Catherine Nolin’s paintings take my breath away. Her gorgeous room portraits, still lifes, and botanical designs are defined by rich, vibrant colors, intricate patterns and luscious textures, each a sensual feast for the eyes steeped in antiquity.
A self-taught artist based in Andover, Massachusetts, Catherine says she’s always thinking about color and became fascinated with the emotional impact of various color combinations at a young age. The youngest of six sisters, she grew up in a family where Italian traditions were fundamental.
When I was 10 years old, a family friend, an artist, recognized my talent and enrolled me in a class at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. After that seminal experience, I continued to draw and in high school I practiced drawing furniture pieces and chairs with fabric patterns. The Italian Renaissance became my favorite art history period and I often incorporated objects and themes from this period into my work. In college, I studied pottery, figure drawing and art history.
Painting became a necessary form of therapy when she had her third son, who is autistic. This “part-time escape” soon evolved into a full time profession.
Fancy a leisurely drive along the French Riviera, perhaps stopping at a friend’s apartment for coffee and pastries? If her piano’s in tune, she’ll regale you with an exquisite rendition of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” her flamingos, peacock and toucan in attendance.
Later, if you’re in the mood for a swim, the two of you can head for the beach, where you can stretch out under a fringed umbrella with a bottle of champagne. Ah, this is the life!
Canadian artist Lisa Finch loves to create scenes like these, painting stories with a unique vintage voice. Her pictures are perfect for those who appreciate old world nostalgia with a touch of whimsy.
She welcomes visitors to her French Canvas Studio like this:
Imagine you’re stepping into a little studio filled with paints, jars of brushes and lots of canvases, Some with works started, others drying, some just blank, waiting patiently. In the corner you’ll find an old easel, my father’s, given to me years ago when I was just a young woman.
Along the only solid wall in this studio, is a great French armoire with a large mirror on the centre door that I try to avoid looking at when I enter in the morning. It has its purpose, but my reflection is not the one I need. If you open the doors on this antique cabinet, they protest with a moan as they reveal rolls of wrapping paper and packaging for items waiting to be shipped.
Behind my desk, there is a large window that fills this little room with natural light and on rainy days, I turn on an old lamp that I rescued from the side of the road and a makeshift spotlight that holds onto my easel for dear life. It’s through this window that I often catch myself dreaming as I watch the towering maple trees in the yard sway and the squirrels maneuver through their branches like acrobats and where the birds, hidden somewhere in the foliage, let out a song that makes me wish I could sing.
Look who’s relaxing up there on that shelf. She seems to be enjoying a moment of peace and quiet. As long as no one reaches for the sugar, she’s all set. 🙂
I was instantly smitten when I first saw Elizabeth Price’s charming ceramic figures. People standing, bending, stretching, sitting, posing — alone or with others — a state of mind, a moment in a narrative, a three dimensional snapshot that arouses curiosity and makes the viewer smile, ponder, or reflect.
Her pieces are brilliantly emotive; much is conveyed by stance and gestures — some as small as the tilt of the head or a certain set of the shoulders. I also love the soft colors and patterns of the garments! Wouldn’t you enjoy the lovely surprise of finding a small person lounging in your garden, posed on your bathroom sink, perched on your bookshelf?
Elizabeth is (you guessed it) British. She initially trained as an art teacher but early on ran her own restaurant in Manchester. It wasn’t until she was in her forties that she pursued formal art training and set up a home studio.
She’d always enjoyed working with clay, and after making many cakes with marzipan, she was reminded of just how much. 🙂
Let’s celebrate the merry month of May with Allyn Howard’slovely, winsome art. 🙂
Allyn is a painter living and working in Brooklyn, NY. I was immediately drawn to her pretty florals and charming animals. One can’t help but feel uplifted by her cheerful colors and playful, childlike designs.
Originally from Virginia, where she received her BFA from VCU in Communication Arts and Design, she went on to earn an MFA in Studio Art from NYU.
My work reflects my interest in the wonders of nature, often from the vantage point of small curious animals. I use water based acrylics on wood, paper and canvas, merging a decorative style with a colorful painterly one. My work is inspired by friendship, a sense of home and the discovery and sense of wonder observing the big beautiful world.
She excels in surface design; her fine detailed work lends itself well to fabrics, wallpaper, gift wrap, and a variety of personal accessories. Of course all her adorable animal friends brim with kid appeal (a selection of fine art prints, perfect for hanging in children’s rooms, is available via Oopsy Daisy).
I recently “discovered” UK illustrator Jane Newland while browsing images online. Safe to say that 80% of the time, when something different/exceptional/beautiful stops me in my tracks, the artist turns out to be British. 🙂
Jane lives and works in Norwich (the most complete Medieval city in the UK), which is located in Norfolk county.
A graduate of Maidstone College of Art, Jane has illustrated children’s books for a number of publishers, in addition to doing editorial/licensing work for such clients as Anthropologie, Times Square Hong Kong, Leonidas Belgian Chocolates, The Art Group, and Vogue. Her designs can be found on greeting cards, baby bed linen, magazine covers, packaging, and a line of handbags for Sakroots.
Clearly inspired by the natural world, her work is characterized by gorgeous color combinations and an exquisite attention to detail. She also includes some surprises in her landscapes every now and then — foxes, birds, dogs, people.