5 Fab Friday Finds: Fiber Art

Man, tapestries have gone a long way haven’t they? We are loving artists’ & crafters’ new take on fiber or fabric art.

Let’s do a little definition, shall we!

Fiber Art: ( /ˈfībər/ /ärt/ ) fine art whose material consists of natural or synthetic fiber and other components, such as fabric or yarn. It focuses on the materials and on the manual labour on the part of the artist as part of the works’ significance, and prioritizes aesthetic value over utility.

Here are our Top 5 Fiber Art finds for this fabulous Friday {did you see what we did there?}:

1/ Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, a self-taught painter, began creating modern-bohemian, dip dyed fiber art because she wanted to something other than canvas art in her home. Her passion for modern art and art of macramé is what motivates her to continue designing art with texture, beauty, and movement. Check out her page to see her range of colors, styles, and textures!

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Left, Lauren Williams art / Right, Maureen found this kapunuk in the heart of Athens & painstakingly carried it through 14 hours of air travel — she really loves it!

2/ El Anatsui

I have never seen something like El Anatsui’s shimmering hangings. Featured in monumental places across Africa, America, and Europe, these expansive sheets are comprised of millions of tiny, colorful pieces of metal and bottle caps that are shaped and held together by copper wires. Although El Anatsui does make public commissions, his mixed media art is only sold at art fairs and shows. Browse his instagram account, @anatsuiel, to see more of his legendary work.

GRAVITY & GRACE Monumental works by El Anatsui. Installation documentation June 2012.

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3/ Faig Ahmed 

Faig Ahmed’s hyper contemporary wall sculptures embody ancient carpet-weaving techniques from his native country of Azerbaijan and are usually mounted on architectural structures. His intricately designed pieces are famous for their patterns that advocate digital manipulation, pixelation, and distortion. Like El Anatsui, his work is exhibited at prestigious fairs across the world and he does make public commissions for certain pieces.

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4/ Sonadora Studio, Lisa Garcia

Talk about a dreamer and a doer, Lisa Garcia began as an interior designer and decided to take her career even farther by branching into product design and art direction. By incorporating fibers into her work, she turned her ideas into reality and opened up Sonadora Studio in Nashville. Sonadora Studio offers more affordable, hemp and brass minimalist art. Their hand-made art pieces are perfect if you need something to fill a blank wall anywhere in your home!

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5/ Kilim Tapestry from Anthropologie 

The bright orange, dip-dyed ends and sequin embellishments caught my eye as I was scrolling on the Anthropologie website. Made of hand-spun wool, cotton, and a metal rod, this funky hanging would look so cute in any room that needs a pop of color. P.S. the orange totally makes me think of Fall leaves, which makes me happy.

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I hope that these fab finds spur your imagination and give you some inspiration for your own home. Have a blessed weekend and check in next Friday for some more home decor ideas!

 

Featured Artist: Caroline Doyle

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Photo Cred: The Daily Texan

Today, we are featuring a young, vibrant & contemporary artist, Caroline Doyle. Here at Maureen Stevens Design, we are always looking for amazing art for our clients & well, hers? We fell in love with. We caught up with Caroline for a little Q & A on how her passion & drive for art started.

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I have been fascinated by all different styles of art since I was young, from Realism to Abstract, and everything in between. Whether in a gallery, a museum, or a home, art has always been an essential part of enhancing spaces with its power to transform any interior atmosphere.

The art we choose to view and hang in our own space is always changing, as new artists and inspirations come along. For me, I have always been drawn to the bright colors and exciting vibrancy of Contemporary Art, with a hand from Pop Art. Pop Art has brought popular culture in the realm of high art since the 1960s, and reflects the realities and concepts of everyday life.

The evolution of Contemporary Art and the importance of incorporating artwork in spaces we design is what inspired me to begin this segment on our blog. To start this series off with a bang, I sat down with one of my most talented friends, Caroline Doyle, who has a knack for combining all of my favorite styles of art. She is heavily influenced by Pop Art, and incorporates both realist and abstract elements to create paintings that keep us wanting more! We asked her a few questions about her lifelong passion for painting that has turned into a full-time career as an up-and-coming contemporary artist.

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Bey in the Air, 48″ x 48″

1/  Tell me about yourself, your art experience, and how you decided that creating art was something you wanted to make a career out of.

I was born and raised in Houston, and just graduated from the University of Texas in May. I majored in Studio Art, but never dreamed of turning my degree into a career. By a series of happy accidents and the incredible support of friends and family, the career happened to me! While I was spending my whole Senior Year, half-heartedly applying for jobs that seemed more practical, I started getting requests from people to purchase my work. Before I knew it, I was flooded with orders, and my little business had begun! I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who took interest in my work without promoting it, and it was then that I thought this was something I could seriously pursue after graduation. My art experience thus far has been a medley of exploring many different means and styles to achieve the same goal: bringing something beautiful into existence that did not before, and making it thought provoking and fun for viewers to engage with.

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Diamond, 48″ x 48″

2/ What is your favorite piece of art that you’ve ever created and why?

Gosh, so hard to pick favorites! If I had to choose one, it would be the first major painting I did freshman year of college, “Paint Coated Deer.” It’s a marker for my technical improvement from day one, and still represents some of the ideas I explore today. It juxtaposes the contemporary with the classic. I grew up in a family of hunters, and while I enjoy the sport, I constantly find myself more intrigued by the composure of deer. The deer exhibit the serene figurative aspects of traditional painting, interrupted by a stark breach of the absurdly contemporary. By “painting paint” on the poised animals, it suddenly brings them into a dialog between primal existence and fast-paced colorful modernism in an amusing way.

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Paint Coated Deer, 48″ x 60″

3/ What are you trying to communicate with your art?

Truth, brilliance, and conversation with a satirical flair. I am drawn to exploring the fast and loud within our society – there is beauty to be seen in both the good and bad aspects of our culture. I seek to create work that is both pleasing and fun at first glance, yet dares my viewers to invoke further thought as to the underlying theme of each piece. I want my art to start conversations on anything from politics to pop culture to nature by adding energy, humor, and elegance to the otherwise mundane. Moreover, I just want people to enjoy it!

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Interior Luxe I, both 24″ x 36″

4/  Who is your ultimate inspiration and why? 

Ashley Longshore. If you don’t know her, you need to! She’s the most out-there, kickass artist in the game. I resonate with a lot of her ideas on pop culture and showcasing luxury and wit. I admire how raw and authentic she is in her work, and aim to be that way with my own! Her vibrant use of color, cultural icons, and text bring hilarity to a world of darkness – gotta love it!

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Big Red, 48″ x 72″

5/ What is your process for taking custom orders or selling work?

So far, the word has spread itself!! I cannot credit enough the overwhelming support of friends, family, and even strangers to bringing in business. As of right now, I share my work on Instagram (@carolinedoyle_art) where clients can either message me or email me with inquires about purchasing work or ordering a custom commission. I love when people reach out, and I am always happy to chat ideas! So feel free to send me a note and let’s get talking! *stay tuned: website in the works*

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Beats by Deer, 36″ x 60″

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On the Fly, 42″ x 66″

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Amanda-naut, 48″ x 48″
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Hilde, 36″ x 48

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Milary Clinton, 48″ x 48″

For more updates and photos of Caroline’s recent artwork, follow @carolinedoyle_art on Instagram. Cheers to the artist herself & her swoon-worthy art!

A Q & A with the Founders of POP Austin

 

On a hot Fall Austin day last week, I met the coolest couple. Self-proclaimed “chic global citizens with good haircuts,” they are that & more! I met Steve & Lana Carlson, founders of POP Austin in their hip East Austin headquarters filled with both contemporary & classic art. From oil paintings curated & collected by Steve’s grandfather, Dr. Scott Schubach to contemporary art {Lana’s choice} by Beb Deum  & collaborations by Bleikh & Serebryakova as well as the mind-provoking work of Micky Hoogendijk peppered with “Hollywood glitz but tempered with deep personal tragedy.”

Not only was I so lucky to have an art tour but I got to know more about them & what’s in store for POP Austin International Art Show this year.

1/ How did POP Austin International Art show come about?

The story is as inspiring as you may expect. A chance meeting in Paris between Lana, an art enthusiast who was just involved in the production of Pop Asia & Steve Carlson who was then doing a music documentary led to both a personal collaboration {they are now married!} & an art movement. According to Steve, the venture came from a desire to create something different than the humdrum ways of state museum exhibitions & traditional galleries. They aimed for an “event & an exhibition,” one that focus “more on the experience” & have a flow rather than one that feels too “commercial & compartmentalized.”

I couldn’t help but ask of course, why set roots in Austin? It sounded like an easy choice for both of them. Lana stated that the city is just growing & Steve added that Austin is has definitely become a destination city with a fascinating spirit. The show also helps to level the playing field between Austin artists & others who has attained commercial success, from LA to New York, Paris to Beijing.

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Austin Contemporary Artists {clockwise from top}: an art installation by Beili Liu, Lollypop Girls by Denise Prince, a gilded tumbleweed by Bale Creek Allen

2/ How do you curate or vet the artists or work to include in the show?

Coming up with a theme is mind-boggling with all the interesting art they are exposed to — from visiting art exhibits all over the world to whispers from other art curators, dealers & enthusiasts. This year is all about “Street Art meets Pop Art” or “Modern Pop Art.” It’s contemporary, it’s current, it’s alive and continually evolving. If last year’s Illumination — architectural installations meets art & technology in a hypnotic party of ethereal kinetic light {that’s a mouthful!} — astounded you, this year is about that and more. From graffitis that’s shaping cultural discourses to commissioned ones that evoke the pulse of the times —- street art is inevitably an integral part of contemporary art.

Last year’s Illumination was hypnotic & kinetic.

3/ Do you plan to expand into a multi-city event?

The clear answer from both of them is “No,” well at least not at this time. The allegiance to Austin is resounding. They built it and they came {and more will come} & I for one am loving it.

4/ What new trends are you seeing in the pop art world?

They see digital screens, light and other forms of technology applied in art but the most interesting is Chinese contemporary art. China of course is an economic superpower but their influence is now transcending towards what is mainstream & an expression of the times.

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The art of Yang Na reminds me of Keane’s Big Eyes {right} & could Feng Zhengjie’s Chinese Portrait {left} series be the new Warhol Marilyn Monroe pop art?

Here are the details of this can’t miss show:

Where: Fair Market 1100 East 5th Street Austin, TX 78702

When: October 13-16, 2016

13th ///// An exclusive Collector Preview to support The Texas Cultural Trust’s Arts & Digital Literacy Initiative in partnership with The University of Texas at Austin

14th ///// A screening and after-party for “Wall Writers”, a feature-length documentary about graffiti in its innocence

15th /////  In conjunction with the THINKERY, Nonotak Studio will be featured showcasing art that merges architecture and sculpture to create light and sound installations, POP Talks

16th ///// POP Talks, an educational & engagement series

This year, POP Austin’s Virtual Showroom will also be unveiled. Buy your tickets HERE >>>>

Just like Steve stated, appreciating & buying art should be a celebration, I hope to see you at the event & celebration!