Saturday, October 31, 2009


This blog post was written by artist, STEVE LAUMAN

Steve Lauman is a multimedia and mixed media artist living and working at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ. He leads an intriguing lifestyle, holding the position of instrument maker, a slot that’s been occupied by only three others since the founding of the Observatory in 1897. His work as an astronomical instrument maker directly influences him as an artist, revealing a fascinating perspective that continuously surfaces in his artwork.
"There is a real juxtaposition at play between my artistic work and what’s required of me at Lowell. The two activities are innately opposite, yet they balance one another."
Because of the technical nature of manufacturing precision parts, Steve is influenced by the processes employed, and often puts these methods to use in his artwork. Likewise, his efforts as an artist reciprocate in the form of creative energy to the benefit of the Observatory.
"As an instrument maker, I’m heavily relied upon by the astronomers to build their tools for research. In a sense, they are relying on me to be an artist; I must consistently bring to the table creative solutions and colorful ideas that come from nowhere. I also must constantly be honing my skills as a machinist, welder, designer and materials expert. All of these things spill over into my artwork. I like to say that my important works can be seen at the end of a telescope or among paintings at an exhibition."
Steve’s artwork exemplifies the intense contrast and balance between art and technology. He also strives to explore the disparities that are so common in the West: beauty of water in the desert; scarcity of dark sky within a sea of light; clash of urban and wilderness; stark desert landscape and its rich, vibrant gems from deep within. This exploration can be expressed as simply as a steel line drawn in negative space, or the choice of a symbolic color. It can be as complex as articulating a spiritual boundary, using recycled materials and prose. The work can take the form of a highly functional instrument capable of a glimpse of Pluto, or it can simply be a colorful artistic refuge. What to be expected from this artist is the unexpected.
Like the gadgetry affixed to a telescope that peers into the cosmos, Steve Lauman as an artist, becomes an instrument of art. His purpose is to gather what’s around us that can’t be touched and bring it back for all to experience.

"Take Five is a painted steel chair. It is first in a series of artistic sitting sanctuaries. The idea behind my series of artistic sanctuaries is to create an artistic space that the viewer can touch, see, feel and take a rest. I want to create spaces that envelope the viewer ensuring the artistry does not go unnoticed."

"I am conflicted with the concept of functional art. I've created many functional pieces that were clever and useful but rarely have I been completely satisfied with their artistic value. Often the functionality dominates the artistry or the concept involved in creating the piece. The
purpose of this series is to explore the boundary between functional and non functional art by providing limited function. In this case the usefulness is limited only to rest. Once seated and at rest, the viewer has moved beyond the function of the object and becomes closely involved in it as an art piece. In a sense, I'm using function only to draw in the viewer, inviting them to take a break, "Take Five" and enjoy some artwork."
"So, by all means, please have a seat." Steve

"Take Five"
2' x 2' x 4'
Painted Steel
Click pic to see more of Steve’s work.
Also, you can follow him on Twitter: @Buffalokid

Saturday, October 24, 2009

ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Kris G. Brownlee (kgb)

With initials like k.g.b. one wouldn't expect to find the cute characters that populate Kris G. Brownlee's art. Her paintings of girls with big eyes and shy smiles have undertones of subtle darkness that contrast their storybook feel.

Though she's always worked in creative fields, Kris is a relative newcomer to the art world and didn't begin selling selling her work until 2008 when she created an Etsy shop. Since then she has shipped her art all over the world to clients across the USA, Canada, Australia, Portugal & Estonia. An avid blogger, Kris shares sketches & progress photos of her work plus more personal entries about her family life which allow clients to get to know her on a personal level.

In March 2009 Kris had her first group gallery show at APW Gallery in New York. She's kept busy ever since with shows at Raw Canvas in Vancouver, Atlanta's ArtHouse project and the Square Foot Show in Toronto, Canada. She's thrilled to be part of the group collaboration for Twitter 140.

A voracious learner, Kris is currently adding to her painting toolbox by attending classes at the prestigious Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC (Canada) where she lives with her partner and a very possessive pug.

The Bee Girl
acrylic on canvas
8" x 10"

Click pic to see more of Kris G. Brownlee’s work.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Julie Caves makes books and paints. She paints because she is fascinated by colour. She layers transparent colour, looks at how colours affect one another, and tries to capture light inside the paint. Because the subject of the work is colour she has been called a “colourist”. The finished paintings become a record and trace of her practice. They have been described as “very painterly” and she thinks this means that the viewer can feel the process of painting as if they had made the marks themselves.

When she needs to use sequence or groups or concept, she makes a book. An artists' book is art that simply chooses to use the format of a book. Hers usually use drawing or photography, and text. As Julie says: "I make books that offer a moment of cheerful confusion, books that celebrate the beauty of the so-called ordinary, books made of groupings and lists, cataloguing the things and places we think we know, books that offer a new look at things you see every day. I like that a book is a piece of art you can hold and look at all by yourself. I think the best artists' books are silly or funny on the surface while encouraging you to think about something more meaningful. I am trying my best to make contact with humanity." Serendipity Press is the imprint name she uses to distinguish her bookworks from her other artistic work.

Julie began her art studies in California in 1989, studied art in Spain, received a BFA in Studio Art (Sculpture and Printmaking) in Texas, and an MA in Bookarts from Camberwell College of Arts in London. She has participated in exhibitions in the US, Spain, Korea, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Mexico and the UK. She has artists' books and prints in a number of public and private collections including the Tate Britain Gallery Special Collection. Before arriving at Blackhorse Lane Studios, in East London where she is now based, Julie's studio was located at the historic Abbey Art Centre in North London and the Chocolate Factory N16 in North East London. She is a member of the Colour Group of Great Britain, The Walthamstow Arts Club, the Pacific Centre for Book Arts and the CREATE group of Bristol.

Strange Fruit
Oil on wood panel
16x20 inches
Click pic to see more of Julie Caves’s work.
Julie Cave’s Blog
Julie Cave’s Artist Books

Saturday, October 10, 2009


“Spiritual Journey” shows a culmination of techniques I have refined to create this masterful piece. Using various felting and dying processes, Spiritual Journey epitomizes many of the ancestral cultures I admire so much. From the petroglyphs to the winding expression of the spiritual path, the colors, tones, and feel of this piece lead you on a journey to expression.

With a combination of fleece, silks, hand-spun and dyed yarns and locks all lovingly wet and needle felted together in a variety of techniques, brings a voice through the ages.

Spiritual Journey
Click pic to see more of Akasya Maya’s work.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

ARTIST OF THE WEEK: John Azelvandre

A seedling always strives to reach for the sun.

I've done a lot of interesting things in my medium-length life, but what excites me the most is visual art. An artist was the first thing I ever said I wanted to be when I was a little kid back in Ohio. But, as often happens to little kids that want to be artists, I got sidetracked. Luckily, the sidetracks have been interesting. After surviving Catholic school, I studied: music and engineering and then worked in Manhattan recording studios for a few years. Then grad school: environmental science, philosophy and education. I've also worked as a park ranger and a science teacher. Now I'm back to art (finally) and still (much to my amazement) a happy resident of the greatest of boroughs, Brooklyn, New York.

Having spent entirely too much time with words in the past, in my work I am now seeking to express that which defies the bounds of language. My work is inspired by the natural world as well as by the imagination. Through the manipulation of form, line and color, I'm looking for that inexpressible ground underlying human experience and aspiration. By exploring the always fuzzy boundary between abstraction and representation, I hope to express that which could unite all the apparent paradoxes we encounter in life, such as those between real and unreal, sacred and profane, spiritual and erotic.

"Yggdrasil Mandala"
Acrylic on canvas
36” x 36"
Click pic to see more of John Azelvandre’s work.