Better Living Through Artistry

One of my earliest childhood memories is watching my older brother draw. He'd have a sketch pad and pencil all the time, and as he'd sit with his head slightly cocked to one side, desperately trying to figure out the angle or shading of an object off in the distance, unbeknownst to him, I was often sitting with my head cocked watching him with an envious curiosity. I'd wonder what he was seeing that I did not. I'd peek over his shoulder and think, "He's lost it. That is not going to work. He's shading in an area that is not related to the thing he's drawing. He's ruined it." But he never lost it and only occasionally did he ever ruin it.The world was a visual puzzle and he knew how to put it together in his own way. I was and am envious of that. Artists see the world in shapes and shadows and angles and depths and colors and details the rest of us cannot see and certainly cannot capture. But we can appreciate their artistry and embrace how much better our lives can be because of the art they create. How boring a world without the artists like my brother...and these artists featured in today's post: Better Living Through Artistry. Cock your head and enjoy.

Better Living Through Artistry

In my early childhood when I traveled with my family throughout several of the world’s most remote landscapes...I developed an appreciation for the beauty and vastness of the ever-changing sky and sea.
— Zaria Forman

This past winter, Brooklyn based artist, Zaria Forman had the opportunity to be side-by-side with Antarctica's towering icebergs, observing their magnitude aboard the National Geographic Explorer during a four week art residency. 

The residency gave her the opportunity to further embody the natural formations, providing a new perspective to create her large-scale drawings.

If you find any peace and value in what I do, any donation, big or small, means a lot and helps keep spreading the positive vibes.

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What I’m most excited about as an artist right now is globalization. With the power of social media and the speed at which artists can connect with each other and share their work, I believe the art world is in a moment of Renaissance.
— Clio Newton

Swiss artist Clio Newton has been hard at work on a series of larger-than-life portraits of women portrayed entirely with compressed charcoal. Clio Newton interview.


We tend to see these as absolute objective truths which suit the best interests of all humanity. But aren’t we just trapped within our cozy reality? And if it’s cozy… Should we even dare to break free?
— Super A

Netherlands-based artist Super A has a new series called Trapped that explores the truth behind pop culture fantastical figures like Mickey Mouse, Snow White and Tweety and examines the reality of the characters caught inside.


I couldn’t paint my young niece the same as my grandfather who passed away before I could get to know him. My relationship to each subject I paint is unique, and I attempt to have my approach to the painting run parallel to that relationship, experience, feeling, or memory.
— Nicolas V. Sanchez

colored ballpoint pen, 8x10in, 2017 by Michigan native, painter and sketch artist Nicolas V. Sanchez


Artwork in general helps open up my world to see things differently and it reminds me to be open-minded and to never corner my style or creativity.
— Nick Sullo (aka xsullo)

California native Nick Sullo blends surrealism and his own unique color palette to create abstract works reminiscent of Heavy Metal.


I love the idea that an old computer that otherwise would have no more use or value serves as a unique tool that cannot be replicated by anyone.
— Polina Efremova

For 'Destruction,' Berlin-based photographer Polina Efremova actually ran digital video through an old PC.


Looking deep into the world in which we live, we realize that everyone holds hesitations or contradictions that can never be reconciled.
— Yoshitoshi Kanemaki

Seeing Double with Japanese Sculptor Yoshitoshi Kanemaki

I saw some artists who mix a lot of paints for the skin tone before they even start painting but I don’t quite understand it. Let’s say I am working on a painting right now. I would paint for skin but would also paint sky, ground, or many other things too. What I do is, I make a small amount of skin tone and mix it with a type of sky color or a bit of ground color that I just used. Then I do the same thing over and over again. Not only for skin tone, but I mix skin tone to other color in order to paint another object. But I don’t think the skin tone I make are all even. It could look really similar from one brush stroke to the next brush stroke, but I doubt that they are all the same… Painting is a huge adventure for me. I would never know what is going to happen next.
— Joanne Nam

“Los Angeles-based Korean artist Joanne Nam paints softly colored girls posed awkwardly in a blend of realism and surrealism. A city girl and self-described horror movie-aficionado with a childhood spent near Korea's lush forests, Nam is also an artist that paints from experience.” – excerpt from Hi-Fructose interview.


I draw in order to make sense of landscape...this encompasses everything...right down to the details of the land, the plants and creatures that may inhabit it.
— Olivia Kemp

Olivia Kemp’s massive drawings, mostly rendered in pen, contain a preposterous amount of detail. Her work often contains historical structures enveloped by the natural world. The drawings can take months at a time to complete


I think the contrast between the intricate patterns and the somewhat fuzzy characters they transform into as you take a few steps back opens up for a dialogue between the viewer and the piece. It might make it both easier and harder for people to relate to the character they are looking at.
— Mikael Takacs

Swedish artist Mikael Takacs creates brilliantly distorted paintings by dragging paint across the canvas using various tools like sticks and combs.


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