A Cover to Remember

Nocturnal ISO200Adj 350x295 - A Cover to RememberAs I wind up the final packing of the Colorado warehouse, I have been thinking about some of our more memorable covers and issues and had to stop and wonder what a few of our cover artists have been up to lately. So, I hope you will indulge me, if you are not curious yourself, as we look back at some of the best cover art on the magazine and catch up with some of those artists today.

To this day, one of the most popular covers we ever had was just the third issue of The Polymer Arts back in February of 2012. This is the cover art piece, without the layout. Raku Inuoe just blew everyone’s minds with his fantastical sculptural winged moths and butterflies. The intensity of the color and the boldness of the forms and lines were certainly attention-grabbing. We got tons of comments and emails about this cover and it was shared all over. It was immensely gratifying for a fairly new magazine to get that kind of attention.

If you read that issue, you would have learned that Raku does not swear allegiance to any one medium but swims from one to another, depending on his curiosity and need for expression at the time. Although it doesn’t look like he’s steered completely clear of polymer, he has certainly made another mark on the visual art world with his floral built creatures, recently featured in Colossal. Take a look at his Instagram page for a ride through his wild imagination.

If you are interested in getting a copy of the Spring 2012 – Creative Spaces issues, you will have to be content with a digital copy as the print copies sold out within a year of its publication. It was an amazing issue with a peek into the studios of Raku, Christi Friesen, Bettina Welker and Swirly Designs, as well as other great articles focused on your creative space. Get your copy here.

 

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Raining Color

leonoid-afermovSo there has been a bit of rain here in Southern California which I am very much enjoying. After years of Colorado weather, which constantly changes and rain is common albeit brief all summer into fall, I really appreciate what relatively few storms we get here on the south-west coast. So to wrap up my intense color week, I thought I’d pull out a kind of guilty favorite in my list of contemporary artists whom I admire, with this after the rain scene.

I say guilty because a part of me rallies against the level of commercialism this painter, Leonid Afremov, has achieved but the other hand, he makes a good living off it so who am I to knock that? And the work is beautiful to look at. His scenes are so intensely colorful and have so much energy. He commonly does rain or damp weather scenes which naturally have brighter colors and lots of reflected light. His choices tap into our strong reaction and attraction to saturated color as well as bright and shiny images and he does so without being garish. You have to admire that.

Leonid may not be communicating a particularly deep message and isn’t making any social or political statements but his paintings deserve notice because of the simple fact that he knows what we gravitate to. I think that is actually more in line with most craft art than other approaches in what is called ‘fine’ or ‘modern’ art. Craft tends towards showing us beauty more so than having a message and I think that is a very important and admirable. Make someone smile or sigh happily and you have done the whole world a great service.

See more of Leonid’s work on his website and Facebook page.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Take a break from creating and take time to just admire beauty. What is beautiful to you? If you can get out to some galleries or a museum and just take in what catches your eye, without any self-judgement as to the sophistication of your choices. If what you see inspires you, sketch or write out ideas to go over later in the studio.

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Outside Inspiration: Texture in Textiles

My first love in crafts was in fiber arts. Weaving, dying, hand-stitched art-to-wear and mixed textiles wall pieces were all part of my early portfolio and exploration of craft art forms. These materials still fascinate me and polymer design ideas often include mixing fiber or drawing inspiration from the art form.

The textures and use of mixed media in today’s fiber arts often remind me of approaches to polymer. Rich, organic texture and intense color are signatures of many of today’s textile artists making the craft a fantastic source for polymer inspiration. This is a wall piece by Helen Suzanne, a texture maniac whose work I get lost in, just checking out all of the techniques and materials used in these pieces.

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If you ever have a chance to see fiber art in person, in a gallery that specializes in the craft or a museum that has a collection or a curated show, make seeing it a priority. As with polymer, you get so much more out of the work when seen in person.  One can’t help but be wowed by the intensity of the work you see in the details of these pieces. Yeah, the patience of a fiber artist who does work like Helen here just blows my mind. Maybe you can catch the traveling Fiber Art International exhibition, in California right now, or when it moves to  South Carolina and Massachusetts in the coming year. Take a look at the FAI website and gallery sections to see just where fiber arts are today.

 

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