1.April showers bring May flowers! We’re celebrating the merriest of months with stunning images by Japanese artist Shinya Okayama.
I wasn’t able to find much biographical information about him online in English. Wish I could read Japanese so I could have done additional detective work. 🙂
But we do know Okayama was born in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1982 and that he studied at Sokei Academy of Fine Art and Design (2003-2007).
I stumbled upon his work on Pinterest and was immediately taken with his beautiful colors, extraordinary level of detail, and gentle depictions of children and animals, who are portrayed on equal footing and living in total harmony.
He paints an idyllic world, where children are free to explore their surroundings and enjoy wonderful adventures with many wild creatures on land and from the sea. He injects elements of the surreal in some of his pictures, as boundaries between earth and ocean disappear.
1.Hello April (come she will)! I see you there on your chaise lounge, totally relaxing with a glass of wine and a bowl of cherries. Who said April is the cruelest month? Doesn’t look that way to Nevada based artist Elaine Cory, whose vibrant, textured paintings transport us to a dream world.
She’s known for her color saturated florals, gorgeous landscapes, and pretty street scenes that make you wish you could be relaxing on a balmy tropical isle or sitting at an outdoor Parisian café right this very minute. Mais, oui!
An Army brat, Elaine lived in Germany and France and traveled to many foreign countries, which opened her eyes to the beauty of the world. Upon returning to the U.S., her family settled in San Francisco, where she frequented museums and art galleries.
She attended San Francisco State College on an art scholarship and worked as an interior designer for about 20 years. All the while, she continued to paint, working in acrylics and mixed media, developing her distinct impressionistic style.
Elaine sells originals at her Etsy Shop, Elaine’s Heartsong. She calls her paintings “jewelry for your walls.”
1. Get in the car – we’re off for a December ride! ‘Tis the season for bundling up, picking out that perfect tree, shopping for gifts and making sure our animal friends are happy.
British artist Stephanie Lambourne’s colorful and quirky pictures are just the thing we need to get us into the holiday spirit.
Based in Suffolk, England, she earned a BA in Fine Art and a post graduate degree in Art and Education from the Hornsey School of Art (now Middlesex University). After teaching at schools and colleges for a few years, she transitioned to painting full time in 2003.
Inspired by walks along the beach, she featured coastal landscapes, cottages, beach huts, boats, and seagulls in her earlier paintings. In recent years, her main focus has been people and humor (“unreal characters in sometimes strange pursuits”).
She works in acrylic, rarely doing preliminary sketches, preferring to draw ideas straight onto the canvas to create a sense of freshness to her work.
Though I’m sharing mostly holiday/winter themed pieces today, her pictures are set in all seasons. Her objective is to make people smile, to immerse the viewer in a lighthearted and slightly offbeat narrative from a bygone era. It’s fun to imagine just what the people in her pictures are really up to. 🙂
This cute little pup seems a little unsure about that drumstick on his plate. Do you think he’s trying to figure out how to use that knife and fork? What impeccable table manners!
I was happy to chance upon Lucia Heffernan’s whimsical animal paintings recently. It’s simply impossible not to smile when you see them. She takes anthropomorphized animals to a new level: they’re realistic rather than caricatures, created with panache, elegance, and humor.
A pig in a top hat? Bunnies driving race cars and shopping for carrots? What about a police bear enjoying coffee and donuts, or a handsome dog shaving? Whatever you do, don’t tell on that kitty who literally spilled the beans. 😀
1. Hello, October! How about some of Janet Hill’s Halloweeny oil paintings?
Janet is based in Ontario, Canada, and has been painting since her senior year of high school. Her work is elegant and nostalgic with charming touches of whimsy.
Her many interests include tornadoes, haunted houses, quicksand, pirates, witches, lady villains (preferably ones that wear monocles), doll houses, dogs and cats, fashion and interior design (1920-1979), Laurel Canyon, historic hotels, ESP, sea monsters, vintage cars, Old Hollywood, the Manson family, Wes Anderson movies, and understanding why her husband owns over thirty books about Bob Dylan.