Sunday, November 20, 2011

Colleen Atwood

One thing I think I've seriously overlooked in fashion and art is costume design!!!

So I did some digging and so far I'm in love with the designs of Colleen Atwood.

She has won many awards as a costume designer and she has worked many times with Tim Burtan.

One of my favorites are her work in Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha, Sweeney Todd, Chicago, and Edward Schissorhands.

Of course her impressive resume is more then that but those are just my favorites.

I don't think most of us see the way the clothes themselves in the movie create the visual for the overall picture. Its something I think we all seriously overlook and don't appreciate. From creating looks to make a pirate to simply old classics like Casablanca. I mean what would ANY movie be like if they walked around in patatoe sacks without someone to design the look and feel of the movie????

Gabriel "Coco" Chanel

Although fashion isn't your typical form of art it is in fact an art form. And one of the greatest artist of this trade in my opinion is Gabriel "Coco" Chanel. Born poor and raised by a sad heartbroken mother to an absent father.

When her mother died her father took her and her 2 sisters to live in a convent for orphans where she learned how to sew.

At 18 she was sent to live in a boarding house for catholic girls and gained a job as a seamstress. There she met an ex-cavalry officer Etienne Balsan who took her in as her mistress and gave her the life of a rich woman. During her stay with Balsan she started designing and making hats and soon discovered her love for fashion.

She later began an affair with Edward "Boy" Capel. And he was able to show her the support of her fashion dreams.

She was inspired by Boy's own style and the need to make women comfortable yet fashionable in these hard, men dominated times.

She used materials that her male competition considered non-fashionable. And she created beautiful works of art that many women have loved and still love. Her pieces were meant to make women feel and be fashionable while not sacrificing themselves and their comfort.

Chanel wanted women to dress for themselves not for their men.

Georgia O'Keffe

Born from a modest family of seven children and daughter to diary farmers. At age 10 she decided she wanted to be an artist. She and her sister were for a while instructed by Sara Mann a local watercolorist, but after high school is when she went on to an art institute for more formal instruction.

Although extremely successful for a women of her time, she often found it dificult to distinguish herself as an artist and for a while did not paint at all, the smell of turpintine made her sick. But then one day she was able to find inspiration again and painted many great works of art.

Her truest self however came when she moved to New Mexico for a time. She still had a difficult time finding ways to be inspired and often though to move to New York or travel across Europe but decided on a whim to travel to New Mexico where she found her true inspiration in the dry aired desert.

I find her story completely inspiring as I myself also find it hard to get truly inspired. And I also find her works to be beautiful and memorizing.

Cai Guo-Qiang

Born in 1957 China Cai Guo-Qiang creates art through performance, drawing, installation, and video.

He was trained in a Theatre Academy in Shanghai

His pieces aim to utulize culture and history through modern social issues and eastern philosophy.

He has also experimented with gunpowder and has many explosive events.

Monday, October 24, 2011

E. H. Shepard

An artist and illustrator who is best known for Winnie the Pooh.

After having gone to many fine arts schools by 1906 he had become a very successful illustrator. In 1923 he was introduced to Milne (the author of Winnie the Pooh) and it was then that he created the various human-like animals most of us love today. Milne loved Shepard's work so much he made sure to share a good portion of the royalties and added that when he died he wanted Shepard to decorate his tomb and write the epitaph.

Shepard actually grew to hate Winnie the Pooh because he felt that it overshadowed his other successes.

Christopher Robin was modeled on Milne's son and Winnie the Pooh was modeled on a toy bear of Shepard's son called "Growler".

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Salvador Dalí

Encouraged as an artist by his mother at a young age, Dali showed a lot of potential. After he was expelled from his Art School, that's when his work started to become more popular. He worked with artists like Picasso in the early 1920s but was most influenced by the Dada and Surrealists movements.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lana Crooks

I tried to find a good taxidermy artist to post about but I got distracted by well the fact that the animals were totally dead and real. I wanted to find something along the lines of the animals as art but in a more light-hearted feel. I came across Lana Crooks who was the answer to my blogging prayers!

Her "faux taxidermy" is basically plush animals shaped to look like taxidermy art. Whats so great about that is 1. no dead animals and 2. a much more cuter feel and quite unique.

Lana Crooks herself is a bit of a cooky girl and her art definitely shows it (her facebook is even called Lana "the plushinator" Crooks)! She started as an illustrator but discovered her art of sculpture through fabrics and buttons and now operates in a studio in Chicago surrounded by a menagerie of plush animals and her sidekick cat Tanuki.

Séraphine de Senlis

From rags to riches to back to rags this is the story of Madam Seraphine! She began as a sweet, odd old housemade who would only paint in her spare time when she wasn't working her butt off when a German art collector discovered what she was capable of. He began to push her to make more and eventually it paid off because she made some of the first abstract arts and with beautiful floral arrangements. Unfortunately over time as her paintings grew bigger, more abstract, and exceedingly beautiful... she also went very mad! She began to be more critical of herself and cared too much for the opinions of others (and she had a nasty habbit of spending money like there was no tomorrow). She was sent to an insane asylum and passed away there. Her beautiful art should not be forgotten though. She is probably the first female artist to create works of her kind.

Shelley Evans

Shelley Evans travels all around the globe collecting textiles and making them into unique sculptures called spirit keepers. She wanted to make them look like old relics and they were about as big as my arm (maybe a little bigger). They each gave a different feel according to their colors and structure, the picture shown above is called "capture the spirit" in which the cage on its head is where it keeps spirits.

Shelley was born and raised in Southern California and as a child she spent most of her time making art out of shells and sand from the beaches. When she grew up she decided to travel with friends and was amazed at the world in which she lived in and its different cultures, food etc. The spirit keepers depict her travels.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Josh Blackwell

The plastic bag is something that is used once then considered trash and tossed. Blackwell got the idea to take this trash and make it into art. He wanted to change the way people see certain objects as worthless or valuable.

Josh Blackwell has a Master in Fine Arts at the California Art Institue. He has worked mostly with magazine companys.

Monday, September 5, 2011

John Baldessari

John Baldessari began as a painter, but in 1970 he burned all of the paintings that were in his possesion that he created between 1953 and 1966 and begin a new way of creating art with mixed media. He felt that his paintings were boring and thought that he needed to find a way to make his pieces more understandable by using photographs and words. He was very successful at using mixed media and also as a teacher. His course at CalArts was called "post-studio art" in which he believed that "there is certain kind of work one could do that didn't require a studio. It's work that is done in one's head." Baldessari would often lay out a map of Los Angeles and have one of his students throw a dart at it and wherever it landed was the location of where they would have their trips. They would take with them video cameras and still cameras and just hangout for the day to come back and use what they got on their cameras for their work. His teaching methods served to be successful for his students, but also for himself. It was during his teaching career that he became a very successful artist.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Don O'Neil


On a whim me and my boyfriend decided to visit the local Riverside Art Museum just to go out and have fun, but there I discovered an artist who's paintings have brought me to the realization that watercolors are my favorite form of painting.

I couldn't take my eyes off of the beautiful layers of colors that were put into each of his paintings, and the details were amazing as well. I think it is the layering of translucent colors that draw me to these kinds of paintings

Its quite obvious the detail that is put into the 1st painting, but when you see it live your blown away by the way watercolors can make these beautiful details. This one was one of my favorites.

The artist is Don O'Neill who was a local painter in the Riverside area. He was originally an architect but he did his watercolor paintings on the side to express his true artistic talents. He found that through his watercolor paintings he could find a true spiritual appreciation of life. And even after his death in 2007 he is still honored by many watercolor societies.