Friday, September 28, 2012

nama rococo

Chateau 66 (two single sheets)

Karen Combs paints gorgeous wallpaper panels by hand, with brilliant colors and fabulous modern but intricate designs. As for her studio name, Nama Rococo, "nama" is Japanese for "raw" and (Combs's appreciation for imperfect beauty), and "rococo" conveys her love of all things old and embellished. At $126 per sheet, they'd make a fantastic artwork, either hung plain or set off by a frame. And covering an entire wall, they are pretty spectacular:

Butterfly Loop

Thursday, September 27, 2012

marisamidori on etsy

Sacre Coeur print

Marisa Seguin sells prints of her lovely illustrations at her Etsy shop. She's got a great sense of color—and place: currently for sale are European landmarks and a couple of North American city maps:

Basilico San Marco print
San Francisco map

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

ross lab on etsy

Ceramic bowl

I spotted this sweet bowl by Ross Lab on Pinterest and had to check out the Etsy shop myself. Rosella makes garden accessories (like cute garlands and birdhouses) as well as kitchen goods. They've got a cute look and feel: simple but girly. But not *too* girly: the frequent use of black definitely grounds her pieces.

Tea-light candleholders
Espresso cups (cobalt blue!)
Ceramic garland-design cups
Ceramic bird garland

Monday, September 24, 2012

ink and wit by tara hogan

Pommebirds lettterpress print

I can't believe I've never done a post on Tara Hogan, who sells artwork under the Ink & Wit label. Her "Pommebirds" print has hung above Tessa's bed since we moved into this house. Hogan's work definitely has a kid-centric vibe, but don't pigeonhole this one. Her simple but pretty compositions and warm-and-cool colors are spot on.

Everything Counts poster
Birch Trees and Deer letterpress print

Scriptura Feather gift wrap
(I would hang a square of this in a bright green wooden frame)

The stamp sets that she sells on Etsy make a great (not necessarily kids') gift:

Stripes and Spots stamp set

Friday, September 21, 2012

september wren on etsy

Carnival photo

September Wren is the Etsy shop of a Santa Cruz photographer. Deserted beaches, carnival rides, blue skies: she shoots the outside world with a beautifully grainy, skewed point of view. (Her very apt tag line is "SUN-drenched photography.") And she's the perfect example of good art at a great price.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

elliott puckette


She definitely doesn't fall into the category of affordable art. But Elliott Puckette makes beautiful paintings that have been on my mind lately. (She's married to Hugo Guinness, whose prints are also lovely and also not cheap.) Puckette's etchy, calligraphy-like lines stand out against washy or patterned backgrounds for a really striking effect.


The Mirror, the Comb, and the Necklace

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

hadley holliday

Blissed Out

Someone recently pointed out to me that I'm noticeably drawn to the color blue. I was going to mention all the blue things in my house (as well as the name of this blog), but instead I'll give you these paintings by Los Angeles artist Hadley Holliday. They remind me of fractals and waves and tie-dye, and the weird images you see when you squeeze your eyes shut. And they're blue. (Click through to Holliday's site to get a better look; on here they look a bit redundant and muddy.)

Sun Vault
(OK, not entirely blue)
Zero Hour
Warp and Weft

Friday, September 14, 2012

fall reading

Here's a quick list:

1. Apparently Karen Thompson Walker got a huge advance to write The Age of Miracles. As her (somewhat precious) jacket bio explains, she wrote the book in the early mornings before going to her job as a book editor, and it seems to have prepared her well: The Age of Miracles—about a world changed when the earth starts turning more slowly, told by an 11-year-old-girl—is strange, and incredibly moving. Like When You Reach Me, it's a surprising, beautifully written story about a middle-school-aged girl with some completely uncheesy science-fiction elements.

2. The Innocents got its young female author lots of glamorous press as well. Back when I wanted to write fiction, and was, shall we say, weak on plot, I wish I'd had Francesca Segal's idea: update The Age of Innocence, and set it in a contemporary upper-middle-class Jewish enclave London. (She's also got connections and genetics on her side.) Despite an ending I knew and some overly cute updating, the book is funny and familiar.

3. Holes is by no means new, but I've just now read it (on Charlie's recommendation) and watched it, and I loved both versions. The movie spells things out a bit more clearly than the book; I preferred the book's more elliptical way of telling the story, but maybe the obviousness is good for kids. Either way, I wish I knew how Louis Sachar pulled off such a sweet, funny, utterly non-preachy book about racism, bullying, honesty, and friendship. Seriously.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

beth weintraub

These are just to the left of my kitchen sink

These two metal prints by Beth Weintraub have been hanging in my house for years. They'd become so  familiar that I didn't really notice them any more—until a visitor complimented them, and I thought, Right. Beth Weintraub. She's *really* good. Anyway, though I bought my prints more than five years ago at a Bethesda design shop that has since closed, Weintraub is still making her beautiful, spare artwork. She just moved to New York after years in San Francisco. And her stylized flowers and swirly patterns are as appealing as ever. I love the way she plays with size and asymmetry, while still keeping things clean and spare. Her pieces make a bold statement on their own, but their simple, swooping lines look great in pairs or groups as well. (All images here.)

Etchings on paper from Series 9
Queen Anne (metal)
Etched metal

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

golly bard on etsy

Peacock plume print

Golly Bard makes beautiful nature-inspired prints from watercolor paintings. (The originals are beautiful too.) She uses muted, autumnal colors and simple, almost abstracted forms:

Petrified log print
Oak leaf print
Thistle print
Forsythia branch print
Bird feathers print

Monday, September 10, 2012

caitlin mcgauley

Elephant, sadly a sold-out edition

If Caitlin McGauley's charming watercolors look a little familiar, you've probably seen her work for Tory Burch or Kate Spade. She uses washy, candy-box colors to render pretty, girly objects (and animals, which always gets me), and they've got personality that definitely stands out from other fashion illustration.

Jeweled, which you can still purchase
Necklaces, which you can't
But Friendship Bracelets are still up
...though this Rose wine isn't