Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays from Finding Fine Art!

Stocking Stuffers by Polly Jones - Acrylic on 6" x 6" canvas

Here at Finding Fine Art we want to wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday! We look forward to introducing our readers to more wonderful visual artists and original art in 2011, and we thank you all for supporting this blog and the hard working artists we promote.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Artist Interview with Jen Ashmen

This week, it's my pleasure to introduce you to the original artwork of Jen Ashmen. Jen is a professional, fine artist living in southern New Jersey. Her current preferred medium is ink, but she also enjoys working in oil and watercolor. Jen's colorful and bold murals can be found throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.   

"More than anything else, I enjoy drawing images of the world around me." - Jen Ashmen

Orange Masks - Oil on 48" x 24" canvas

Who are some of your favorite famous artists?  
 
There are so many famous artists that I adore! I love the motion and emotion of Dorothea Tanning's oil paintings. Edward Hopper's use of color is magnificent. I enjoy Herakut's thought provoking wall paintings. Remedious Varo is also an artist I greatly admire.


Always Changing - Watercolor and ink on 5" x 8.5" paper

Who are some of your favorite peers making art today? 

Emily Carroll, Junko Mizuno, Barbara Maxwell, and Marc Sijan are currently creating stunning art that is unlike anything that came before them.  


Papyrus Peacock - Ink on 5" x 5" cotton paper

How long do you typically work in any one sitting - do you need to take a lot of breaks or do you work for hours and hours at a time? 

I typically work for three hours at a time, break, and then work three more hours. Some paintings, like my small plein air watercolors, only take three hours to complete. 



Second Tree from the Right - Watercolor and colored pencil on 8" x 10" canvas board


What are your feelings on the state of Art in the world today? 

Artists today are some of the luckiest of all time. The internet has afforded artists the ability to speak directly to their audience, without the filter of an art dealer or gallery.  Immediately after finishing a work I can post it online. The work will be seen by hundreds of people before it is even a day old. While there is nothing like looking at a painting in person, social networking allows artists to share exactly what they are creating when they are creating it.



 Princes - Oil on 48" x 36" canvas

If you could try any new medium or art-form, what would it be?

I've always wanted to branch out into more sophisticated digital art. My Photoshop and Illustrator skills are more than adequate, but I would love to learn animation and 3-D rendering.

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Thank you so much, Jen, for taking the time to share a little more about yourself, your work and your interests. I really appreciate your take on the effect the internet has had on the world of Art and I couldn't agree more! 
- Jessica Torrant

JEN'S LINKS 
ETSY - jashme.etsy.com  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's New?

This is the first installment of the "What's New?" series featuring the latest works by Finding Fine Art artists. The Finding Fine Art team is a curated group of visual artists selling original fine art on Etsy.


Jack by Chris Zahner - Mixed media on wood, 8 x 10

Chris on Jack: "I finished this piece on Saturday. It's part of a series I'm working on where I draw all the members of the senior class from a 1972 yearbook. He's Jack. I like the fact that he's probably only 18 years old, but tried to look older for his picture. Funny, I look through these yearbook photos and wonder what became of these people as their lives moved forward." 




 From the Trees by Philippa Jones - Original hand pulled etching




Cotton Candy Kaleidoscope by Sarah John Afana - Mixed media on canvas, 30" x 30"

Poetic interpretation by the artist herself... "Floating weightless and spinning through the air the crystal particles glisten and shine enchanting with their wink."




Snowy Plein Air Landscape by  Joy Appenzeller Bauer - Oil on canvas, 11" x 14"

 Joy's latest painting is painted "ala prima (wet-in-wet) rather quickly in the traditional Impressionism genre."




Borrowed Underwear by Gabriele Maurus - Mixed media on canvas, 12" x 12"


 Urban Sunset by Kim VanDerHoek - Oil on linen panel, 6" x 8"

Kim was inspired her view from home. "When the sky is this dramatic, I have to pick up my paintbrush! This view is just above my neighbor’s house. Every time the sun sets, I am treated to a stunning view."




Textures in the Shed by Nancy Bray - Photograph

Nancy shot this photograph in her friend's shed. "Interesting articles stacked in the the corner of an old shed... I was taken by all of the different textures; wood, basket weave, twisted wire - all in rich, warm tones to create a beautiful still life for me to photograph."




 Museum Mannequin by Jen Ashmen - Watercolor and ink, 5" x 8.5"

Jen shared that this was "painted at the Noyes Museum of Art in Oceanville, New Jersey. This piece features a worn yet beautiful plastic mannequin in front of a vibrantly abstract painting".



  
Onion Bulb by Kristina Closs - Watercolor on paper, 10" x 11" 

Finally we have this beautiful painting by Kristina Closs which is brand new and already sold! (Hint hint - if you love a work of original art, remember, it's an original, and once it's gone, it's gone!)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Artist Interview with Monica Stevens

What a pleasure it is to bring you the first of our Artist Interview series with the extremely talented Monica Stevens. Monica's expressive paintings exude such a vibrant energy and intensity. You can visit her website at www.monicastevens.com or visit her Etsy shop where she sells her original artwork at www.monicastevens.etsy.com.

Androids of Suburbia Unite - Acrylic and oil pastel on masonite, 47'' x 35'', 2010

Were you interested in art as a child? If so, what were your favorite things to create?

I was involved in more performance-based art forms when I was a child. I loved going to the theatre in New York, and one of my majors in college was theatre. As a child, I enjoyed more "silent" types of performance, such as mime. As a theatre major, I thought I would be more engaged in the performance aspect of the theatre, but I quickly realized that I enjoyed the design aspect much more. I loved creating scale models, drafting, and making color renderings of costumes.


Fields - Water mixable oil and oil pastel on artist's panel, 12″ x 12″, 2010

Do you have a creative family? How does your family feel about you being an artist?

I sang gospel music as a child with my family. Many people in my extended family played multiple bluegrass instruments, and there was always what my grandfather called the "best instruments", our voices. I fantasized that our family were modern day Von Trapps. Today, my sister is a singer/ songwriter, my cousin is an indie filmmaker, and my brother-in-law is a lighting designer in Hollywood. My family is more performance-based, so visual art is something that separates me in some way, although I can't describe exactly how. There is the introspective, more inward quality of a visual artist as opposed to the more outward quality of someone who performs.


Lavender Harvest - Water mixable oil and oil pastel on canvas, 16" x 20", 2010

Take us through a typical day in your world.

I make a living as a psychotherapist, who works with children, adolescents, and families. I am fervent about and committed to my work as a therapist. I enjoy doing play therapy and find that it is connected to my work as a visual artist in ways that continue to amaze me. Play therapy is extraordinarily metaphorical, which suits my work as an abstract artist. The very word "play" implies my approach to painting. It is a way I unwind at the end of the day. My curiosity as a therapist translates into my visual art, as I approach painting with an innate questioning of my experiences, beliefs, and environment.


Smiling Medusa-Woman of the Hills - Acrylic and water soluble oil pastel on canvas, 16" x 20", 2010

Who are some of your favorite peers making art today?

My favorite peers making art today are without a doubt my friends, who are artists. They are inspiring to me and create work that challenges me in myriad ways. They are supportive and nurturing without being competitive, and, besides, they are great company!


Who are some of your favorite famous artists?

My favorite famous artists who immediately spring to mind are Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Joan Mitchell, Carroll Dunham, Alyson Fox, John Singer Sargent, David Park, Barbara Rae, Otto Dix, and Jennifer Wen Ma.


Woman and Ukelele - Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas, 24" x 30", 2010

Do you like to work in silence or do you prefer to listen to music when you work?

I find that I work best in silence. At the end of the day, it gives me a chance to reflect and meditate. Rarely do I listen to music while I paint. I couldn't live without music, but for some reason it distracts me from painting. I do love when my dogs come into my studio and root around, though.


Have you ever had an awakening moment as an artist where something new clicked into place and propelled you to a new level as an artist? Tell us about that experience.

Definitely! When I visit art museums, I am struck with new knowledge on both a cognitive level as well as an intuitive one. I just can't wait to fly back home and make art! Viewing a living, breathing piece of art is a transformative experience for me. There is always a sense of curiosity and new learning for me. An example is when I saw Monet's Water Lilies in a museum. I really "got" it for the first time. I had always seen them in books, and I thought they were beautiful. But I had never "seen" them, and, as the saying goes, "what is seen cannot be unseen." I never realized how big they were. Seeing art in a book is great and inspiring, of course, but I did not quite imagine Monet's Water Lilies being the size of entire gallery walls. While at the museum I learned for the first time, that Monet suffered from cataracts, and this naturally changed the way in which he "saw" and influenced his palette. I was amazed that the same images I had seen on paper since childhood, images that had become banal to me, were suddenly transformed in my sight.

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It's so wonderful to get to know the person behind the artwork and I want to thank Monica for her thoughtful and interesting interview. I too was struck by Monet's Water Lilies at the MOMA and can really relate to that sense of awe that she described. Please do go on to visit her websites and consider purchasing the work of this incredible artist!

www.monicastevens.com
www.monicastevens.etsy.com