Posts tagged Animals
Clémentine Bal

I was born in Paris in 1979. I studied at the Fine Arts Annecy and Dijon.

In my studio, I purify, mix, and transform animal shapes to recompose characters I like to surround myself with. They are for me like little benevolent divinities, sweet and sensitive. Eyes closed, they are in an interiority, as in meditation. What emerges from their attitude reflects the long process of creation. I superimpose on each other layers of inert materials that will be long and gently sanded. I pamper each small part of these bodies, and the sanding becomes caress. The matte and velvety paint comes to rest on the rounded and purified forms. I try to transmit to them all the sweetness possible.

Jessica Tenbusch

Jessica Tenbusch is inspired by the animal and plant species that live near humans. She explores the relationships between species and how they shaped her experience as a human animal. Her work is an observation on our role as ecosystem builders and destroyers. These works are fragments of our daily environment, showing just how close nature is in our everyday lives, embedded in our homes and neighborhoods. In her childhood, she shared her home with a multitude of other animals and hundreds of houseplants. Outside was always inside.

She loves to work in the spaces between two-dimensional and three-dimensional representation and uses color pencil, ink, acrylic paint, wood, metal, and found natural and man-made materials to create sculpture and works on paper.

Jessica received her BFA in 2011 and MFA in 2014 from Eastern Michigan University where she concentrated in metalsmithing and drawing. In addition to exhibiting her work nationally, she is active in the local arts community curating shows and coordinating events. She lives and works in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Her practice is located within Ypsi Alloy Studios, a 3D arts studio she co-owns and runs with two other local artists.

Erin Holscher Almazan

Erin Holscher Almazan is an Associate Professor of Printmaking and Drawing at the University of Dayton in Dayton, OH.  Erin is a native of North Dakota. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from Minnesota State University Moorhead and her MFA in Printmaking from Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester, New York. She has completed two printmaking residencies at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Kasterlee, Belgium. Erin’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been included in exhibitions in connection with the Southern Graphics Printmaking Council and the Mid-America Print Council. Erin is also an active member of the Dayton art and printmaking community.  She resides in Dayton with her husband and two sons. 


My work is a direct and emotional response to identity; I am continually fascinated and perplexed by my roles and relationships. Through my work, I reflect on a malleable identity shaped not only by our own shifting environments, but also by nature, nurture, inheritance, and history. I draw, print and paint to fluidly move with and investigate form and edge and to achieve a range of gestural lines and marks. I strive to communicate acceptance, ambivalence, struggle, empathy, and connectivity, and to convey the duality embedded within our identity.

Jihyun Ra

Artist Statement

Most of my artwork subjects (and my favorite artwork subjects) are artifacts: tree trunks, rocky mountains, and elephants, all things with rough texture. So I thought I just liked texture, simple. But the more I painted, the more I recognized the meaning of what I wanted to capture in my artwork. I discovered I was painting the Earth. The Earth I think is the most essential material of my nostalgic childhood past, the present, and the future.

When I was young, the earth was my toy and the medium of my creations like dollhouses and pottery. While others saw just rocks and dirt, I saw the wonderful possibilities to explore. The earth had so much texture and endless amounts of color. I get that same childhood delight when I’m getting ready to paint, specifically when I pour and mix colors and put lace on the canvas. It is such a joyful experience even though it may look uninteresting. It gives me that warm feeling that I have added the needed bedrock for my painting.

In the present, it is the world we live in. Life can get hard and can become a real struggle, but from that emerges a kind of harmony. For the past eight years, I’ve made the US my home and have noted the wide range of lifestyles, cultures, religions, and ethnicities. It really is a multicultural country yet there exists a glimpse of harmonious balance. This harmony is not born from taking the easy path. Expressing that through painting of objects assembled with quilt-like patches of patterned fabric is also not easy and requires a lot patience and perseverance.

Podcast Episode: Art as Ritual, Sourcing Materials from Nature and Artist Residencies with Gillian King

Join us for a special episode of Art and Cocktails Podcast with artist Gillian King as she shares her story, as well as the evolution of her creative process. Gillian talks about how she started using plants and natural materials in her abstract paintings, her experiences in international artist residencies and more.

Gillian King is a painter and art educator from Winnipeg, Manitoba and MFA Graduate from the University of Ottawa. 

Kaitlin Ziesmer

Born and raised in Colorado, and after spending some time in Texas, Kaitlin Ziesmer ventured back to the mountains to attend Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in the BFA program with a focus on drawing and painting. She continues to live and work as a freelance artist in Denver. She has been featured in numerous exhibits across Denver and throughout the country.

On Her Work & Process

“I like having a very clean, cut-and-paste approach to imagery. In my work, it’s so fun focusing on recognizable characters from popular culture. People have such a positive and nostalgic response to them… often following up with a response of a suggestion on what I should do next. It really creates a dialogue, and there’s something so gratifying being able to make things that you know your friends will dig. Repurposing them into this new, often female body, is my way of injecting myself into it all…quite literally because I’m using myself as the model ninety percent of the time.

“Color choice is also a huge part of the work too, along with the selection of clothes. As far as a process, I often have one point of starting of… whether it’s the head I’ve been dying to paint, color palette, or specific piece of clothing; the rest of the pieces fall into place as I go. Between the playful color palette and the characters’ often standing still or relaxed posture, I’d like to think that it makes them approachable. Then the highlights of neon are what really brings the audience up close. Portraits are so personal, especially when they’re absurd and make you laugh. “

Brooke Sauer

Regardless of what medium I employ, my work celebrates my love and awe of nature. In my newest series of cyanotypes I combine my background in painting with my love of photography and botany as I explore a sense of place and observe how native and non native species of flora and fauna in various environments co-exist with one another. In a large collection of collages entitled, In Search of Treasure, I explore our human relationship to landscape using mineral specimens as terrain to be investigated, traversed, enjoyed, and to inspire feelings of awe through surrealist moments that encourage the viewer to derive their own narrative, and place themselves in the tiny landscape that they see before them.

I have exhibited with spaces such as LA Louver, the UCLA Hammer museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and the Los Angeles Freewaves Festival. I have been published in print and online in a variety of publications. Previously working as part of the collaborative duo, B&T, for over a decade, I have returned to my solo practice in painting, printmaking, photography, and collage. Thank you for taking the time to view my work.

Moody Animals: Interview With Heather Gauthier

Heather Gauthier's style is the culmination of many years of experience in drawing, painting, graphic design, sculpture, and showroom display. 

After a decade of living and working in Chicago and Africa, Heather and her family now reside in San Antonio. She works from her home studio, where she is presently focused on painting. Heather is represented in galleries from New Orleans to Napa, and she has a permanent collection hanging at the children's museum in San Antonio. She has been featured on the PBS show ARTS, as well as HGTV. 



My first desire as an artist is to create art based on what I imagine and find to be beautiful. I appreciate and often implement symbolism and visual metaphor, but beauty alone gives a finished piece value to me. My work is influenced by the time I spent living in places from downtown Chicago to a strawberry farm in South Africa, and my favorite paintings are ones that balance urban and rural elements. A damask patterned background styled after old wallpaper helps echo the classic, vintage portrait, but I employ animals as models. My animal subjects are collectors. Among other things, they collect flowers, china, books, and baked goods. My subject matter is unlimited.


Tell us about your creative journey. How has your work evolved over the years? 

“Art” was always the one thing I could do. I’ve painted and drawn my entire life but I wouldn't have called myself an artist. But some time around 2010, it began stirring in my mind. “Its time to be an artist”. And so I started work on my first “collection”. It took a while to find my style and establish a good work ethic, but I did it. I had a little cafe show in January of 2014 and I’ve been painting full time ever since. I made it through approximately 52 days of art school in the 90’s, so I always tell people I took the long road. But when I arrived, I ARRIVED. 


How does each piece come to life? Tell us about your process from inspiration to execution. 

I am a portrait artist. I often end up with a serious look and a ridiculous message. That message being “give your hippo some cake. Make him happy. YOLO. Or HOLO...”I love moody animals. Miffed cats. Hard-core owls, confused dogs. I paint the animal and then decide what it needs. Do you need flowers, fuzzy donkey? Do you need cake? It’s not always overly intellectual. 


You mention that you had to frequently move and travel. How do you think these experiences influenced your art?  

My husband and I married young and didn’t have kids for 13 years. We lived above a pizza parlor in Chicago and on a Strawberry farm in South Africa. I’ve never had a studio. I’ve had to squat in a corner next to the camping burner and paint off the floor. I think if there is anything I’ve learned, it’s to make do with the time, space and equipment I have. And also, don’t pick up hitch-hikers. I learned that in Masiphumelele....


How do you recharge and replenish your creativity?  

I take naps. I look at Architectural Digest. I keep the wall above my sofa bare, and when I’m having a mental block, I paint for that space specifically. It’s something different every time. 


Describe a perfect day in the studio. 

Now that I finally HAVE a studio....Coffee. GREAT sci-fi on Audible. Cat on my lap. I paint up to ten hours a day, 5-6 days a week. And I have little boys. If I can make it through the day without stepping on legos or having my paint-water kicked over, I’m stoked. 


What contemporary artists inspire you?

Kehinde Wiley. Kevin Sloan. Scott Listfield, Conor Harrington, Anne Siems

Share the best piece advice you received that helped you in your art career so far. 

Paint, paint, paint! If you don’t have inventory, you don’t have....well, art.

Zoë Williams

Zoë Williams creates otherworldly creatures that are inspired by dreams, visions, and the collective unconscious. Influenced by a profound love of animals, her sculptures incorporate realistic elements as well as fantastic ones, including aspects drawn from the artist’s own vivid dreams and visions during sleep paralysis. Her recent work makes extensive use of bright colors and diminutive scale to give her creatures a cute, approachable aesthetic.

Born in 1983 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Zoë Williams holds a BA in Fine Art from the University of New Orleans and a Certificate in Fiber Art from the University of Washington. Her work in needle felted wool has been exhibited in galleries around the world. She currently lives and works in New York City.

Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek

Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek creates authentic, unvarnished images that get to the heart of the matter. He provides an insight into the small worlds people create for themselves – they are self-sufficient microcosms, which serve them as a habitat for like-minded people who indulge in the same passion.

Before setting off on his own path as a photo artist, Gebhart de Koekkoek worked at Magnum Photos. He has been included in several independent art publications and exhibited throughout Europe, Asia and The United States. His first book The World We Live In got published by art book publisher Kehrer in late 2013 and was honored with the “PDN Photo Annual” award in 2014. Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek lives and works in Berlin and Vienna.

Glory Day Loflin

Glory Day Loflin is a first generation South Carolinian currently living and working in Greenville, SC. Raised on Southern hymns and several acres of woods, she is a lover of projects and prompts, using her surroundings and experiences to generate work in a variety of mediums. At The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City, she was introduced to alternate modes of thinking and ways of making through the School of Art and the School of Architecture. Glory uses her drawings to fuse her observations of the South with larger questions of her own. Her art practice involves following this initial study in drawing with work in sculpture and painting.

"Back and Forth, by Collin van der Sluijs and Super A

"Back and Forth", exhibits the resulting chemistry of mind waves between artists Super A and Collin van der Sluijs.  The pairing yields a creative process just as natural as the influence of the moon on the tidal currents of the sea.  The two distinct styles push and pull in a harmony. Both artists have roots in the graffiti and street art culture of Holland. This background fueled their attitude towards fine art and surfaces in the work; a great balance between the rough and the smooth, the bitter and the sweet. In Super A’s new series of paintings which make up the collective work titled, "The Key to Success" tells a story of the negative and positive experiences in the battle for balance.  Super A challenges his audience with a dark sense of humor, and in the meantime, sparks a fire which triggers an acceptance and understanding of today's world. Collin’s latest series of works on paper are inspired by the time between making paintings.  A time where ideas and thoughts are free flowing, chaotic, and can yet be ever so slightly poetic.   

Be sure to join us for the opening reception of “Back and Forth” by Collin van der Sluijs and Super A, opening Thursday, June 8th at 7pm with First Amendment Gallery.  We are located at 1000 Howard St. in Downtown San Francisco.

Andrew Hoeppner

Andrew Hoeppner is a local Seattle based artist. Originally born in California, Andrew received his BFA from Sierra Nevada College in 2011. He then pursued post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Montana. During this time he completed an internship with the ceramics department, an international residency at Medalta in Alberta, Canada, and received the Montana Museum of Art and Culture purchase award. In 2014 Andrew graduated with his Masters in Fine Art in Sculpture from Seattle’s University of Washington 3D4M program. There he received the Mary Kay McCaw Arts Fellowship and was nominated for the Teaching With Excellence Award. Post graduation Andrew pursued an international residency in Vallauris, France with a travel grant from Pottery Northwest. Most recently Andrew completed a two-year term residency with Pottery Northwest. During his time at Pottery, Northwest Andrew received a 2016 Fellowship award and a 2015 Project Grant (GAP) Award from Artist Trust. 


My approach to making art is one that continuously evolves and redefines itself. The work is cyclical in nature as it is a direct reflection of my interests and experiences. Making, play, impulse, humor, and the constant battle of success and failure are the threads that connect each body of work. I use ceramics to explore the physicality of my relationship to the world, as an offering of myself, and how I co-exist daily. 

I am fascinated by Gauguin’s notion of fleeting society to find meaning in a “savage” and “primitive” lifestyle. This act of separating oneself from civilization in search of a “true” vision reflects our modern desire to escape our unavoidable banalities in search of something timeless, and tangible. My work often reflects these desires to investigate artistic identity, place, and conventions. Yet it remains sculptural in the classic and most noble sense: an object, an image, a thing that illustrates the ever-shifting actions of the world around it, and its creator. 

The idea of craftwork and the pleasure of physical making are nearly radical now, as we shift deeper into the age of technology. I believe it is our longing for direct experiences which drives artisans to continue critiquing the importance of long prevailing polarities such as tradition versus modernity, art versus design, and craft versus high art. It is within my disciplinary practice where I continue to analyze the ceramic process and the borders in which its medium is defined.

Nathalie Lété

Via The Jealous Curator

Nathalie Lete was born in 1964. She lives and works in Paris. She works in many ways, mixing different techniques and mediums, illustration, ceramics, textile and painting... She is inspired by her travels, but also by the mixing of vintage toys and old engravings of flowers and animals. Her work is colourful, naive and poetic, sometimes strange, to the point of tending towards art brut. Her world is nurtured by popular and folk art from her both origins (her chinese father and her german mother). She produces children’s and graphic’s books, knitted and stuffed toys, glass pictures, patterned dishes, but also postcards, ceramic sculptures, silkscreen printed t-shirts, rugs and jewels in limited edition... both for herself and for commissions.