unfettered and pretty : artist ky anderson


Images are from and

I ADORE the work of artist Ky Anderson. There's an unpretentious and unfettered quality to these paintings that I just love. It doesn't feel contrived or over-worked in any way. It's also a beautiful balance of the representational and the abstract. And what's not to love about the colour palette? They're so pretty (in the best sense of the word).

Check out her website to see more. She also has prints available on 20x200.


intricate material : meghan price

Toronto/Montreal baed artist Meghan Price found me through social media. Her work is so beautiful and delicate, it had to be shared. There is so much evidence of her background in textile construction in her work. The level of detail and intricacy is amazing. In addition to her fine art work, she is also one third of String Theory, a textile design studio specializing in gorgeous scarves and throws. Go check them out. 

The lace pieces (top two images) are made of enameled copper wire and the bottom three images are waterjet cut steel. The waterjet cut piece will be part of a show entitled "Love Lace" at the Powerhouse in Sydney this coming July. 

inspired collage : james gallagher

I'm loving the work of New York city collage artist, James Gallagher. He puts together image clippings from old issues National Geographic magazines and sometimes vintage sex manuals to create his work. His interest in human beings' secret behaviours (whether that reveals beauty, ugliness, solitude or desire) is fascinating. I also love the tactility and dimensionality of these pieces. 

James Gallagher has also recently edited a book featuring a number of contemporary collage artist entitled Cutting Edges. So much great collage work to see there.

letting things be

I was seduced by the small details of paintings I was looking at last night at a gallery opening. I had to capture them. What they all have in common is the moment when the artists stepped back and allowed the paint to react to water (or other solvent). It's succumbing to the unexpected and just letting things BE. There's so much beauty in that and lesson in there somewhere.

the fictional suburbia of ross racine

Walnut Village, 2006

I'm fascinated by the work on Montreal artist, Ross Racine. These fictional suburban landscapes are digital drawings, not photographs. It calls to mind the idea of utopian societies. There is also a kind of darkness and subversion to the work of the science fiction novel variety. I have both a fascination and an aversion to that cookie-cutter, Stepford Wives kind of suburban idealism. Which makes the aerial point of view of these constructed landscapes so interesting. Everything looks perfect, abstract and safe from this distance.

inspired art/interiors : the gladstone hotel

photo from

One of Toronto's more interesting hotels would have to be the Gladstone Hotel on Queen St. West. I attended their 5th Birthday party this weekend – five years since it's doors opened following a major renovation. The hotel is known for the design of 37 of the rooms, each by local artists. I had the chance to see some of these rooms during the birthday open house. Room 417, the Chinoiserie Room by artist Millie Chen, I found to be one of the most interesting. The ironic chinoiserie 'wallpaper' was what captured my attention. It's more accurately a large painting. Upon closer inspection, the cast of characters are revealed. Among others, it included a tourist holding a camera, a man with a CN tower hat and a monkey with a saw. I loved the blend of cultural, historical reference and humour. 

Some other rooms I loved: the Felt Room (great perforated wool felt lamps and very tactile wall covering) 
photo on right from gladstonehotel.comThe beautifully-done Victorian-era room – Echame Flores. This room actually felt to me like somewhere unspeakably dark or deeply hidden, naughty things happen...

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The Teen Queen Room was hilariously stuck in the 80s – complete with a wall covered in 80s Teen Beat posters, unicorns and horses. The colour palette and choice of bed covering emulated the decade to a 'T.'

Check out the Gladstone Hotel website to see the rest of the rooms.

cinematic light : artist michael harrington

I came across the paintings of Canadian artist, Michael Harrington while strolling down Queen Street West in Toronto last weekend. Katherine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects had the top painting (Lookout! oil on canvas 40x60 inches) in the window and I had to stop and inquire. I love the melancholy, Edward Hopper-like quality to his work. They are almost sad, mundane scenes featuring no one or no place in particular. I LOVE the cinematic quality of light executed in a way that doesn't look overworked. There's a certain looseness to his technique that I find so beautiful.

inspired weightlessness : lysanne pepin

A walk through Old Montreal this past weekend brought so much inspiration (several posts worth!) that I had to share. One of my favourites were these paintings by artist and fashion boutique owner Lysanne Pepin. Her work caught my eye through the window of her clothing boutique called Espace Pepin. I was instantly captivated. I adore her large print/painting series on wood entitled Weightlessness. Elements of water, femininity, sensuality, movement, dance – including birth and death are called to mind when I look at these paintings. The artist utilizes the grain of the wood surface to evoke the look of water ripples – which I adore. I can't stop looking at them. 

If you're ever around Old Montreal, stop by the gallery/store. Watch the beautiful films that are part of the same collection of work here.

More photos from my Montreal trip to come... 

Here's the top painting above entitled Shadow shown installed at the gallery/store

on being photographed : george pitts, an artist at work (part 2)

Having the opportunity of being photographed by a master like George Pitts is something I will remember for the rest of my life. Finally getting a chance to have a look at a few of his final selections is, to put it mildly, very exciting. So here are some of the results of the photo shoot in July. In case you missed my original post, these photos will be considered for publication in George Pitts' upcoming fine art book for Taschen. The subjects for the book will consist of provocative photographs of women 35 and over. I am intrigued by this project and deeply honoured to be asked to be a part it. I was, needless to say, thrilled to be shot by such an accomplished artist. 

Prior to the shoot, George Pitts did ask me whether I would need help with hair and makeup. Having reasonable faith in my own ability to handle this, I chose to do it all myself. I also didn't feel as comfortable working with someone who's work in this arena I wasn't familiar with. So I also wore all my own clothing and jewelry. I wanted to look timeless, elegant and definitely did NOT want to look as though I was in costume. 

The whole experience was incredibly liberating. I was beside myself that whole day. I learned new things about who I am through the experience. I definitely pushed my own boundaries and forced me to confront my own insecurities. Although I consider myself to be quite confident (generally speaking) there is NOTHING quite like being photographed without your clothes on. It was as empowering as it is humbling. As someone who is already hyper-aware of popular imagery, it is a challenge to view my own photos without the filter/bias of commercial photography in advertising. I had to also come to terms with the idea of being photographed in a more provocative manner. This is something that became all the more real after actually seeing the final photographs. Another interesting discovery I made is that although I typically am pretty attached to eyewear (which I have worn and identified with for years and years), my favourite photographs turned out to be the ones where I am NOT wearing them. I actually like the way my face looks without the glasses. A bit of a surprise for me. 

These photos have memorialized a time, age and place in my life here in New York that I can fondly look back on when I'm, say, 60. In many ways, this year has presented more challenges and changes than I have ever gone through. In many ways, it seems quite appropriate that this transitional period be recorded – on film, no less. Thank you to George Pitts for the amazing photographs, the incredible experience and dialogue. 

To see the rest (and more revealing...) photographs, you'll have to wait and see if they make it into the yet-to-be-named book. ;)



inspired landscapes and light : artist dan gualdoni

These beautiful, monochromatic paintings are the work of artist Dan Gualdoni. I came across his work at this weekend's Affordable Art Fair (which as it turns out, isn't necessarily very affordable). Apparently, these paintings are done using printer's inks. I love these minimalist, sombre landscapes. I love the light quality and translucency in them. I'm drawn to the beautiful – almost urban – colour palettes. The paintings are all entitled "Fata Morgana" (and then numbered) which means 'mirage' in Italian. I appreciate seeing the loose, broad strokes. There's enough abstraction in each one which allows the viewer to create a personal interpretation. Nothing about these paintings feel overworked. I'm truly mesmerized.

inspired cuts : artist dylan graham

My friend Dylan Graham currently exhibiting his work at Scope Miami. His work is currently part of the Slash: Paper Under the Knife show at the MAD Museum here in New York. You may have seen my blog post about it.

His large scale hand-cut paper work is incredible. I am perpetually amazed. There's always a geographical/political theme in all of his work (aside from the fact that they are gorgeous to look at). If you get a chance to see his work in person, it's a must.

Click image to enlarge.

small world : artist thomas doyle

I'm fascinated by the work of Brooklyn-based artist Thomas Doyle. His detailed sculptures call to mind dollhouses and other miniaturized toys we played with as children — only much darker. Everything he creates is 1:43 scale or smaller. It makes the viewer feel like a voyeur, as though we aren't supposed to be able to see. But I can't stop looking.

Thomas Doyle will be part of a group show next month at the Mixed Greens Gallery in New York.

All images from

galaxies forming: artist tomas saraceno

I wish I could view Argentinian artist Tomas Saraceno's work in person. This is called 'Galaxies forming among filaments, like droplets along the strands of a spider's web'. Quite the title for quite an exhibition. I'm blown away by the scale and the intricate beauty of this installation. It does look like something between constellation maps, a spider's web, architectural drawings and even microscopic views of organic cells/matter. The work that must go into this work is astounding. I can't stop looking.

All images from designboom

eric blum

I was mesmerized by Eric Blum's work even before I saw his work in person. I loved it even more after I learned more about his process and his point of view. These abstract watercolor paintings on paper or silk with multiple layers of beeswax added on top. The artist works with the paintings flat on a work table, carefully pouring thin layers of wax over a period of time (sometimes months) achieving this depth that is uniquely sensuous, dream-like and translucent. Needless to say, some of the larger pieces can weigh well over a hundred pounds by the time they're completed.  

During a studio visit last year, I asked Eric Blum about his work and also shared my own thoughts with him. I pointed out one of my favourites (directly below) because it reminded me of a street in Paris at night (my favourite city after NY, after all, is "The City of Lights") when viewed through a misty car window. I was fascinated to learn that he actually used to be a photographer and the evolution of his work to where it is now has much to do with the type of photographs he always wanted to take. They are all about light! 

What I love most about these paintings is that it allows the viewer to impose their personal story of what each one might be about. There is a seductive, cinematic quality to his paintings that makes me want to get completely lost in them...

audrey kawasaki and alice smith

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.  

Beautiful together.