Folks well-familiar with this blog know I'm a big fan of art. Whether it's framed prints from the 30s in the Maxfield Parrish style, thrift store paintings where good intentions may outweigh skill, or talented artists and photographers working today to express themselves creatively. In fact, I fear my love of art is rapidly starting to exceed my wall space!
Like decorating, taste in art is incredibly subjective, of course. One man's prized collection can easily be another man's creative nightmare. But I thought you all might like to see just a few of the artists and photographers working today whose creative ideas I respect and enjoy. For a lover of things vintage and Victorian, I feel they echo that sense of romance, adventure, mystery and story-telling.
I just thought it might be fun to give them some props today!
Like British artist, Michael Thomas here...
He's a book jacket illustrator out of England and his work becomes cover art, notecards and prints. I have three of his original paintings, and have been absolutely wowed by his skill, as well as how effectively he has embraced the Pre-Raphaelite style for his subject matter and composition. His works are largely acryllic on board. The piece here is Rapunzel, and as I understand it, she is intended to be used in cards and as an illustration within a fairy tale edition.
This one below is called Pices...
I'm not actually a Pices, but I loved the delicate figure and her almost Rosetti-styled face.
The last of his works which I own is what he refers to as his Art Nouveau angel...
This, the artist indicated, was one of the more decorative pieces he'd done. The elaborate background detailing does remind me of some Burne-Jones pieces, while the figure complements the Pices painting well. I have these on either side of my Victorian pocket doors.
You can check out more of Michael Thomas' work-- I believe he currently has prints available of Pices and the art nouveau angel-- in his Ebay store Fresco Art by clicking here.
Another artist currently doing work which reflects his love of Pre-Raphaelite art is American artist Patrick Lynch out of Kentucky.
I met Patrick online a few years ago due to a mutual appreciation of the Pre-Raphaelites. Patrick balances his art career along with a full-time job-- no easy task-- but has been passionate about his painting for decades. His work uses paint as well as colored pencils to create the vivid shades you see above-- a feat made more remarkable as the artist works to find the right balance in spite of being color-blind.
His paintings typically incorporate Victorian or medieval-Gothic styled ladies with wistful expressions. Imagery tends to emphasize his love of the gramophone, river scenes, and statuary. The painting below is one of my personal favorites in Patrick's online gallery. It's called First Night of Autumn. The hats are based on the work of one of his friends, a Kentucky hat designer.
You can check out more of Patrick's work at his site The Lost and Beautiful Past.
My most recent art purchase was from a shop at Etsy, called Audrey Eclectic. Artist Heather Van Winkle uses the "whimsy folk art" style to create pretty, quirky portraits with a gentle storybook feel. Using mixed media collage, large eyed lasses stare demurely at the viewer, infused with layered details that sneak up a bit of the viewer the more he or she looks. What I appreciated in particular was her work involves more than pretty images of old-fashioned girls, but little tales to support each one.
This is "Elerey," a "Hallowed Hall girl"-- one of three sister portraits, each with a fun little history to accompany her. You can read about them on Heather's blog. Elerey was a toy maker-- and her creations tended to demonstrate some very mysterious and unusual behavior! I liked her Wednesday Addams style.
Another interesting feature is, Heather's work is done on scrap wood, cleaned up and repurposed. Talk about your trash to treasure!
In terms of less Gothic, more Shabby Chic art, I also became taken with an artist named Carole DeWald. She sells on Ebay, in her shop Carole's Cottage, and does still life floral work which puts a particular emphasis on roses, hydrangeas and lilacs. This particular painting is in my dining room.
Another Ebay artist of the genre is Mary Ann Mayer. Her lilac painting-- with its impressionist feel-- made an impression on me. I love that it looks like it has some real age to it.
While we were discussing artists, I'd also wanted to draw your attention to two photographers that capture the natural world in remarkable ways. It's patience and perseverance that make their work so awe-inspiring-- waiting for that perfect glow of a sunset, capturing the right angle of a Western mesa, or sitting in a boat on a Norwegian lake for the just-right shot of the Aurora Borealis.
If you're a fan of nature photography, I think you'll really enjoy the work here.
Rodney Lough is an American photographer whose work my friend Scoobie is addicted to. His love of nature shines through with every photograph, and honestly, once you've seen Rodney's treatment of a particular area, it never seems the same again. He makes our world truly magical. Check out his site, TheLoughRoad, and I believe you'll see what I mean.
Photographer Thomas Laupstad is a fellow I met online through blogging, and like Rodney Lough, he captures his own country-- Norway-- with a keen eye, a love of color and a lot of waiting around for the perfect moment. You can see Thomas' work on his blog here.
Well, I hope you all enjoyed this little dip into the world of independent art today. I know there are a lot of talented people out there, but I thought it would be nice to discuss just a few whose work has become a part of my life.
- If you missed Treasure Box Wednesday, where the mantle gets a new look, I get a few thrifted goodies and you all get some vintage tunes, click here.
- If you missed last Sunday's post on Giggles over Wiggling, Jiggling Jell-O recipes, click here.
And I hope to see you again soon! Thanks for your visit.