Artists

Underwater Photography by Alix Martinez


Underwater Photography by Alix Martinez

I am so proud of my friend Alix Martinez! She was featured on the NBC Today Show last week for her ethereal and beautiful photos of children playing underwater. I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Alix and her incredible artistic eye. I even hired her last year to take photos of my son’s birthday party (a job that she said yes to out of the goodness of her heart!) and our super swing (r.i.p.). I love the way she captures children. She really gets right to the essence of who they are.

underwater photography by Alix Martinez

underwater photography by Alix Martinez

underwater photography by Alix Martinez

Alix says, “I love when you can look at a photograph and you feel the child’s emotion and energy. I also love photographing children with things that they love: their dolls, trucks, even pancakes. These are the photographs you remember and are touched by later on.”

underwater photography by Alix Martinez

underwater photography by Alix Martinez

underwater photography by Alix Martinez

underwater photography by Alix Martinez

See more of Alix’s amazing scope of work on her website, read about her latest projects on her blog, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

I could look at these photos all day. Congrats my friend!

xo, Bar

 

Repurpose / Reuse / Retrash


Repurpose / Reuse / Retrash

What do all of the above have in common? They are all things that have been brilliantly repurposed! Or upcycled…reused…retrashed. Call it what you will, it is an idea as old as time. Although nowadays, the movement has a fresh face thanks to Pinterest!

As you know, I have a fondness for making things from what we have lying around the house. Many of my art projects on this blog are made from materials that everyone has at hand (click here to see them all). Part of it is that I dislike errands very much. Driving around to get this and that, it literally puts me in a bad mood. The other part is that it makes me feel bad to spend money on supplies when I have so much here. And thirdly, it just makes sense! Using what I have forces me to be creative, and it leaves me with a good feeling that I didn’t add to my garbage pile.

I hadn’t heard of the word “retrash” until recently, when I came across this Kickstarter campaign from Aussie Nathan Devine. He is funding his labor of love, a beautiful coffee table book named RETRASH. The idea spawned from his website. This book will feature artists from around the world who are inspiring change by working to reduce landfill waste and getting creative with what others view as trash. Check out his Kickstarter page and make a pledge if it moves you. I personally can’t wait to get my copy and share it with my kids (our most promising generation of recyclers)!

Above credits: globe pendants / hanger to TP holder / necktie zipper pouch / mouse beds from Altoid tins / yardstick boxes / tin cans for art supplies / egg carton sewing kit / bike sink / work shirt to little dress / tennis racquet mirrors / suitcase speakers / landfill-harmonic (you must click this link and see for yourself)

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

xo, Bar

 

Martha Rich // Artist


Martha Rich // Artist

Born in Bangor, Maine, Martha Rich lived the typical suburban life, her bio says, “until she followed her husband to Los Angeles where, just short of a picket fence and 2.5 children her average American life unraveled. To cope with divorce, fate lead her to a class taught by painters and brothers Rob and Christian Clayton. They persuaded her to quit the pantyhose, corporate world, leave her human resources job at Universal Studios behind and become an artist full-time. She graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena”.

Now living in Philidelphia, Martha’s art has been in galleries all over the world and she does commercial work for magazines, books and even music videos! I love Martha’s story as much as I love her paintings. In her artists statement, she says:

“I am giving myself permission to make useless art, and by useless I mean driven by impracticality, that is informed by moments quietly noticed and not by what is shouted. What is noticed now has been built upon what was noticed before…insignificant moments that accumulate and become something significant.”

Reading this statement is like getting a pass from the teacher that says, “Relax. Just create.”

What I love most about Martha’s art is that her paintings feel both satisfying graphically, and have a social commentary that we can relate to. Funny + colorful yet evoking a conversation. She’s a genius.

 

Oliver Jeffers // Picture Book Maker


Oliver Jeffers // Picture Book Maker

As if there weren’t enough reasons to love Oliver Jeffers (author + illustrator of some of our favorite books of all time), I have just discovered THIS. It’s a fascinating 3 minute movie on how he comes up with his book ideas. This is one creative (and cute) Irishman. In college, I spent a semester trying to write children’s books (not as easy at it seems). This video has inspired me to go and dig them out!

This Spring, May 4th to be exact, Oliver Jeffers will be at the MoMa Design Store at 81 Spring Street in NYC. I am definitely bringing my kids to meet Oliver. In fact, after watching Oliver’s video, my son asked for a journal so he could start writing down his thoughts and ideas. Melt my heart!

This post will be filed under Dream Jobs. I hope to find more dream jobs to share with you in the future!

 

 

Etsy Artists // Paintings


Etsy Artists // Paintings

Last week I posted some great children’s art that I found on Etsy. Today I will share some paintings. Many of these are original paintings, which is the best kind of art. But some are prints since the original paintings were sold. The great thing about prints, though, is that they are affordable!

Donna Walker (above). Fort Worth, Texas. These rich, colorful landscapes are just beautiful. Custom paintings available. Geometric Farm, oil on canvas, 24″ x 24″, $750, Patch of Blue II, oil on canvas, 14″ x 14″, $300. Clouds Roll By II, oil on canvas, 16″ x 16″, $400, Golden Light, oil on canvas, 8″ x 8″, $75.

Jennifer Shears (below). New York. These ethereal paintings are very calming, I think. Custom canvases upon request. Field, oil on canvas, 14″ x 14″, $135, Bay, oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″, $600. Field, oil on canvas, 18″ x 18″, $200, Field, oil on canvas, 16″ x 16″, $170.

Lisa Golightly (above). Portland, Oregon. I love Lisa’s subject matter, and she has such a nice sense of color and composition (I want that Girl in the Yellow Suit). All Together, print, 12″ x 12″, $45, The Swimmers, print, 12″ x 12″, $45. In the Suburbs, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 40″, $1,650. Girl in the Yellow Suit, print, 16″ x 16″, $55.

Greg Hargreaves (below). Waterloo, Iowa. These midwestern farmland paintings are rich with texture and have a patchwork quality that I adore. October Sky, acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″, $750, County Line, acrylic on board, 11″ x 14″, $500. Moonlight Landscape, acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 36″, $1,600.

Melanie Mikecz (above). San Francisco. I love Melanie’s color palette, and her collage-y patterns are happy and fun. Abstract Design, print, 13″ x 19″, $48. Block Abstract, print, 12″ x 12″, $44, Pink Triangle, print, 12″ x 12″, $44. Check Mark, print, 13″ x 19″, $48.

Emily Rickard (above). Los Angeles. Loving these bright and playful paintings – they will bring a pop of color to your home! Something Wonderful is About to Happen, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″, $575. Eternal Optimist, oil on canvas, 12″ x 16″, $280.

I will continue with this series. Remember…living with art makes for happier people!

 

Etsy Artists // For Children


Etsy Artists // For Children

I’ve been gathering a list of Etsy artists for a few months now. Etsy has soooo many artists, and many of them are…well, not my taste. But some of them are quite talented and have lovely collections of work. This week and next I will post some of my favorites so that you can (perhaps) own these for the Holidays!

All of the artists featured here today have sold their original drawings or paintings, so these are all reproductions.

Joel Penkman (above): Liverpool, England. Fabulous colors and subject matter…so happy. Fabs, limited edition glicee print, 15.7″ x 19.7″, $90. Blackrock Pool, limited edition glicee print, 15.7″ x 19.7″, $90, Biscuits in a Line, limited edition glicee print, 15.7″ x 19.7″, $90.

Ashley Goldberg (below): Portland, Oregon. I love her use of muted colors and sparse Japenese style drawings…so dream-like. Love (Closeup), 8.5″ x 11″ print, $20, Lily, 8″ x 10″ print, $20. Laurel, 8.5″ x 11″ print, $20, Windy Day, 8.5″ x 11″ print, $20.

Paola Zakimi (above): Argentina. These illustrations are so sweet. The alphabet poster reminds me of Beatrix Potter. Alphabet Poster, 11.5″ x 16″, $35. Little Print, print, 8.5″ x 11.5″, $20, Sofi and the Fish, print, 11.5″ x 16.5″, $35.

Creative Thursday (below): Los Angeles. I love the storytelling nature of these whimsical prints. The Princess and the Pea, print, 8.5″ x 11″, $42, Baby Giraffe, print, 11″ x 17″, $75. Artists Thrive, print, 19″ x 13″, $95.

Blanca Gomez (above): Madrid, Spain. These graphic posters have a distinct retro feeling. In the Neighborhood, print, 8″ x 11.5″, $30, Rainy Night, print, 8″ x 11.5″, $30. Monsieur IV, print, 8″ x 11.5″, $30, In the Park, print, 8″ x 11.5″, $30.

Hint: I like my art big. But most Etsy artists work small. My suggestion is, since the prints are not expensive, that you cluster 2 or 3 or 4 works by the same artist in one spot on the wall. Avoid hanging a small piece of art on a giant wall. If you have just one small painting or print, then find a nook or a cozy spot to hang it up where it doesn’t feel out of proportion.

More to come!

 

Creativity Takes Courage


Creativity Takes Courage

The winds are picking up outside, the trees are swaying. I think my power is going to go out at any minute. I should be packing, we have a noon town-wide curfew. We are going to a friend’s house, to her basement. It’s Frankenstorm 2012. But here I am at my computer, creating one last post. Some words to think about this week while we have no power (they are predicting a 10 day outage).

I love this quote from one of my favorite painters, Henri Matisse. For me, creativity means stepping outside of the box and putting yourself out there.

Stay safe, my friends! (During the storm, I mean…not in your creative life!)

 

Carnevale Masks


Carnevale Masks

I came across these masks by Spanish artist Neusa Lopez. She calls this series Carnevale. They are so colorful and creative and BIG! A little cardboard, a little paint, some glue….amazing what a few art supplies can create.

I love them and I hope some day we can make them here at home. Thanks for inspiring us, Neusa!

My Favorite Artist: My Dad


My Favorite Artist: My Dad

Ruud Bergmans was born in Holland in 1939. He was number five of seven kids, and he always had an itch to leave his small town and large family. He married my mom, a girl from the town next door who was also ready for an adventure, had three kids, and moved 11 times by the time I got to middle school.

My dad was a banker for 40 years, eventually taking up residence in New York City. But there was always an artist inside of him. Growing up, he invariably found creative project to take his mind off the rat race. Whether building, painting, wallpapering or cooking, he always had an itch to express himself.

After retirement, he took up painting for real. He started by copying his favorite artists, like Van Gogh and Matisse. He moved through the impressionists and the fauves, and eventually found his own style in colorful abstracts inspired by nature. On his 70th birthday, he had his first art show!

Last week, he opened at a gallery in Old Lyme, Connecticut. What I admire most about my dad is his single minded perseverance.  And his intuitive sense of color takes my breath away. He is a true renaissance man! Love you, dad.

Paper Friends


Paper Friends

Illustrator Bianca Helga’s Paper Friends. I just love this idea, using recycled materials to create characters that are instantly friends! This would be a great craft to do at home with scraps, paint, crayons,glue. Anything! And what a nice way to introduce kids to the term “mixed media”.