marie assénat: happy happy bonjour bonjour!

Vrroom, vrroom!– we’re off to discover Marie Assénat’s fun and colorful world!

Bonjour, Mes Amis. If you’re in the mood for big smiles, you’ve come to the right place. 

Illustrator Marie Assénat

Marie’s a Parisian illustrator currently based in Brooklyn. Her distinctive style is all about simple lines, bold colors, lots of quirk, and a certain je ne sais quoi that’s absolutely irresistible. So charming, so French!

It was while studying graphic design at La Cambre in Brussels that Marie discovered her love of illustration. In her last year of art school, her instructor showed her work to a publisher, and that led to her first children’s book.

Continue reading

love me some Joe Brainard

“If I’m as normal as I think I am, we’re all a bunch of weirdos.” ~ Joe Brainard

I love it when one good thing leads to another.

Kenneth Koch’s poem “Permanently” (which I shared last June), sparked my interest in New York School artist, writer and set designer Joe Brainard (1942-1994).

Joe in Calais, Vermont, about two years before he died of AIDS-induced pneumonia (photo by Pat Padgett).

Both his visual art and writings were new to me; unlike his more famous contemporaries Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Ron Padgett, James Schuyler, Andy Warhol, Fairfield Porter, and Koch himself, Brainard had somehow slipped under my radar.

Brainard’s “Chewing Gum Wrappers” (1971)

If you’ve been a Brainard fan all along, then you know he was a prolific creator who left behind an impressive oeuvre of innovative, pop culture inspired collages, assemblages, paintings, drawings, and comic book collaborations, as well as multiple collections of mostly autobiographical poetry and prose. 

C Comics No. 2 (Boke Press, 1965)
Continue reading

helga stenzel: the magic in the mundane

How now, brown cow?

Ever get the feeling you’ve been hung out to dry? Well, this can be a good thing if you’re one of Helga Stenzel’s creations.

Russian-born but London based, Helga is a multi-disclipinary visual artist who transforms familiar household objects into quirky, light-hearted works of art.

Helga and her laundry double.

With her trained eye and playful spirit, Helga uses items of clothing, kitchen utensils, office supplies — and yes, FOOD, to encourage us to reimagine the ordinary. In her world, avocados sing, pecans become weight lifters, and lettuce barks. 🙂

Continue reading

nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Happy May! Let’s celebrate this month of flowers with UK artist Lucy Grossmith’s exquisite paintings.

Lucy grew up in the Lincolnshire countryside and now lives and works in Suffolk, England. She’s always been surrounded and inspired by nature and enjoys walking outdoors, where she sketches and makes mental notes of flora, fauna, colors, textures, and weather conditions – all ingredients for her work.

She paints with acrylics on canvas or textured paper, focusing on gardens, wildlife, countryside, and coastal landscapes. 

Love the soft, feminine feel to her pictures and the delicate detail.

For more, visit her Official Website (“heart to art”) where you can purchase original paintings or fine art giclée prints.

*

Continue reading

Eva Armisén: The Artist Who Paints Happiness

I was so happy when I chanced upon this adorable painting recently. A dark-haired girl eating alphabet soup!

Yeah, I kinda felt it was me, since she’s wearing a green dress (my favorite color) and has a blissful expression on her face. Those perky letters (don’t you love the ones dancing in her spoon) would be endlessly nourishing (esp. the letters C-A-K-E). 🙂

Spanish artist Eva Armisén.

Internationally renowned Spanish artist Eva Armisén, who lives and works in Barcelona, painted this delectable piece. She describes her art as, “Sincere. Simple. Emotional.”

Her work, with its whimsical, child-like style, is immediately recognizable: charming portraits of families, friends, and pets doing everyday things together. And of course there’s that ubiquitous young female, often with a flower in her hair, carrying beautiful bouquets, walking, resting, having fun. As the artist’s storyteller, she seems quite content to be on her own.

Continue reading