Monday, November 26, 2012

Chow Down: Skinny Taste's Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork.

Via Skinny Taste.

Artist Interview: Rinske Dekker.

Today's interview is with an artist I've admired from afar for quite a long while:  Rinske Dekker.  What first caught my eye was her unique landscapes which are simplified and amped up with unexpected pattern and color.  They make my heart swoon.  She lives in Amsterdam, and has an etsy shop called rins.  I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.  Now, let's get to know her better, shall we?

1. Were you always an art kid, or did you stumble upon it later in life?

Well, I always loved art, I took art classes at high school and attended art school. After that I taught some classes, worked in an art supplies store, did commissions and free work but never really found ‘my’ subject. My passion if you will. It wasn’t until I discovered Yoshitomo Nara’s art, pop surrealism, or low brow, the designer toy world and especially the artists I found through Flickr (the indie art community) that I felt connected. A whole new world opened for me! All those artists made things which were cute and funny and weird and eye-candy. They put the subjects smack in the middle! At art school back then, we were told not to do these things Loved it! Everything fell in place. My love for comic books, animations, fantasy, sci-fi, vintage portrait photographs, patterns, geometric forms etc.


2. What style of art is your favorite and why?

Any art that is imaginative, has beautiful colours, surreal, funny, narrative and where you can see the craftsmanship, I love the imagery and imagination and wonderful technique of the pop surrealists or Lowbrow but I also like the more graphic arts, as you can see in street art, illustration, graphic design, comic books, collage and folk art. I just love, love it, when abstract, geometric forms are combined with a cool figurative image, pref. something anthropomorphic. I have a thing for animals with human characteristics and vice versa.

The Lucky Doll.
3. What do you use for inspiration, or how do you generate ideas?

Sketching, and working on a piece always give me ideas for a next one. And seeing work by other artists always inspire me. I browse through a lot of Flickr, Etsy, blogs like Hi-Fructose, Juxtapoz, The Jealous Curator, Arrested Motion, etc. Also, my old little laptop is cramped with inspirational images I found on the web, in books or my own photographs and in our house there are a lot of beautiful books, figurines, vintage photos, old tins etc. I only have to look around and I am inspired by a beautiful colour combination or a cool pattern.

Bronze and Blue.

4. Walk us through your creative process from idea to finished project.

Most of the times, it starts with a colour combination I have in my head. Other times a face or an outfit on a vintage photo strikes me. I then think of how to translate that in my work. I work on a bunch of tiny canvases and pieces of found wood at the same time. I shuffle them around a lot, make different combinations. It allows me to experiment, to put a leftover colour from my palette on another piece and to come up with solutions for works that are lying there for a longer time. The disadvantage of that is that it can sometimes take ages before I finish a piece because I rather work on something else. The advantage is that if I do finish work, I finish a batch. I also make little graphite drawings and, lately, painted clay pendants and brooches the same way, in batches. So there are always a lot of unfinished works lying around in that tiny studio.

The Rrrrr.

5. What is a typical day in your life?

I don’t have a work schedule. I just work when I feel like it. And that is normally all day and mostly nights. During my coffee and breakfast and very often hours after, I am browsing internet, looking at other art, (re)searching ideas while I sketch, write and doodle in my sketchbook. Then I go to my studio room and work there until I remember to also have some fresh air. Do some grocery shopping, cook, talk with my man, maybe watch some series or read and browse, sketch, paint again until I am off to bed. Which is very often very late. I do also have days where I see friends and family, go on bike rides, walk around in our beautiful city or a park. : )


6. What do you think draws you to other people's work?

Imagination, skills, and the use of colours.
When I feel; “Oh I wish I came up with that!”

Checkered Sky.

7. What are your interests/hobbies?

Looking at work of other artists : ) on blogs etc and offline in museums and galleries. Hanging out with friends, going on road trips (while photographing landscapes for new paintings), reading and watching films.

The Boy and the Accordian.

8. Is this your full time job, or do you have a job out-of-studio?

I worked for years in an art supplies store to pay the bills (and get a discount on art supplies…).

Oh Deer.
9. What is your favorite piece you've ever made and why?

That’s such a difficult question. I have some old(er) favorites but it’s mostly the last one I make. I can also be very happy when I see a bunch of them together. They work so well in collections, I think. It can make me feel like a child who sees all their Halloween candy together.

One Red Tree.

10. What advice would you give to an artist just starting out in the business world?

About the business part: I am not very good at that myself. I tend to stay too much in my bubble, being in my head, my studio, with my tiny paintings and be very anti social. But you have to show your work to the world and talk to people on and offline if you want to sell your work. So finding the balance there is probably a good advice. : )

I do know that you should only do what you love. An artist, I forgot who, said: ‘ immerse yourself in your art and art in general’. That’s very important I think, that way you get authenticity and people will see that in your work. 

Rinske's Studio Space.
 11. Describe your work space.

A small spare room in our apartment is turned into a tiny studio. Because I paint and draw real small nowadays, I don’t need much space. I do have a lot of stuff that needs room, though. A lot of art supplies, hundreds of postcards and vintage photographs, books, figurines etc.

Rinske With A Work In Progress.

12. Did you face any setbacks on your path to being an artist?

Yes, the ‘lack off self esteem moments’, other people, like some family members, who ‘just don’t understand why you are not having a proper job’ and money problems make it hard sometimes to keep the faith. Luckily I have a man who believes in me. : ) Plus, I experienced that once you have taken that step to become whatever you want to be, you can’t go back anymore, which is wonderful and scary at the same time.

Green Sky.

13. What milestones, goals, or achievements are you striving for right now?

Creating all those ideas I have in my head and my sketchbooks, exhibitions abroad, collaborations. Be more organized : )

Thanks so much for letting me interview you!! 
You can also find her on:
Her Website

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Bit Of Artist Doubt Overwhelming Me.

Cattle at Huddard-Kivett farm, north of Martinsville by Frank M. Hohenberger, 1927. via.

I'm not sure what is bringing this on.  My camera is broken at the moment, so perhaps it's the fact that I haven't gotten to go out and take pictures for a bit.  Perhaps it's the fact that my shops have been a little quiet lately.  Perhaps it's because winter is setting in around here, and it's really not my favorite time of year.  Whatever it is, I'm a bit overcome with this sense of "Holy cow, am I really good enough to match wits with the likes of the other artists out there?  Am I worthy of calling myself an artist?"  I am sure this feeling will pass without much of a concern, but it is an annoying, gnawing feeling at the present.  I know I'm not alone, I know a lot of artists have this feeling come over them sometimes.  Just wish I could shake it.  I do believe I'll go run about the house dancing to some music with Hoot and that may help, if not it most definitely can't hurt either.

On a side note, I'm still swooning over the entire Frank M. Hohenberger Collection, if you couldn't tell.

I'd Wear That.

Via Pinterest/Boden USA.

Words: Katharine Riggs.

Via Poetry Magazine on

Playlist: No. 2--Don't Give Up On Me Yet.

Cover Art via Flickr (US National Archives--Photograph of Bess Wallace, 06/1906).
Listen or via Tumblr.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sale Time.

Available in all three shops Wednesday, November 21-Sunday, November 25:

Original Art:
Vintage Finds:

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I'd Wear That.

Via Pinterest / Anthropologie
I like the look of the whole outfit (except in an alternate view the back pockets have buttons, and I'm not a fan of that.  I like the shoes, dark wash jeans, fun hair, and cozy shirt.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Artistic Moment of the Week: Washington Beach from 1907.

via Flickr:  Beach at La Push

Beach at La Push, June 1907
Jones, Lynds
Subjects (LCSH):
Driftwood--Washington (State)--La Push

What I Wear Daily.

I've gotten in the habit of wearing almost this exact same outfit every day.  Switch around tank top and snap-shirt colors and patterns, but otherwise it's the same style outfit daily.  Also, keep in mind that the shirt isn't fitted--it's usually a men's sized work shirt.  I want to get out of this habit, and start wearing clothes that fit (being that all my clothes are too big now).  So I'm starting a segment on the blog entitled:  "I'd Wear That."  I'll be putting all my fashion inspiration on here best that I can.
Via my Polyvore.
Feedback is always appreciated.  I'm pretty clueless when it comes to fashion and beauty stuff.  As you can see from the above--comfy and practical are the most important criteria.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Artist Interview: Greg Hargreaves.

Today's interview introduces us to Greg Hargreaves.  He's an abstract landscape painter who lives in Iowa.  I was drawn to his work on Etsy for the colors he uses as well as the theme.  I'm always drawn to landscapes that involve a lot of "space."  He agreed to let me ask him a few questions, here are his answers:

After the Rain.

 1. Were you always an art kid, or did you stumble upon it later in life?

Yes...I've always been an"art" kid. I was always that kid in class who could draw better than anyone else. It was my one and only talent growing up and I've tried to exploit it to the best of my abilities.

Riverside Study.

2. What style of art is your favorite and why?

That one is very tough to nail down. I appreciate a wide variety of artistic expression. Enjoying not only the old masters...but the work of primitives, expressionists, minimalists, to name a few. I especially delight in the work of children as their vision is untutored, exuberant, and fearless. Many of my children's pieces hang on my walls.
Wide Spot on the Wapsi.
3. What do you use for inspiration, or how do you generate ideas?

I have of late concentrated more and more on landscapes. It seems that whenever I have free time...and the muse is upon me...I relax by indulging in what can best be described as regional abstract landscape painting. There is a much more in depth explanation about this on my website.

Cattails and Killdeer.

4. Walk us through your creative process from idea to finished project.

I ordinarily start with a conceptual sketch with emphasis on form, composition, and texture above all else. Sometimes however I let myself go where the "muse" leads me. Allowing the paint to take me in directions not predetermined. So that my work ranges from tightly orchestrated more representational scenes to the very abstract. More about this on my site as well.  

Fields and Phone Poles.

 5. What is a typical day in your life?

I have no set work schedule. I work when the muse strikes...sometimes into the wee hours of night...stopping when I run out of inspiration. Many times I revisit a painting after weeks or months of contemplation to add finishing touches. I have resurrected many pieces this way. I know this habit is unconventional...and many of my artist friends chastise me about this...but it works for me.

North of East Dubuque.

6. What do you think draws you to other people's work?

I am especially drawn to other landscape painters. And enjoy most the work of artists that delight audiences with their technical facility in creating a transforming experience with paint. 
I love work that never lets the viewer forget that it is after all just paint. 

Portage Path.
7. What are your interests/hobbies?

The outdoors is my second home. Canoeing, camping, hunting and fishing mainly. I am especially attracted to water. There is magic in water...ponds, lakes, creeks, rivers, are the places I spend a good deal of time. I am also a voracious reader.

Spring Fields.
 8. Is this your full time job, or do you have a job out-of-studio?

Art is my full time profession. I have enjoyed many long fulfilling relationships with artists, art directors, and art buyers nationally and internationally. Some of them have become dear friends. And commercial assignments have been a stimulating and a wonderful way to earn a living. In between assignments I relax with a landscape.
Sweets Marsh.
 9. What is your favorite piece you've ever made and why?

That is impossible to answer. They are all individual steps in a journey. Is there a mother that loves one child above all others? 

Three Trees.

10. What advice would you give to an artist just starting out in the business world?

This is another very tough question. Due to the digital revolution, I'm at a loss as to how to direct an aspiring artist into either the commercial field...or the gallery arena. Gallery painting remains for me a mystery as it is a market the same way that the commercial arena is. I would simply tell any artist...young or or follow their muse, do those things that they find they feel compelled to do and hope that there is an audience that appreciates their efforts.

Winter Solstice.
11. Describe your work space.

 A mess. A windowless dungeon. This in fact helps me focus. If I were to have a more open space full of light and vistas I'm sure I would spend much more time gazing outside and less time with the business at hand. Even when working at various commercial studios I would invariably draw the blinds over the widows. Purists cringe at this...but works for me.

12. Did you face any setbacks on your path to being an artist?

Not really. I got into art school with no trouble...receiving scholarships along the way to ease the financial burden. After graduating I had my first art job after only a few interviews...and advanced to various positions as a traditional illustrator with a number of commercial art studios in the midwest...ultimately going free lance back in the mid 90's. In retrospect...I've had it pretty easy. And after 43 years...I'm still working. 
13. What milestones, goals, or achievements are you striving for right now?

I would simply like to continue on my present path as long as I'm able. Sales are important...but not the goal. I simply enjoy painting and am rewarded that others delight in my work.

Thanks so much for your time, and thanks for making such lovely landscapes.