Loveless Animals

loveless cane wall seahorse 430x989 - Loveless AnimalsLet us allow Jon Stuart Anderson’s cover piece dictate the theme this week … animals full of color and pattern. Although, unlike Jon’s bull on the cover of the upcoming Summer 2017 issue (due out end of May) is a three-dimensional sculpture, this piece is a wall mosaic by Mary Anne Loveless who just so happens to be gracing our pages as well in the gallery section of that same issue.

Even though this is a two-dimensional approach to using canes to create the shape and flow of an animal’s likeness, the mind-set is probably not dissimilar when the artists sit down to work out where the canes will go. What canes and where would they best serve the image of this animal they want to convey? Mary Anne is using mosaic and pointillism to create the form of the seahorse here while Jon uses a three-dimensional form. Does seem pretty different from that aspect but the patterns are what form the details of these animals in both cases.

I really enjoy picking out the individual canes in both cases. I am enthralled by Mary Anne’s choice of color juxtaposition in this. The aqua next to the reds and the beige and peach being the color the blues fade off to like in the chest area. It’s just beautiful.

Mary Anne really likes seahorses, as you will find upon opening her Flickr page which as of this post, is pretty much all seahorses. But she also likes fish and flowers and faeries!  But mostly she loves, and is very good at, pattern and color which you can see in full evidence on her Flickr pages and her Etsy shop.


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Encouraging Stories

agozonar-encourageOur profiled artist for the Winter 2016 issue is the delightfully enigmatic and poetic Alev Gozonar whose work is far less defined by the material than by the stories she has such an overwhelming desire to tell. She works predominantly in polymer if you are looking at the last few years but she takes many detours and one may even wonder if she’ll be wandering back this way at moments.

In the article we feature and discuss her pointillistic cane wall pieces but that is only one part of this ever exploring artist. The work you see here is water-color on paper with little wire and polymer people pushing up the painted shapes to reveal the white and words behind the painting. There is an obvious metaphor of revealing the ideas behind the work but the struggle of the little guys also brings to the forefront the idea of just how hard it is to convey one’s meaning. And, if you know Alev’s work, you know there has got to be a story in this — probably something personal or close to her. In any case, the muted color palette is just beautifully harmonious each open shape just begs you to examine it. I find it an irresistibly intriguing piece and did so wish we had room to discuss some of her pieces like this. But that is both the beauty and the shortcoming of a magazine format –you only have so much time to delve into the most interesting subjects.

Think of the articles as an introduction to subjects and ideas that serendipitously fall into your lap and do go investigate the most interesting ones further. If Alev’s stories and inspiration sparks your interest, go take a look at her beautiful website, especially the section on her book which you can read online (the English is next to the Turkish so don’t let the show of foreign words turn you away).


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Pick up a magazine or scroll through Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram or whatever you have handy. Find something that really grabs you and do a bit of investigating. Keep a notepad or sketchbook nearby and start making notes on what you find inspiring. After you’ve done this, go play in the studio and let that inspiration help you start on your next project. If you detour from the inspiration, that’s fine. Just let it get you started and see where it takes you.


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Dots, Lines and Landscapes

Watching the sunrise over RangitotoI had something different planned for today, but this stunning work by Claire Fairweather popped up on the IPCA Facebook group, and I just had to ensure many more of you had the pleasure of enjoying dots in literally a BIG way.

This is a mosaic collage, and unlike most polymer work, it is quite large. Claire’s description gives you the idea:

“Here it is, my first large ‘dot mosaic’ artwork. It is made up of about 6,935 tiles and took over 150 hours to complete. Each tile has been handmade, from polymer clay, and glued in place on the canvas before being grouted with coloured acrylic modelling paste.”

Ambitious? Yes. Worth it? I think so! How I’d love to see this in person to see all the detail. But yes, we have our dots here used in varying sizes to enrich the texture of the mosaic. Line is used in a very subtle way to convey the horizontal arrangement of the landscape. The lines are created by the change in color rather than the arrangement of dots. Still it fits this week’s theme, but more importantly, it’s an impressive piece. Would you dedicate the time and resources to creating such a large piece? In other mediums, that much work going into one piece is not unusual. But, it does show how sincere dedication that we can all enjoy.


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Patience in Contemporary Art

I met Alev Gozonar in Malta as well, but it wasn’t until after I got home that I really got to see the extensive and painstaking nature of her work. She creates these incredible wall pieces with thousands of extruded cane sections. There is an easily recognized intention in the choices she makes, packing canes with slight but important variations and applying them with varying depths. Her pointillism approach creates stunning images at a distance but she also doesn’t shy away from celebrating the individual cane patterns, applying larger canes to the composition to illustrate the source of her primary elements which also break up the surface patterns. Instead of just seeing the one incredibly created image, your eye gets to wander and enjoy variation and pattern for the sake of pattern as well.


To see the details of this piece as well as the other many wonderful pieces she has created, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and take some time wandering through her website. It’ll be like taking a nice stroll through a fabulous gallery without having to play hookey at work.


Thanks to Randee Ketzel for sending me the link to the great photo above.


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