.html

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Last Call for Color

   

In honor of autumn’s dwindling days, I called upon the innovative work of renowned sculptor and environmentalist, Andy Goldsworthy to celebrate the brilliance of fall. He seizes the fleeting opportunity for a momentary connection with nature, using leaves, sticks, rocks, bark, icicles and much more to create sculptures of exquisite form and intense color. I am drawn in by the vivid circular gradient. One can, only for a moment, appreciate his ephemeral creations, as nature will inevitably whisk away this stunning transient art.

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Fluid Line, Hearty Wine.

   

Do you like this label as much as I do? As I was enjoying a glass of wine last night, this simple bird’s fluid figure on the label reminded me of my own style of contour sketching. To me, the little weightless bird is a bit of a paradox to the wine’s taste, a full-bodied, rich and hearty red wine that is anything but delicate (very tasty). It looks as if someone picked up a brush, and with the flick of a wrist, a baby bird was born. This rebirth parallels the way I strive to breathe life into tired designs, moving energy through my pencil to paper.

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Reflective Symmetry

   

No matter where I find myself, I cannot escape my Kentucky roots. In visiting Cincinnati's 21c museum, it was evident that new media artist, Valerie Sullivan Fuchs, cannot either. This artist digitally manipulates images captured in Kentucky, desiring to eternalize the ephemeral landscape. Though asymmetrical designs are definitive of my own pattern work, this piece of forced symmetry calls upon a depth of meaning I otherwise would ignore. The reflective kaleidoscope of branches, clouds and sky make separate entities into one interconnected pattern. I found the cyclical nature of the piece inspiring, reminding me of the never-ending possibilities that nature, and life itself, provide.

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Crimson Diamonds

   

Maybe today’s popular diamond pattern found its roots in Navajo weavings. The razor-edged, intersecting diamonds descend a crimson path in this Native American serape (circa 1850). Found at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the striking colors contrasted sharply with the dim gallery space and drew me right in. I learned that the Navajo people coveted crimson, and rightly so. The weavers were known to import woolen broadcloths with the purpose of unraveling them to use the deep reds of the yarn for their own creations; they craved these rich, beautiful colors just as I do.

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