Artist

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

 

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!

 

A September 11 Story


A September 11 Story

A friend gave me Fireboat over the summer. I was prepared to fall in love with it right away since it was written and illustrated by Maira Kalman!!! I idolize her. Her art is so colorful and full of life. Not realizing it was a September 11 story, I dove right in and read it to my three while we were eating dinner. When I turned to the page showing bright blue sky and two planes flying toward the towers, my voice faltered. Like many people who live close to the city, I remember that cloudless, perfect blue sky like it was yesterday.

Fireboat is a heartfelt 9/11 story told through another story, the one about the retired boat John J. Harvey and her call back into action on that fateful day. Originally launched in 1931, the Harvey was the most powerful fireboat of her time. But toward the end of the century as the piers started to close, she was forced into retirement, soon to become scrap. After the attacks that day left the hydrants downtown ineffective, the NYFD called on the mighty Harvey for help! The story goes on to portray all of the incredible people in the community that got together to help that proud and plucky little boat.

If you have never sat down to talk with your kids about the events of that day, reading this heartfelt story is a wonderful way to start that conversation. I love Fireboat because it is a book about many things: It sets forth an adventure, helps commemorate an anniversary, offers an interesting bit of history, celebrates the underdog, and honors the fire-fighting profession.

Before we read this book again tonight, on the anniversary of September 11, we will first light the candles on my daughter’s birthday cake. She turns 10 today!

 

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”.

Alphabet Book


Alphabet Book

Graphic artist Paul Thurlby started posting each of these retro-modern alphabet letters online, one at a time, during a slow period in his career. Soon, word spread via artists and blogs. A literary agent noticed and…voila! With its kitschy humor, pop imagery and millennial vocabulary, his new Alphabet Book will grab young imaginations! Thanks, internet, for discovering another great talent.