artist fridays: megan whitmarsh

I have been such a blogging deadbeat lately!  Sorry, blogosphere!  The snowpolyse gave me two days off work this week, one being yesterday.  I escaped my neighborhood for the day by attending a decadent brunch with some friends… not leaving time for blogging in the afternoon!

This is my last daily post with Marshmellow Kisses.  From now on you can check out Brown Paper Bag for all your daily art posts.  I will still update this blog with my work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (at the very least).

Okay, now on to Artist Fridays!  I present to you the work of Megan Whitmarsh.  She’s an artist that has made work for some time, and whose website catalogs the years she’s been working, making it interesting to see the progression of her work.   My favorite of her work is actually from 2006/2007, when she used a lot of embroidery in her work.  She has since transitioned from embroidery to sculpture.  It’s all very nice, but I love the insular worlds that she creates with her (slightly) older work.

All images via her website.


the pencil factory

Like many of you,  I adore the work of illustrators like Josh Cochran, Jillian Tamaki, Sam Webber and Christopher Silas Neal.

You probably already know that they all share a studio.  It’s called the The Pencil Factory and is located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  What a great place this would be to work!  A bunch of powerhouse illustrators all in one place.

Since getting that space together, they have started to create somewhat of an identity for themselves.   You can check out their website here, and sort of see how their work might play off each other.  You can also view the newsprint that each artist made to promote The Pencil Factory.

Unfortunately, all available prints are sold out!  Here’s some of the works I really enjoyed though.  Check out the artists as well! (all images via respective artists websites)

Christopher Silas Neal

Grady Mcferrin

Josh Cochran

Jillian Tamaki

Ted McGrath


artist fridays: stacey rozich

This Friday I’ll be presenting the work of Stacey Rozich.  She is a recent discovery and one that I have looked at a bit since.

She recently attended the California College of Arts and has since moved back to her hometown of Seattle.  Her work is influenced by old children’s books, graphic novels as well as Slavic folk tales(!!!).

I think what makes her work so wonderful to look at is the surreal nature of the work, and the way she pairs patterns with each other. I love the characters she’s created and the context that it references, being a big fan of folk art myself.

I will be curious to see if she ever gives her characters a context (environmentally-wise).

All images via her blog, Mystery Meat.


artist fridays: amy cutler

While I was in Los Angles last summer, I stayed with my friend Jess.  Jess has a lot of neat/interesting things in her apartment, one of them being a framed picture of a woman sewing up tigers.  I really enjoyed the delicacy of the work as well as the fantastical-yet-grounded imagery.

It wasn’t until recently that I found out that the artist in question was named Amy Cutler.  I looked up her other work, and it all has totally blown me away.  I find it very compelling and so masterfully done – it’s very luscious with rich pattens and line work.  The style is confident and very matter-of-fact, making anything that happens in her world seem grounded in normalcy.

I think I respond so positively to Amy because she has in her work what I want in my own – her associations with dreams, surrealism and fairy tales.

She is an internationally know artist and has many solo and group exhibitions.  She doesn’t have a website, but is represented by Leslie Tonkonow in New York City.

All images via Image Google (yes, for real why does it feel like I’m using Wikipedia to write a research paper?).


james joyce

No, not the author.  Or, the pub for that matter.  James Joyce is the creative mind behind One Fine Day.  He focuses primarily on posters, vector illustrations and typography.  His style is clean and bold, perfect for grabbing attention on a page or on a poster.

He is also an exhibiting artist that has had clients such as Levis, Nike and the New York Times.

All images via his website, One Fine Day.


artist fridays: michael velliquette

Ever since I did that post on Papercraft,  I keep thinking about cut paper and how much I really enjoy Michael Velliquette’s work.   His work is colorful and playful and references things like masks and totem poles (at least that’s what I take from it).  I am blown away by how intricate his pieces are and how nicely they are put together!

If you have the chance, you should check out his website.  It has not only cut paper, but sculptures, drawings and performances.  Michael is fairly prolific considering how detailed and time consuming his work must be.    If you look at his artwork archive, you’ll see that his cut paper was a pretty natural transition from the drawings and prints he was currently doing. I also think that his cut paper work has translated well from those drawings.  It’s often hard when you are relying on the edge of the paper rather than a drawn line, and here is an example of it done well.

He is also in Slash: The Art of Cut Paper (which I wrote about here last week)!

All images via his website.


golden thursdays: alice and martin provensen

So with the introduction of the nifty new title, it’s the day of the week where I introduce you to a Golden Book of my choosing.  To those unfamiliar with Golden Books, they were children’s books originally published by Simon and Schuster in the 1940′s.  Their inexpensive price point promoted literacy amongst children. The older books are now considered collector’s items.

Today’s book is called The Animal Fair (published in 1952) by Alice and Martin Provensen, a husband/wife illustration and writing team.  Both originally started as cartoonist/animators for Disney and the Walter Lanz Studio (who produced the Woody Woodpecker cartoon).  Eventually they both left their respective positions and worked on numerous childrens books together, eventually winning the prestegious Caldacott Award.

This particular story is about a journey to visit different animals in a farmyard, zoo, and forest.  You seeanimals getting haircuts, having birthday parties and woodworking, among other things.  It looks like a lot of fun.

I am a sucker for the style of the 1940′s/50′s/60′s illustration, especially when it comes to animals.  The shape design coupled with the dry-brushing really gives it some interesting textures.  The spare use of inking to provide intimate details also adds a lot to the illustrations.  In addtion, the pages are lush with full illustrations.  I really enjoy childrens’ books that have a lot going on in a page.  It invites the reader to study the book and to become involved in what’s happening.

All images are via Golden Gems.  You can still buy the book on Amazon.


artist fridays: paul rand


Paul Rand

Maybe I’m on a 1950′s/1960′s/1970′s kick (I recently started donning my 60′s style felted hat on cold days) but I recently borrowed a few books from the library.  Both were art/illustration of the past.  One was the Pushpin Graphic (whose heyday was in the 60′s/70′s) and a giant Paul Rand book by Steven Heller.

So, for this edition of Artist Fridays, I give you a classic.  A master in design. Paul Rand.  I try to do contemporary artists most of the time, but it’s really great to look at vintage design – design that stands up to what’s being done today.

Rand created many corporate identities (which are slowly being replaced.  Yale Unversity Press was one of the latest ones to do it this past year), and he and his wife together wrote and illustrated children’s books.  In addition, he did poster design and other commercial work.  I’m sure you’ve seen a Rand logo and just haven’t known it.

I love his shapes.  They are crisp and bright, reminiscent of Matisse.  His design work is smart and very clever.  He’s a great problem solver.  Enjoy.

See more of his work and his thoughts on design via his posthumous website.


modern fairy tale

I came upon this tumblr site today called Fairy-tale.  It’s number of contributing artist that illustrate different parts of fairy tales.  I enjoy reading fairy tales and think the illustrations that these artists have done are really superb.

They vary depending on the artist and technique, but they all have a certain senstivity and surrealism to them that is prominent in the sort of writing that they are illustrating.

all images via Fairy -tale

Andrea Wan – andreawan.com

Sarah McNeil – sarahmcneil.blogspot.com

Jack Hudson - jackhudsonillustration.blogspot.com


papercraft chronicles

As mentioned yesterday, I wrote that I’d be sharing this book today.  Papercraft is a book on the art and design of paper.  The book is a beast – so many beautiful pages to pour over.   In addition to the beautiful artwork that it holds, it’s also nicely designed.

It includes a variety of different cut-paper designs and applications.   The book is a great way  of showing how paper can be pushed from just a surface to draw on, to something more sculptural and tangible.  It’s extremely extensive and even includes a dvd in the back of the book!

I tend to enjoy the type of paper construction that’s a bit more flat (applied to a surface and design oriented) but comes up off that plane to suggest the fact that it is,  infact, somewhat 3D.  There is plenty of that in this book, in addition to things that are tangible item to hold – replicas of objects done in paper.  Papercraft also shows the conceptual side of the medium too, including gallery work.

In one of my illustration classes, Cornel Rubino told us that you’re only as good as your library.  I’m glad to have this book in my arsenal.

Here are some artists that I enjoyed out of the book.

Carlos Giovani Estudio:

Dan McPharlin:

Jean Jullien:

Jen Stark: (Fun fact – she went to my school.  I remember seeing this show in the student gallery)

Julien Vallee:

Michael Velliquette:  (My favorite in the book!)


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