My sister turned me on to this Brooklyn-based artist, Audrey Kawasaki, over the holidays. I am particularly completely in love with her (primarily) female figure paintings on wood. They are at once sexy and innocent — a hybrid of Art Nouveau and Japanese anime. It's nouveau Art Nouveau. The little hints of darkness in a lot of her work take it out of the realm of simply being cute-sy. I've also been a fan of painters who allow the surfaces to come through and become as much a part of the work as what they are painting.
I'm also currently obsessed with an amazing vocal artist named Alice Smith. There was no mistaking that her new album cover art was done by Audrey Kawasaki.