Thursday, May 21, 2009

And these are just a FEW of the artists I admire & respect...

So, for those who grace my blog with your presence regularly (thank you!!), you know I've been talking, for some time now, about doing a blog post featuring some of the artists I admire & respect. Although delayed (thankfully, I already had it nearly finished, as I recently ran into a "poison oak of the throat & mouth delay"-- NOT on my highly recommended list)... the post is finally here!

I think the hardest part of all this was picking just a few among those I've come to think so highly of. To that end, I "categorized" this post to include "paper art" (photography, painting, etc...). Having said that, I struggled with that task and so, even though I admire many more than those listed here, this is still going to be a bit of a long post! And... I'm going to have to do another post sometime in the future to include so many other art forms like pottery, woodworking, textiles, etc... Then, I will need to do a post to catch some of those I missed, and then... I can see this could be a bit of an ongoing process! So, let us just call this "Admiration, Post #1," shall we?

While I could very easily go on and on about the merits of each artist, I will attempt to keep this somewhat brief... Some time can be spared by explaining ahead of time that each of these artists has at some point inspired me with their attitude, contribution to others & society, and are all genuinely *nice* people (I don't care how "talented" someone is, if attitude/treatment of others leaves somewhat to be desired, I have little interest in featuring or praising their efforts). Quite the opposite of that, these artists commonly go out of their way to share a kind, encouraging word with those they meet along the path, spreading positive energy for all to enjoy. So... the traits discussed below are in addition to those just mentioned...

**Click on any artist's shopname or artwork title (any underlined, cream-colored text) to be taken to their shop or particular piece in a separate browser window. I'm sure they would love your visit!**



Lyse's creations exude imagination and a poetic, dreamy quality. With a style all her own, her work looks as though the digital photography age somehow spilled onto the canvas of a renaissance painter, resulting in a beautiful, other-worldy (yet somehow familiar) Greek or Roman tale... with a modern twist. Stunning, and truly eye-catching.



I'm calling Jazz Mizzell

Allie's caring and playful spirit (demonstrated so very well in her photography) hides something bigger and deeper... a compassionate heart of gold on a mission to make a positive difference in the world around her. The title of her shop reflects her strong dedication to improving the lives of suffering children-- 15% of purchases from her shop benefit the Reach Out Children's Fund (not to mention the other charitable projects she's been a part of). This artist cares and seeks out the good and beauty to be encouraged-- and her work shows it... beautifully.



The Steps of Savannah, GA

Michelle's gorgeous work is as diverse and many-faceted as her wondeful personality (see her shop for lots more examples of what I mean). Her creative, bustling cityscapes and classic surf photos are closely intermingled with beautiful photos of delicate, young ferns unfurling in the soft light of morning. Don't let the cool city girl side fool you... there is, indeed, that very caring, compassionate side that's working to make a positive difference too. Another artist with a heart for charity, she donates to the Humane Society and was one of the talented artists in the "Paws for Charity" Art Book.


In a gorgeous, off-the-grid, Colorado homestead, Julie lives the conservation life we all strive for, and dream of achieving someday. Her dedication to nature shows in her gorgeous photography, and her lifestyle. I also deeply respect her attitude of love and just general appreciation of her life (which she is so wonderful to share with us through her work). Beautiful... on all counts.


Gary is one of those inspiring souls who finds beauty where others see ruin, opportunity where others see hardship, and makes good fortune in life where others may be blinded by the bad. This approach shows in his photography clearly, but if you get to know a bit about him, you'll see it is a choice or way of being that runs through his whole life. Though I had to choose these two photographs for this (I just love these), you would do yourself a favor to have a look at some of his barn photographs as well.
His incredible photography reflects not only dedication to "find the beauty and good" in unexpected places, but also the incredible scholarly dedication he has applied to his craft. He has devoted many hours to study every detail that comes together to form his final creations, from in-camera techniques, to post-processing, right down to detailed study of paper. And when I say he has studied papers, I don't mean he's well informed... I mean he can discuss the qualities, uses, and individual traits of papers as though they are friends he knows personally. And perhaps they are...


The most wonderful quality of Karen's work is the simple, almost understated elegance of her gorgeous watercolors. Anything more would detract from the innate beauty of the color and image... and she knows that. I would be remiss to muddle it up with too much text... rather, I will let you just take a moment to get lost in the feeling of her work-- so unlike the hectic, overstimulated movement that seems to overwhelm our modern society. Quiet... still... peaceful...ahhh...
I find it no surprise that Karen's work has been chosen for the first Design Style Guide (a wonderful interior design team I'm actually an admin for) Giveaway. You could actually win a gift certificate for some of Karen's work to still and quiet *your* space-- visit the great DSG blog here: Design Style Guide Giveaway #1


The Wanderers
What I admire most about Quwaa's work is his willingness to highlight subjects that are not always considered "beautiful" and are too often ignored. I think far too many people in the art world of beauty and prestige (and, indeed, our world in general) turn a blind eye to the plight of those struggling. Yes, I know, there are those who live homeless by choice (I've met a few with very interesting stories!), and yes, there are those out to scam you out of your money (just as so many corporate giants do all the time-- they advertise though, so it often gets a nicer spin), and those that are truly scary (ranting obsenities, etc...), but there are also some really genuine, nice people just down. Down like most of us have never imagined, and just had really bad things happen and could use a little help from a caring stranger... or the acknowledgement of a smile, a hello, just to be treated as... you know... a human with feelings. Quwaa's work embraces the "less glamorous" artistic beauties of life and our world... and does so compassionately and beautifully.

Green Island Studios

Life Is But Light In Many Hued Reflection
Kissing with Golden Face

Look at that bubble!! Go investigate her bubble series-- it's beautiful and thought-provoking! Ok, we all know that person (or many of them actually, in our circle)... they do this, dabble in that, find time to teach, write for this, that & the other thing, turn out new, amazing works constantly, AND still manage to be a good friend, supporter, and helpful person as well!
Jo Bradford is one of those people-- she teaches photography classes (as well as marketing her own amazing works on multiple sites), writes for multiple blogs, is well-read in poetry, classic & modern literature, always responds to messages with a kind reply, and answers those pesky "how to" questions from people like me! ;) Speaking of questions, Jo, I've been on a search to find the "More Me's" store so I can keep up with folks like you... could you just mapquest that to me? Many thanks.


Ok, a moment of heartfelt confession here: This next artist started with a similar "big family, small budget" background as I did, and truly represents "where I was headed and what I was sure to become" when I grew up (minus the "Mom" part). Scientist, artist, conservation speaker... a caring, motivated person making a big difference. The path was well mapped out and I had done significant work to put myself well on it. "And then"... famous last words, right?
While I'm still very much striving to bring about positive change through my photography, my lofty biology dreams & accomplishments were shifted sometime in University. And, don't get me wrong, I am very happy with my life. But I think sometimes you can't help but admire those that are doing what you originally thought you would. At any rate, her efforts are certainly to be admired regardless...

Another accomplished artist who falls under the "When do you ever sleep?" category, Molly engages in a loooong list of pursuits that ends with this sentence: "She is also part-time Research Laboratory Coordinator for the Laboratory for Ecophysiological Cryobiology at Miami University." Yup, she's motivated and smart! Molly is a passionate conservation speaker throughout the U.S. and (soon) Mexico, an ILCP (Intl. League of Conservation Photographers) Affiliate Council Member, a Zoology PhD candidate, a biologist, ecologist, a teacher (who's taken time to help her students earn various acceptances & recognitions), photographer, and... oh yeah, she's a Mom with two young children (luckily Dad plays a huge role there)! While she has always been very kind and I hold her motivated efforts in the highest esteem, I must begrudge her, as well, for not divulging the location of the "More Me's" store. Charge on, Molly!

Charge on ALL! You're lovely, talented, and very much admired & appreciated for all that you are and all that you do!


Anonymous said...

Amazing artists! thank you for sharing :)

Meekiyu said...

a feast for the eyes... great picks... I love the diversity of all the artists... and really shows how art can encompass so much.

Gary Heller said...

Wow Kenna, you absolutely have a way with words. . .glad you can't see me blushing :)
What an excellent collection of artists you put together. i can only say that I'm amazed and honored to be included and coming from someone that produces outstanding work herslef,I'm even that much more flattered.
Thanks to you as well i have become familiar with these other great works and artists.
Well done, and thank you much!

Jo Bradford said...

Kenna, you're too kind my dear!

You certainly do have a way with words.

This is a very interesting and varied list of your favourite artists around the globe, and I am deeply honoured {and feeling pretty flattered} to have been chosen by you to be amongs the luminaries on this list. And I must take this opportunity to say that your own work is right up there... you are a star ;)

Thanks for making this girls day xoxo

Karen Faulkner said...

Thanks Kenna, you made my day! And you've chosen some of my own favorites to include. Very inspiring post.

Julie Magers Soulen said...

Kenna, what an inspiring post. I have admired the work of these talented artists and discovered a couple new ones too! And let's not forget how you have been an inspiration to me with your perky adventurous approach to photography. I am very honored that you have included me.

Celtic Cat said...

Wonderful artists!

Made by SwirlyGirl said...

Thanks for an inspiring blog with beautiful art chosen! It is so heartwarming when you see artists tooting the horn of other artists!

TheEye said...

what an absolutely wonderful blog .... this is an awesome and awe-inSPIRING group... just wonderful!

Allie said...

Again, thank you very much, Kenna. I feel truly honored to have been included here.Such an honor, especially coming from a talent such as you! (Better?);)

Very well-written. Your example to all of us is incredible - such a positive outlook, a warm, caring, compassionate spirit, full of the joy of living, you are! I am so glad to have "met" you! Thank you, again, allie

UrbanJunkies/zuppaartista said...

kenna, thanks so much for including me in your wonderful feature. i am so honored to be chosen along with such talented artists.

and i am so flattered by your kind words, especially coming from such a talented gal.


Hey Harriet said...

A wonderful collection of artists and a beautifully written and thoughtful post!

Kelly said...

Great choices! All of them! Found your blog via Karen Faulkner.