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on the hunt for good art

Ryan Jacob Smith @ Land Gallery

June 22nd, 2012 · No Comments

Ryan Jacob Smith’s show at Land Gallery opens tonight (via The Art Cake). I read somewhere that pink was considered a “manly” color up until fairly recently. I really like how Smith appropriates the color (as well as feminine flourishes and symbols) and makes it his own. This series has a disjointed but fascinating mix of subjects matter: butterflies, anvils, peacocks, delicate silhouettes, skulls and skateboards.











Glassware To Kill For

December 5th, 2010 · 5 Comments

Handmade, made-to-order glassware by Esque Studio in Portland, Oregon. I discovered Esque last night on Heath Ceramic’s website (which includes an amazing selection of artisanal housewares) and am absolutely in awe of the studio’s work. Have you ever seen such beautiful, artistic designs…in glass? Esque creators Andi Kovel (a woman) and Justin Parker are apparently two of the most renowned glassmakers, and they’ve clearly earned their reputation.




Elemental: Walton + Bliss + APAK + Yellena

August 4th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Photo: Betsy Walton

This is crazy cool! Five of Portland’s biggest indie art stars collaborated on over 50 paintings for Elemental at Together Gallery. Yup. Betsy Walton, Jill Bliss, Aaron and Ayumi Piland of APAK and Yellena James. I’m having a blast piecing together the different influences of the five artists in each painting. Here are some of my favs that highlight the different collaborations…

Here I see Betsy Walton + APAK…


…and Jill Bliss + Yellena James + APAK.


Here I see Yellena James + Betsy Walton…


… and APAK + Yellena James…


… and Jill Bliss + Yellena James.

Artist Interview: Cathy McMurray

July 14th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Cathy McMurray is an artist, photographer, art lover and blogger (Habit of Art) from Portland, Oregon. At one point she had a fabulous art and design shop called Olio and also worked in arts education for a number of years. You may remember her from the Brooklyn Meets Portland series in which Cathy and I interviewed well-known artists from our respective cities.

Cathy and I became blog buddies through a shared love of Portland artist, Jill Bliss. Over the last year since the inception of both Art Hound and Habit of Art, Cathy and I have stayed in touch and encouraged each other’s endeavors.

What’s been really fascinating for me has been watching Cathy pick her art back up in a serious way. There are many consistent themes in Cathy’s work such as the natural elements and her graphic but organic visual language, but her work has progressed as she has honed her voice and found ways to incorporate her art with her crafting interests… So I asked Cathy to share some thoughts on her journey so far.

.Tell us about your journey getting back into art?

I have always wanted to work full-time on my art, and when my store closed last fall, I thought it was the right time to go for it. The past year has definitely been a journey of self-discovery.  At first, I felt very “rusty,” and I knew that it would take some time to grow into my style.  There were many days that I would sit at my desk with artist’s block.  Drawing in my sketchbook always helps. Sometimes I take a break altogether and work on other projects, whether it’s photography, sewing, or working on my blog.

Eureka, available on etsy

You’ve recently started translating some of your drawings and paintings into embroidery. Why embroidery?

In the last fifteen years, I’ve actually spent more time learning traditional crafts like hand quilting and crocheting than drawing and painting.  I enjoy working in different mediums and have only recently begun to combine various disciplines in my work.  I first started using embroidery after I figured out how to print my drawings on fabric.  I like how it adds another layer of interest to the designs.

How has your art progressed in the year since you took it back up?

The first part of the year was spent experimenting with different materials and creating a lot of new compositions. Lately, I’ve been spending more time building upon ideas.  I’m now ready to start focusing on a series rather than individual pieces. I’m hoping that the embroidered drawings will become my first series. I’m currently in the process of creating new designs.

What has it been like to make art and blog about it?
As an artist who works from home, I can be easily distracted from working on my art. The blog is an accountability tool for me.  When I started the blog, I said that I would post new work every week, and so far, I’ve kept that promise.  And, I love the fact that I can get an immediate response from readers to my work!  I’ve actually changed direction on a piece because of feedback that I’ve received on my blog.

(Fill in the blank) In three years I’d like to be…

…published in an art book.  Honestly, I haven’t put much thought into this; I just think it would be fun to see my work in a book.  One day, I’d like to work on a children’s book, but that’s more than three years out!

I’d also like to have a studio space separate from my home.  I actually love working at home, but I’d like more space to sprawl out, especially when working on large sewing projects. My dream is to build a zero-carbon art studio in our backyard.

Thanks, Cathy! By the way, I’m digging your clear frames!

Dream Trip to Portland

December 28th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I’ve had a big, fat crush on Portland, OR since getting involved in affordable art three or four years ago. It goes without saying that so, so many of the artists I love and feature on Art Hound make and show their art in this beloved city.

One of these days I’m going to take a trip to Portland and stay at the Ace Hotel which seems to embody many of the qualities the city and its residents are known for: creativity, quirkiness, a d.i.y. sensibility and a laid-back attitude. The hotel commissioned local artists to decorate each of the guest rooms and the resulting designs are vibrant, fresh and very Portland!

Artist of the day: Cat Lauigan

December 7th, 2009 · No Comments

Sometimes I get really psyched, thinking that I’ve “randomly” discovered an artist of an entirely unrelated circle. Then, with a little more digging, I realize that the artist is actually quite connected to people and places I already know.  This was the case Cat Lauigan who has shown at a number of my favorite galleries including Giant Robot, Jonathan Levine, Hatch and Canteen.

Nonetheless, I’m psyched to have come across her work. I’m especially fond of the stripe-y, geometric, slightly-psychedelic pieces I’ve included here. Her work centers around mesmerizing graphics, and her colors achieve a fun balance of vibrancy and earthiness. Lauigan currently has work available at Fontanelle from $150-350.