Vibrant Contrasts


16″ x 20″Acrylic on Canvas

Brianna has painted a city scene full of contrasts.  It displays the human energy of a city and yet the scene is uninhabited. There are straight lines and curves, arrows and open spaces, black and white, abstract and figurative elements.    This piece creates whimsy and mystery.

Often in a painting the more contrast represented, the more interesting the painting.  It certainly captures my imagination.  Does it capture yours as well?




“More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has been taken from the earth.” ~Napoleon Hill

The story of Midas has been retold for centuries to warn children of the dangers of greed. In the myth, the great king wishes for the power to turn all that he touches into gold, and inadvertently loses the thing that he holds most dear as his daughter becomes a golden statue beneath his embrace. The myth actually did not inspire my original concept for this painting, but once I had finished, the allusion was so crystal clear that I couldn’t ignore it. As for my interpretation, the gold is climbing up her (well, my) neck as though it is about to suffocate her me, creating a feeling of distress as the gold creeps closer to the mouth.

So, what’s up with the title? At first, I wanted the title to be the name of Midas’s daughter (which could be Aurelia, Zoe, or Marigold depending on which version you read). Then, as I reread the myth, I learned that all the gold created by Midas was dumped in a river and flowed downstream to the kingdom of Lydia, which became incredibly wealthy. The name Lydia stuck out to me because 1) it’s a girl’s name so I could keep the subtle reference to Midas’s daughter, and 2) Lydia is a nickname for Claudia. As I hinted above, I used myself as the model for the piece, making this my first semi-self portrait. I wouldn’t count it as a full self-portrait because I didn’t try too hard to keep the features exact and also because I didn’t look much like myself in the photo reference in the first place. Similarly, Lydia is close but not quite my name, thus it seemed like the perfect title.

The piece was an ominous portrayal of the future consequences of the vanity and materialism ailing our society.  It is the first of many in a new series portraying the sources of fear and distress unique to each individual.  I’m excited for this new line of inspiration!


PS: Interested in a print? Want to give me a “like”? Check the piece out here

From:The Wandering Youth

Very Inpirational


Indigene knows what it means to be an inspiration. Her fabulously colorful and personal work is not to be missed.

She has graciously bestowed the VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD on this blog.  There are lots of rules connected to receiving awards, and this one is not an exception, but…in art nothing is wrong, so I’m going to take some liberties with the rules.  I do however, want to thank Indigene wholeheartedly for her support and for the award-Thank you!

And, I would like to nominate The Wandering Youth as well as Blue Paper Lanterns for truly inspirational blogs about making art. These young blogger/artists beautifully document what inspires them and in turn, they really do inspire others. So, we can skip the rules this time and simply honor these young artists.  Their blogs certainly deserve more attention. If you are not already following, have a look at what they making.

Can You See It?


Brianna, knows what she wants to bring to life in her artwork.  In this case, a special leotard resting on her bed, with a slight glimpse of her room.  Meaningful to Brianna, and beautifully rendered in pastel, Brianna has realized her vision.

It didn’t happen overnight, but took quite of bit of work.

Brianna was wisely patient and persevered. Vision made visible!


Screen shot 2013-01-06 at 9.12.39 AM

Leah Olbrich, master candidate at Cal Arts, has recently completed a terrific show called Reversal. This listing outside the gallery show, describes her process:


Leah’s blog documents the work beautifully, complete with still images and video, so click on the link to enjoy the show.

Still Life, Dynamic Work

bKatepumkin copy

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “less is more”.  Kate’s still life study of a pumpkin is a great illustration of that expression.  The color is limited, the shapes are simple, and the composition straight forward, but it is fully packed with pumpkiny energy!

Here’s a challenge for you:

Imagine this pumpkin, in this composition, without a stem, or with a stem that isn’t diagonal and is blunt at the top.  How would that simple change effect the way we see this work?