Posts tagged Paintings
Eliana Marinari

Eliana Marinari is a visual artist living and working in Geneva.

Her paintings, created by superposition of glazing layers of aerosol paint on ink and pastel drawings, are a surreal representation of the subject, speaking of both the distorted quality of memory and the ephemeral nature of our experiences. 

The vestigial image composed of transparent imperceptible paint particles, mimics the process of creating a visual representation of an image in our mind, which is matched in our memory to attribute meaning.

Eliana began her training in Florence as a scientist, while studying Art under the mentoring of Greta Villa from Academy of Florence. She continued her studies in London, where she obtained an interdisciplinary PhD at University College London (2008-2011).  In 2012, she continued her studies at Central St Martins, focusing on her studio practice and her interpretation of realism in figurative painting. She then moved to Switzerland, where she continued her quest in bridging the gap between Art and Science. In 2015, she received the prestigious Swiss National Funding Award for the development of an interdisciplinary project.

Her work has been exhibited and held in private collections in Switzerland, Italy and UK and it has been featured by thejealouscurator and BOOOOOOOM among others.

Monica Ikegwu

Monica Ikegwu is a 20-year-old Baltimore based figure painter. She has been awarded as a first place winner in the XL Catlin Art prize (2018), a Young Arts Finalist (2017), a Gold medal winner in the NAACP ACT-SO National competition (2016), and as a Scholastic silver medal portfolio winner (2016). Her work was recently displayed and exhibited at the Reginald F. Lewis museum, as well as at Ida B’s Table in a joint show early in 2018. She now attends and studies at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) as a Junior.


Monica Ikegwu’s work is structured upon the portraiture and depiction of African Americans. She displays figures rendered in the three dimension while accompanied with two dimensional design elements. Her work brings to focus subtleties that she notices in the black community, as well as her personal life. Living in Baltimore and the way that she experiences it plays a big role in the ideas that she develops for the work. Taking feelings and aspects from her surroundings, she presents them in a way that is not only captivating but also unconventional. The figures presented in her work are often times her siblings and family from whom she draws most of her inspiration from as she watches them progress through life.

Yvette L. Cummings

Yvette L. Cummings received her BFA from Kendall College of Art and Design and completed her Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning. While still enrolled at DAAP she was director of the 840 Gallery, interned at the Contemporary Art Center of Cincinnati, and was the recipient of the Wolfstien Travel Fellowship to Spain.  Following her graduate work, Cummings became an instructor for the University of South Carolina Department of Art.  She was awarded the Stephen J. Dalton Teacher of the year from USC University in 2011. Cummings is currently Assistant Professor of Visual Arts in Painting/Drawing at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. Her work can be found in both public and private collections and has been featured in the 701 Center for Contemporary Art South Carolina Biennial in Columbia, SC as well as Contemporary South at Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC.  Cummings was the recipient of the 701 CCA Prize 2016 for South Carolina artists under 40. Her work has been exhibited in multiple group and solo exhibitions throughout the south and mid-west. Yvette L. Cummings currently resides in Conway, South Carolina where she devotes her time to her studio work, teaching, and family.  

Orit Fuchs

Orit Fuchs lives and works in Tel Aviv, where she creates across a full range of mediums, such as sculpture, painting, video, video, illustration, knitting, photography and more. During her career, Orit worked as an art director in the leading advertising agencies in Israel.

After some intriguing years and turning into a mom, she decided to quit her career in favor of her kids. Versatility and creativity definitely define Orit Fuchs.

 With three kids at home and a career in advertising and fashion behind her, Orit began to paint. Her quest and thirst for in depth knowledge on art, brought her the desire to learn from numerous artists from multiple disciplines and then led her to study at Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design.

As Orit grew and matured, she felt ready to open up to the world.

Orit's art is inspired by life's little moments that often hit us when we least expect it. The outcome could be anything, art created by a newly discovered freedom, unhindered by any particular artistic language or style.  Strong women are often the subject of her work: sensitive, independent, and replete with humor – yet ever awakening and biting with vitality.

Saskia Fleishman

Saskia Fleishman b. 1995 graduated Rhode Island School of Design in 2017 with a BFA in painting. Fleishman is based in Brooklyn, NYC. Recent residencies include Vermont Studio Center, Trestle Art Space, and The Otis Emerging Curator Retreat.

Curious about curating other artists’ work, as well as exhibiting her own, Saskia continues to collaborate with peers around the greater New York area. In addition, Fleishman has exhibited her work in Miami, Providence, Rome, San Juan, and Milwaukee.


This series of paintings is generated through photographs of American landscape taken on recent vacations and images sourced from my family’s collection. These photographs are then composed as geometric abstractions, op-art, or color studies from  ”The Interaction Of Color” by Joseph Albers, in order to deconstruct, reflect upon, and rebuild early memory and perception. I pair flat, smooth, hard-edge paint applications aesthetic with textural materials such as sand, resin, and paper clay, to add unexpected dimension and reflection. The paintings explore nostalgia while contemplating moments in time, perception, and our relationship to memories embedded in landscapes.

Tiny Room For Elephants Festival in Philadelphia | April 19th-21st

After speaking with the organizers, Create! Magazine is thrilled to be supporting TRFE and their upcoming event in April! Learn more about this exciting festival in Philadelphia that combines art, music and more below.

Tiny Room for Elephants Festival (#TRFE19) is a month long, collaborative, multi genre art and music experience, held throughout the month of April at Cherry Street Pier.  It is a living art ‘gallery’ that incorporates styles and mediums of 25+ Philadelphia artists painting/installing live from April 8th-April 17th. The finished works are celebrated on April 19th, April 20th and April 21st with live music, djs/producers, panels and interactive elements. 

The organizers, Dame & YaYa

The organizers, Dame & YaYa

The schedule of events is as follows:

Opening Exhibition 

Date: Friday, April 19, 2019

Time: 6:00pm-10pm

Fun Stuff:  Standing Room Only, A Wearable Art Show

Sounds: Camp Candle, Club Crusades, Eric Boss, Johnny Popcorn, Joshua Lang

Music Series

Date: Saturday, April 20, 2019

Time: 9:00am-9:00pm

Fun stuff:   Day Breaker (Tickets sold separately) "1000 Ways to Make It", panel moderated by Cosmo Baker; Live screen printing w/ Do It Now; Sticker Make & Take (Sticker Stampede); DIY Donut Station w/ Federal Donuts

Sounds: Aime, Cierra, Drew Mills, Emynd, Eric Boss, Expo, Femi, Jabair, John Morrison, Kayin x Sylo, Killiam Shakespeare, Kingsley Ibeneche, Mellowbastard, Pierson, Rover Rover, Shane tha Great, Suzanne Sheer, Tha Riva, The Bul Bey

Family Fun Day

Date: Sunday, April 21, 2019

Time: 12:00pm-6:00pm

Fun Stuff:  Easter Egg Hunt, World's Largest Kid's Sip n' Paint (tickets sold seperately), Sticker Make & Take (Sticker Stampede)

Sounds: Lee Jones & Friends

Sponsored in part by: YARDSPhiladelphia Weekly, HabithequeDo It Now T ShirtsFederal Donuts, Joe Werner ProductionsBlickTru WaveThe ParlorBeauMonde OriginalsChampionDWRC

Charlotte Brisland

Throughout her career, Brisland has used the snapshot to record the landscapes she has lived in, often for months and years, yet sometimes they are made within a fraction of a second on a train or in a car. Fragments of these snapshots are collaged in the studio to retain an essential element of fiction. At once part of the displacement the Artist feels in the world, the spaces become overlapped by past and present. There is a sense of performative storytelling within the painterly description of the image as broad brushwork structures scenes that echo genres within the painting tradition and create a majestic tension that transcends the figurative content. A single building in space, lit from without and concealing what is within is no literal object in this work. What is hidden remains so; nothing and nobody emerges. The scenes promise human presence and permanently banishes it. Familiarity is omnipresent while the absence of so many possible elements is comparable to a stage, paused and vacant.

Charlotte Brisland graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2004 and has exhibited in London, New York, Japan, and Berlin.

Young Shin

Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Young grew up loving art, spending hours at end drawing and painting, and making and sewing her own dolls and clothes.  After receiving a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Studio/Visual Arts focusing on oil painting, she proceeded to studying law and graduating with a J.D.  However, it was only a matter of time that she returned to her love of art and design, eventually receiving her degree in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design.  After a stint in a career as a fashion designer in NYC and Chicago, Young spent several years making and selling handmade, hand-painted, and silk-screened clothing and accessory line through her own label. 

 In her body of work, melding her past experiences and passion together, Young combines elements from art, design, and craft.  The distorted and abstracted geometric shapes and layered and uneven textures in her paintings encompass such idea.  Stylistically, applying paper as her main medium and adopting simple geometric shapes as her main form of expression – empirically giving the impression of respite and airiness – Young’s studio practice strives to achieve neo-minimalist aesthetics.  She appreciates the balance between unornamented austerity in the physical form with complex and nuanced nature of the craftsmanship involving layering, molding and sanding paper by hands.  Young resides in the San Francisco Bay Area where she works as a full-time painter.

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.

Catarina Mantero

At the age of three, Catarina had a near-drowning experience. What could have remained a straightforward, traumatic incident at such a tender age ultimately provided her with a moment of strange enlightenment and rapture, a moment that continued to inspire her into adulthood. For whatever reasons, one day at the pool her three-year-old self decided to lift her arms off the inner tube that was supporting her, and just like that, she began to sink to the bottom of the pool – and in that moment, as she sank, she discovered a sort of Nirvana. Dry, noisy, overstimulating reality was in one swooshing moment deleted, and she was swept down into a calm, silent, blue weightlessness. She was in utter awe; the emotions she experienced that day as she sank under the water were so strong that she remembers them to this day with the utmost clarity. It is perhaps no surprise then that over the course of her artistic career, water has become a predominating symbol in her work, appearing both literally in her subject matter and figuratively via the handling of paint.

Mantero’s work showcases a series of autobiographical paintings that seek to make sense of the experienced world through the medium of paint. A diversity of moments – people, places, objects – serves as the focal point through which she scrutinizes her understanding of self and the human experience.

 Struggling to make sense out of the chaos, ambiguity, and obscurity that is our existence, Catarina performs a systematic excavation of her most self-defining recollections via paint and canvas, pinpointing moments that have for one reason or another most strongly survived time in the distorted filter we call memory. Mantero’s painting process resembles an archaeological dig, as she painstakingly excavates layer upon layer of buried memories and works to understand their precious stratification in her mind. 

Naturally, one’s day-to-day perceptions, and by extension, the conclusions drawn from these extremely personal experiences, can never constitute any kind of objective “truth.”

Catarina therefore seeks in her paintings to emphasize the surreal and dreamlike quality that is inherent to any interpretation of the real, especially when these moments now exist solely in that intangible realm known as memory. The dreamlike compositions that she sketches as a result of her memory exploration become the backbone to her pictures, a skeletal frame that will sustain the story of paint. Ultimately, by juxtaposing traditional painting techniques with a more contemporary visual language, Mantero produces hybrid images that blend past and present in mirage-like layers and evoke a strange mysteriousness.

Catarina Mantero (b. 1988) is a classically trained contemporary visual artist from Portugal. A native of Lisbon, she trained at the Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade de Lisboa before receiving an MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2017, where she became a two-time recipient of the Academy Scholar Award, as well as a recipient of the Golden Foundation Award.

She was awarded a teaching residency at the Parsons-affiliated Escola de Diseño in the Dominican Republic, and is currently an Art & Culture instructor for undergraduate students at the New York Academy of Art. Her work has been shown internationally throughout Portugal, Germany, and the United States. For the past three years, she has been included in the annual “Take Home a Nude” exhibition at Sotheby’s in New York City. She had her first solo show in Lisbon in October 2016, and has since had two solo shows in New York.

Moreover, her work has been featured in Timeout Magazine, Artspace, Purple Fashion Magazine, Visão and Público. Mantero is currently living and working in the vibrant city of New York.

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Anthony Vega

Anthony Vega is a visual artist, educator and curator in the Philadelphia area. Originally from the rural town of Green Creek, New Jersey he has spent the last twelve years pursuing his artistic career. Anthony is represented by Comenoz Gallery in South Florida. His undergraduate work was completed at Saint Joseph's University where he studied fine art and philosophy. His Master of Fine Arts degree was received from the University of Delaware.

He is currently adjunct faculty at the University of Delaware, teaching studio courses, contemporary art theory and media studies as well as adjunct faculty at Penn State Brandywine teaching a newly developed social media art course, drawing and painting courses. He exhibits his work in galleries, museums and other venues regionally and nationally.


I am fascinated with how we translate images. How we latch onto them for such short periods of time and think of them as a type of currency or record of living. I often think about how pictures in our current internet age really mean anything, when their identity is suspicious, their use out of control yet fleeting, and their sharing at times hollow and often misleading? As someone who makes paintings, I wonder do they and their inability to compete in a digital landscape, by being made of static material, and viewed most accurately by physical experience, begin to offer a new type of stability or at least vantage point to openly reconstruct a type of placement, a grounded location?

My work explores my relationship to fluidity of culture and identity, social interpretation, and how we apply meaning personally and irrationally through pictures and media. I paint things or copy ideas that I find in social media, that I like, find important or sometimes find funny. I translate, highly edit digitally, and try to copy and re-solidify these pictures through material and present them in the hope to construct something that we want to look at and think about.

I intend to have my work be attractive, yet subtly subvert. Viewing the medium of painting may allow for the exploration of the nature of image as overtly influenced abstraction, but I make no assumption that I can control this exploration, given our contemporary relationship to images (speed, access, editing, sharing) or that it can do anything other than offer a soft invitation to question our world. The history and nature of painting, as a clearly outdated yet emotionally and socially wrought interface seems to fit quite well as a medium to deal with our contemporary ubiquitous image making. Painting can operate at once as something so familiar that it feels safe and as an attraction to something new. The act of painting, my analogue decisions, and subtle mistakes, as well as the use of readable and unrecognizable images cause a shift in message or experience. We perhaps feel slightly less safe. A tension is found between interpretation and medium through active or passive translation of a surface or image. We are located, if only for a moment, by our ability to identify and question.

Interview with Megan Magill: Venus with Folds 

Megan Magill is an artist based in Chicago and Maine. She received her Masters from Northwestern University and her MFA from Maine Media College. Her work has been exhibited in group and joint shows nationally and she was recently a semi-finalist in the Print Center's International Competition. My Business is Circumference was featured at the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography and The Habit of Winning was featured in F-Stop Magazine’s portfolio issue with an interview by William Cox and in a print publication with LDOC . In the fall of 2017 her was published in American: Authors, Interpreters, and Composers a book series created by Patricio Binaghi of Paripe Books and designed by Matt Wiley of the New York Times Magazine. 


Statement: Venus with Folds 

I begin each piece with a xerox copy of a woman's painted portrait. Most of the paintings are well known, and others were found through a google search for 'famous portrait paintings' which I then narrowed down to paintings of women. So far all have been painted by men and folded by a woman but this is not a's just what predominates when you search for 'famous.' I don't have a preconceived idea of how each piece will look...I just start folding and re-folding until I've made something that feels right to me. The process is in part a visual exercise is seeing something new in something that already exists. A way of keeping my options open and my optimism up. Photographing them after I've folded them extends the process. 

How did your artistic career begin?

I started making art in 2009 after taking a class on the history of photography at my local art center. I realized pretty quickly that art was a long lost friend that I had lost touch with years earlier for reasons of ‘practicality.’ Photography was my entry into art and remains an integral part of my practice as the majority of my work springs from found imagery.

In your artist statement, you mention that you begin most of your work with existing imagery, where do you tend to find this imagery? Do you have any criteria that you look for?

For about 2 years I collected imagery somewhat obsessively. I bought crumpled up old photos primarily at antique stores, huge lots of old Kodachrome slides through eBay and also a number of old college yearbooks from the ’40s and ’50s. I am still amazed at some of the images I was able to find. I am drawn to collect images that speak to our shared humanity from a somewhat demented point of view.


What is the first thing you do when you start a new piece?

At the moment my entry into a piece is to draw over an existing image digitally. I start on my iPad and just see where it goes.

What is your favorite part of your creative process?

The excitement I get when something that I have created surprises me and makes me gasp just a little.

In a few statements describing your different bodies of work you reflect on the idea of not having control over every aspect of your work, how does this mindset affect the way you work?

I think this mindset helps me keep an open mind to where a piece might want to go. I spent a good portion of my life (before I started out as an artist) trying to control my life to the nth degree. What I realized is that not only did this suck the joy out of living but often I would end up in places that I no longer wanted to be and would wonder how in the hell I got there. Staying open to the process keeps me in the moment of making and lets a piece evolve like a collaboration. This doesn’t mean that every piece will work out but they do have a better chance of surprising me and taking me to places that my logical brain might not have mapped out ahead of time.


What has been the most challenging part of your artistic career?

Hmmm. I went to a school that was primarily for photographers and filmmakers to get my MFA. It was a great education but I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t really a photographer and so finding my place in the art world has maybe been more challenging because I’ve had to forge new relationships outside of the ones that I made in school in addition to teaching myself new processes. But this is also part of the fun…so challenge=fun.


What should we be on the lookout for in 2019?

I am SUPER excited about some of the things I am working on. I have a series of sketches I am calling ‘you me and everyone we know.’ I have plans to turn these into hook rugs (I have one already started) and oil paintings. I hope to have the first hook rug completed this month.

Max Cole 'Crosswinds" at Larry Becker Contemporary Art
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If you find yourself in Philadelphia before the end of the year, we highly suggest stopping by Larry Becker Contemporary Art to see their current exhibition. To be honest, it wasn’t yet on my radar when I decided to go gallery hopping on a Saturday in November. I happened to begin chatting with an artist sitting a co-op space nearby and he urged me to go over and take a look. ‘Crosswinds’ presents paintings and works on paper by American artist Max Cole. I won’t give away too much here since the owners are more than happy to tell you about this incredible artist and her work - so go see some great art and say hi to their adorable gallery cat!

Max Cole
On view Nov 10 - Dec 29, 2018

You can follow the gallery on Facebook & Instagram.

Max Cole’s paintings suggest an approach to infinity through the use of vertical repetitive lines, a record of intense focus that is said to contain energy as embedded content. The artist describes this process, which she has worked in for over 50 years, as meditative. Though sometimes compared to the work of Agnes Martin, the similarities between the practices are superficial. “There is no other way to produce the work except for a depth of engagement requiring the abandonment of self," Cole has explained, "and this process opens the door to infinity enabling reach outside the physical. For me art must transcend the material.” Born in 1937 in Hodgeman County, KS, she received her BFA from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and her MFA from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Influenced by the Suprematist works of Kazimir Malevich during the late 1950s, she began producing paintings which reflected on time with simple forms. The artist lives and works in California. Today, Cole’s works are held the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

Artist biography adapted from Artnet.

Beauty and Toxicity: Interview with Meganne Rosen

I just moved back to Springfield, Missouri after residing in Oakland, California for two years where I recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. I completed my Master of Arts (MA) in Studio Art and Theory at Drury University in 2011.

My recent projects include my thesis exhibition at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco; the publication of “Isoluminance, Racial Trauma, and the Stamina of Perception: Amanda Wallace’s Field | House” for the Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts and; my curation and participation in Artifice & Nature, a four person exhibition at CCA; and my inclusion in group exhibitions in Davis, California; Ventura, California; Woodstock, NY; and Newport, OR.

I just returned from artist residencies at LACAWAC in Aerial Lake, Pennsylvania and Byrdcliffe in Woodstock, New York.

My next solo exhibition will be at Bookmarx in Springfield, Missouri and opens December, 7, 2018.



Observation and curiosity drive my studio practice. Through the investigation of and experimentation with different kinds of materials, I express discontent with the current political climate as well as reflect on my experiences growing up in the American Midwest. My work explores entropy, artifice, consumerism, and my place in the lineage of abstraction in contemporary and modern painting and its relationship with installation art.

I compose mixed media pieces which are layered in visual dialogues. Some of the works reference the body in scale and are costume-like. The work evokes an intimate recollection of garments worn, skins shed, and packaging discarded. Each assemblage or installation is a partnership between the materials I work with and the sociopolitical, cultural context of our times.

Currently, I am working on a series of oil paintings on transparent acetate. For these works, my palette is inspired by the alluring sheen of oil spills on pavement and the iridescence of polluted sea foam. The intersection of the natural and the artificial is a site of challenge, conquest, and cohabitation. This work explores toxicity through artifice and decay. As light filters through the paint and acetate, ephemeral auras are projected on the walls creating an additional layer of color. When the works are rolled, they become core samples. Black holes of color with little universes enclosed inside. When the various iterations of this series are placed in proximity to each other, a visual conversation emerges between painting and sculpture, density and light, toxicity and beauty.


Tell me about yourself. What was your artistic journey like up to this point? How did you arrive at your current body of work?

Art has always been part of my life. My family home is filled with art and books and artifacts. My mother is a fiber artist and teaches weaving at a liberal arts college. My paternal grandmother was an artist and a poet who made stained glass windows and velvet wall hangings (image of one of Barbara Rosen's windows is attached). On family vacations, we always visited art museums. I love museums. Growing up in a family that held art in such high regard and also created an environment embedded with art objects made studying and pursuing art seem reasonable and normal. I met a lot of people in college who were majoring in business or something equally pragmatic who lamented the fact that they had to give up their love of the arts because of familial pressure. I understand that I come from a place of privilege on many levels, but I am particularly aware of how fortunate I am to have parents who value art. Their support has been very fundamental to my pursuit of a career in the arts. As an undergraduate, I majored in art history and minored in fine arts and English. I have a master's of arts in studio art and theory (Drury University) and a master's of fine arts in painting (California College of the Arts).

My current body of work developed while I was pursuing my MFA at California College of the Arts. I relished the opportunity to have devoted studio time and feedback from advisors. I was able to spend a great deal of time experimenting with new materials and concepts to push my painting further.


Tell me about the inspiration behind your recent series.

Currently, I am working on a series of oil paintings on transparent acetate. For these works, my palette is inspired by the alluring sheen of oil spills on the pavement and the iridescence of polluted sea foam. The intersection of the natural and the artificial is a site of challenge, conquest, and cohabitation. This work explores toxicity through artifice and decay. As light filters through the paint and acetate, ephemeral auras are projected on the walls creating an additional layer of color. When the works are rolled, they become core samples. Black holes of color with little universes enclosed inside. When the various iterations of this series are placed in proximity to each other, a visual conversation emerges between painting and sculpture, density and light, toxicity and beauty. A large source of inspiration for these works comes from the material itself. Working with acetate opened up a new realm of possibility in the studio for me. I had the opportunity to further explore this work in a natural setting during two artist residencies (Byrdcliffe in Woodstock, NY, and Lacawac in Lake Aerial, PA). I attached a couple of photos from Lacawac and one of me in my studio at Byrdcliffe.


Describe your creative process. How does your work come together from inspiration to execution?

This is a tricky question to answer. I work in a few different ways. I am sometimes inspired by something I read or see external to my studio and I then start working with the theme or concept until I come up with an idea for a painting. Other times, I work intuitively with paint and other materials until something starts to take shape and then I start to steer the painting in a particular direction.

Your work is visually beautiful but has an important underlying message for the viewer. What do you hope those experiencing your work take away from it? What questions should they be asking?

I love the Helen Frankenthaler quote about a really good painting looking like it "happened all at once". I think that applies to my paintings as well. They tend to have an organic, haphazard feel to them like perhaps they came together out of a series of spills or accidents and then ended up strung from the ceiling somehow. In reality, they take me months to create a endure quite a lot of meticulous editing and arrangement. I suppose I want the viewer to been drawn in and to question what they are looking at and how it came to be. I tend to give hints (or in some cases greater enigmas) by the titles of the work. I hope the viewers end up thinking about beauty and toxicity. About the ethereal and the tangible.


What do you love to do when you are not in the studio?

When I am not in the studio I love to read; to play trivia and do crossword puzzles with my partner, Ken; and to play with our cats.

What's next for you and what do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?

I am teaching fiber arts and 2D design as a per course instructor this semester at Missouri State University in the art and design department. Next semester, I am teaching art history and art appreciation as an adjunct at Ozarks Technical Community College.

Since my MFA thesis show last May (2018) at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, California, I have exhibited work in several group shows (in California, Oregon, New York, and Missouri). I am preparing for two upcoming solo exhibitions. For Blips this December (2018) I am painting one-hundred small, four-inch square paintings for BookMarx in downtown Springfield, Missouri. I am also starting work on several large acetate installation paintings for Transparency and Toxicity, a solo exhibition at Artlink Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana that will open in November 2019.

My proposal for the 2019 PCA/ACA conference in Washington D.C. was recently accepted, and I have begun writing “Craft, Color, & Contours: The Influence of Pop in Contemporary Art” to present next April in the Art & Design Culture section. This paper represents another area of interest for me: craft technique and media in fine arts. The last five years have seen an unprecedented uptick in the appearance of fiber art and ceramics in blue-chip galleries, international art fairs, contemporary museum collections, and graduate level fine art curriculum. Techniques and materials previously relegated to the realms of craft and hobby arts publications are now presented front and center in ArtForum. The common thread (no pun intended) between these works seems to be a heavy reference to the paintings and sculptures of the midcentury Pop Art Movement both in terms of palette and subject matter.

I would like to have a full time teaching position at the collegiate level, at least one additional solo exhibition, and at least three more published articles within the next five years. You can read my first published piece here

I enjoy writing about art and find that the research and analysis that goes into my writing projects often influences my studio work.

Laura Kaktina

I’m a Latvian artist, born and living in Riga, Latvia. I have been fortunate enough to see a good amount of different countries and cultures, therefore my art is always inspired by exotic and bright locations, yet still stays faithfully in love with the pastel colors of my homeland. 

I feel that atmosphere reveals itself with a combination of certain ingredients – may it be a specific color, texture, detail, or proportion. These elements consolidated create distinguished feelings within us. With these mini-universe illustrations I attempt to break down the ingredients of an ambience, withdrawing them from the whole much like a chemist is trying to detect the elements of a substance. I divide a feeling in two, yet simultaneously looking at both mini-universes floating apart in empty space (the color of the sheet of paper I have chosen) creates a wholesome impression. 

I create larger paintings daily, but the miniature illustrations are a way to spur up my creativity and loosen up the often serious and well-considered approach I have towards larger scale canvases. I call this play-day sketching and it has become an integral part of my artistic endeavours. I am less afraid to make mistakes on a small piece of paper (20 x 20 cm) and this generates a more playful and ethereal result.