steele yourself!

Ah, breakfast with Van Gogh. What could be better?

A crunchy bowl of Ben Steele’s Earrios will get you off to a great start. What’s that? You want more? Can’t say I blame you.

Once you’ve seen one Ben Steele painting, you crave another and another . . .

Ben in his studio with some of his product inspirations.

Originally from Washington state, Ben relocated to Utah when he was in his teens. He earned a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah, then moved to Helper, Utah, where he studied under the instruction of David Dorman and Paul Davis at the Helper Art Workshops. He recently converted a vacant bottling and beverage distribution warehouse into an enormous studio that will accommodate large scale work.

Ben’s paintings are a unique mash-up of art history and pop culture, a wide-ranging oeuvre that includes landscape, still life, portraiture, and other things in-between. He calls himself a “pop realist,” an artist with an ever evolving style who’s successfully imbued classic techniques with a contemporary sensibility.

With equal measures of playfulness and nostalgia, Steele taps into America’s collective imagination by incorporating iconic brands such as Crayola, Coca-Cola, and Campbell’s Soup. Referencing the American West, Hollywood legends, and major figures in American history (to include several Presidents), his art resonates across generations with its social, political, and cultural overtones.

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claire west: a shot of happiness

If this isn’t joy personified I don’t know what is.

One glance at Claire West’s exuberant splash of colors and you’re smiling, your heart’s beating a little faster, you. are. UP!

Say goodbye to even a tiny case of the winter doldrums as your eyes drink, drink, drink it all in. Wow. Gorgeous. Whoa. More, please.

Claire hails from Hull in East Yorkshire, England. She initially trained as an interior designer at Newcastle Art College before studying part time for seven years to earn her Fine Arts degree from Humberside University.

Claire with her border collie Flossie

She then began doing freelance work for television production companies, who featured her work in TV programs. She’s exhibited her paintings and linocuts all over the UK and also teaches painting and printmaking workshops.

Claire paints because it makes her happy, and she hopes her pieces make others feel the same way. She strongly believes in the power of color therapy to uplift the spirit.

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catherine nolin: rooms with more than a view

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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allyn howard’s whimsical world

 

Let’s celebrate the merry month of May with Allyn Howard’s lovely, 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).

 

 

 

 

 

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J’adore Nathalie Lété!

 

 

Oh, so charming, beautiful, enchanting, distinctive — Nathalie Lété’s art! I was attracted to her unique style upon first seeing her decorated plates at Anthropologie.

 

 

 

 

As you probably know, I’m a ceramics freak, and loved her flowers, birds, and folkloric motifs before I actually knew who she was. Until I did a little research, I HAD NO IDEA her designs were everywhere, and I mean on everything from clothing, rugs, fabrics, children’s toys, greeting cards, postcards, and lampshades, to jewelry, linens, totes, and in children’s, graphic, and coloring books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s a global brand extraordinaire with huge markets not only in Europe, but also in Japan and Australia. Mixing various media and techniques, she is that rare artist whose work has enormous commercial appeal. She’s worked very hard to establish herself in a highly competitive field.

 

 

 

Nathalie is a Paris native, the only child of a German mother and Chinese father. She credits her mother with reading extensively to her as she grew up, claiming that the themes she loved from childhood — flowers, animals, textile patterns, fairy tales, toys, folk art — are what continue to inspire her work today. She loved the children’s book illustrations she saw and spent lots of alone time drawing and living in her imagined world.

 

 

She spent her holidays with her grandmother in Bavaria, where she enjoyed exploring the forest (her favorite fairy tale is “Little Red Riding Hood”). Even now, when she is in nature, she recalls those good feelings and tries to convey them in her art.

 

 

 

She also credits her father with influencing her artistic sensibility. Though he was often absent because of work, she remembers her home being filled with lots of silk paintings.

 

 

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