Stacey Rozich: A Day's Catch

Released Tuesday, May 25, 2010



A Day's Catch, by Stacey Rozich.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Puppies Behind Bars.

Stacey Rozich is a native to the Pacific Northwest who currently resides in Seattle, Washington. She attended California College of the Arts in San Francisco where she studied illustration, and now attends Seattle Central for graphic design. Combining what she learned in school and her years of drawing from her over-active imagination, Stacey has created a storybook narrative of beasts and patterns all playing into a world of cultural folktales.

Over the past couple of years, Stacey has taken a strong interest in her own ethnic heritage (her father is Croatian) and in exploring the history of the traditions and folklore of Yugoslavia. From her research, Stacey discovered beautiful yet frightening carnival masks that utilize strong colors and textures to evoke a certain feeling of awe and reverence. She was intrigued that these creatures were displayed among beautifully garmented young women dancing in costumes of wool vests, draped shawls, and large triangular hats, all adorned with woven designs. Stacey likes to think that she's channeling an ancestor from way back in her family history that has helped her to create some of these pieces that she finds so compelling. Aside from the Balkan influence, she has spread her feelers out to different cultures – Russian and Scandinavian, to the Native American cultures of the Southwest and Pacific Northwest, which are most evident in her recent work.

About the print:
A Day's Catch is a decidedly action-filled piece, with the beastly forest spirit being lashed down by women hunters. This was a departure from my portraits, where I spend my time figuring out harmonious patterns in their clothing and creating striking masks. With this piece, I’ve begun to shape an account of human relationship with animals, nature, and spirituality. I imagined terrifying spirits living in a land that has been newly inhabited by hunters - people who revere and yet want to conquer these uncontrollable beings that exist around them. The beasts are spiritual incarnations that have a symbiotic relationship with the forests, the trees, and the roots. I’m not sure that it is immediately clear, but the hunter that is standing up is pointing to the beast’s head, where a sapling is beginning to grow, almost as a sign that they’ve caught something much bigger than they could ever imagine. It also gave me the chance to paint in texture to the beast’s body, which I enjoy very much.

This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. It was digitally signed by the artist and was numbered by The Working Proof. The original artwork is a gouache and watercolor illustration.

PURCHASE $30!





What is your process?
I usually start with loose compositional sketches. From there, I try to visualize a color scheme for the pieces; staying within a theme consistent with whatever series I’m working on at the moment. Bringing in similar elements of texture and patterns from other pieces helps to tie everything together in the end.

What has inspired you recently?
The biggest inspiration for me lately is probably the reaction I’ve been getting to my work. I’ve been a solitary worker for so long, so actually putting my creations out into the world is very new for me. My best friend Alexa said it best recently, “If you want to find Stacey’s work, it will be shoved behind furniture or crumpled up under something.” Painting and drawing are very personal, and the idea that someone can have a connection to your creations is the most gratifying feeling in the world. It’s like an emotional high-five for your hard work.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I see art transform the world every day; in my immediate world I see it with my father. He’s a creative soul through and through. He grew up in the Midwest drawing cars and landscapes and eventually majored in fine art. It became a freelance gig when he moved out West and started a family, taking on manual labor jobs to support us. Weekends and any spare time were spent painting signs, creating menu boards and chalk art murals. It showed me that hard work does pay off. He now works as an artist fulltime and is an incredibly happy and peaceful man.



If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
If I could choose any artist to mentor me, it would absolutely be Maurice Sendak. He creates so much life in his drawings. I adore his work for its simplicity and purity. Scratchy pen lines to create texture and lovely washes of watercolor to illustrate the night sky never seem overthought or difficult. He has an amazing grasp of the human form that translates well to his monsters and the movement of animals doing human activities. He does what he loves for a living and I love that.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Some of the artists right now that inspire me (in no particular order of importance): the commercial illustration of Jillian Tamaki, Carson Ellis, sculptural work by A.J. Fosik, paintings by Matt Palladino, Gabriel Rueben Dikel, Matthew Craven, Mark Warren Jacques, photos by Christian Hansen and Nich McElroy, video/design by Jesse Brown. And so many others I haven’t discovered yet! Also the Maru blog! A fat Japanese cat that does hilarious things; I check it daily.

Rich Gemmell: Falls

Released Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Falls, by Rich Gemmell.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Transportation Alternatives.

Rich Gemmell lives in a small, sleepy village in the Cambridgeshire countryside. He has been working as a freelance illustrator for three years, and has exhibited his work around the UK. He also sells prints directly from his website. Rich comes from a fine art and printmaking background, and spent most of his early creative years in school art studios printing, drawing, and painting. Later, he dabbled in animation, and then spent five years studying graphic design and illustration.



About the print:
Falls was inspired by a recent trip around Scotland. There were white water rapids at the base of Ben Nevis and some kayakers were throwing themselves down the falls. It was very narrow and deep but extremely beautiful and picturesque. I developed this piece with Transportation Alternatives in mind, because I love the idea of this being someone's morning route to work.

This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. It was digitally signed by the artist and was numbered by The Working Proof. The original artwork was made of a mixture of pencil line, ink washes, and digital elements.

PURCHASE $30!


What is your process?
An idea for a piece is usually born in one of my doodle-filled sketchbooks. I try to take a sketchbook or small journal everywhere I go so that I can doodle or write down an idea as soon as it hits. I then work up an image into a rough sketch and use tracing paper or vellum to work the sketch into more defined lines, after which I add ink and graphite. Finally, I scan it into my Mac where I add some colour and hand made textures and play with the composition until I'm happy with it.

What has inspired you recently?
I love seeing and traveling to new places. I recently toured Scotland with my girlfriend, and that was hugely inspirational. From these travels, I developed a series of six images based on the Scottish landscape. I have also recently travelled up the west coast of America and across France. Music also plays a huge part in my life. Songs - and films, books, wildlife, and different cultures - have inspired much of my artwork. Inspiration comes from all over the place.



Why did you choose to pair Transportation Alternatives with your prints?
Falls was made with Transportation Alternatives in mind - instead of traffic jams and exhaust fumes, the man is traveling to work down the river in an environmentally friendly kayak.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
When I tell people about what I do, they rarely understand until they've seen my work, and then their reactions differ. Some are indifferent and some are genuinely interested to hear how you made it. It upsets me when someone asks why I don't have a real job or can't understand that you can actually make a living drawing pictures. Some see it as a lazy and selfish pursuit, but in truth, it's a hard living to make. You really have to work for it. Luckily, the Internet makes it easier than ever to get your work seen.



If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
That's a tough question. I will say Hergé - his work always inspired me as a kid, and now as an adult I can really appreciate his strong and pioneering illustration style and his wonderful storytelling abilities.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
I'm sure that a lot of people already know of these artists, but I will say: Jon Klassen, Josh Cochran, Jillian Tamaki, Lizzie Stewart, Carson Ellis, and Nigel Peake.

Danna Ray - We Are Connected

Released Tuesday, May 11, 2010


We Are Connected, by Danna Ray.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Médecins Sans Frontières.

Danna Ray grew up in rural South Carolina, where she spent her days exploring the woods, fields, and creeks around her family’s log cabin. She later went on to attend Virginia Commonwealth University to receive a BFA in Illustration. Today, Danna spends most days working in her studio, though she and her husband often take off to the mountains to go camping, hiking, and rock climbing. Her current work is an exploration of the inherent transience and connectedness of all things. She is interested in small moments that scratch away the myopic fog of everyday routine to reveal glimpses of a bigger picture.



About the print:
This piece is a part of a recurring theme that originated in the two years I spent working as a horticulturist. In one of the outdoor spaces I cared for, there was a group of several different conifer species planted together. As these trees began to reach their full size, they were becoming overcrowded, but their roots were so closely intertwined that it was impossible to remove one of the trees without damaging the others. The compact upright forms of conifers reminded me of the elongated figures of Alberto Giacometti that had profoundly resonated with me in school years ago. As I walked by those trees each day, I began to see them as a microcosm of the world around us. Each tree was working to grow and survive as it inevitably affected and formed the foundation of the others. While looking at the trees up close, it was easy to see the distinct differences that set them apart, but to see them from a distance, it was clear that they were all members of a larger family. Although the roots are not immediately apparent, everything, everyone is connected. Perhaps in the biggest picture, there is no such thing as isolation.

This print was signed and numbered by the artist. It is an archival inkjet print that was created from an original mixed media painting. It was printed on 300 gsm acid free paper that is made from eco-friendly bagasse and recycled cotton fibers.

PURCHASE $35!



Process sketch.

What has inspired you recently?
When I came across Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost, there was that perfect feeling of finding something you've been looking for for, at exactly the moment you needed to find it. I'm now reading her books Wanderlust and Storming the Gates of Paradise.



Why did you choose to pair Médecins Sans Frontières with your prints?
It means a great deal to me to have the chance to contribute to MSF's mission of providing medical aid to those in crisis at a time when so many are in urgent need of care.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I think the very act of creation may contain some inherent element of optimism...and while optimism is not something quantifiable, it is a truly powerful force to spread around.



If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Though I don't have a specific artist in mind, I've really been itching to learn the art of stop motion animation. I've come to realize that most of my ideas for paintings are actually still frames from scenes and stories that play out in my head.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Amy Talluto, Christine Gray, Christopher Russell, Claire Grill, Hernan Paganini, Hollis Brown Thornton, Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch, Rachell Sumpter, Ryan Wallace, and my amazing sister Jen Ray.

Andrea D'Aquino: Green Zen I + II

Released Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Green Zen I + II
, by Andrea D'Aquino.
15% of the sale of this print goes to The Shama Foundation.

Andrea D’Aquino is an experienced art director and graphic designer. In the last few years, she has put her energies more seriously into her personal art and illustration. Though she loves using technology, Andrea studied art and graphic design before Macs were ubiquitous, and feels fortunate not to have had to learn the lesson that creativity has nothing to do with using software. Andrea spends many hours walking her dog and trying not to think too much. Somewhere in-between the artwork seems to happen. At the moment she is also learning how to screenprint, which she says suits her very well.



About the print:
Curator's note: This edition actually comes as two prints being sold as a pair. We love the way that the two images interact with each other – abstract versus illustrative, textured versus simple. We imagine that one print is of the woman, and the other print is of the inner woman. Enjoy!

Green Zen I + II came from an ethereal moment, I guess – at least compared to much of my work. At the time, I was looking at Gustav Klimt, and I had Buddha hands from Tibetan sculpture, as well as medieval European religious paintings in my mind. Interestingly, the hands are very similar in both and seem to suggest higher knowledge or inner peace in both cultures. For the companion piece, I love the unpredictability of the watercolor. It matches the spirit of the other without actually representing anything, which makes it even more elemental and universal.

Both prints were signed and numbered by the artist. They are digital prints on Hahnemühle Fine Art archival paper.

PURCHASE $60!



Process sketch.

I don’t believe in plotting everything out so much that all life is drained out of the final piece. I usually draw spontaneously and/or from imagination, and allow space for the unexpected, and even mistakes. The sketch above is a drawing done around the time of Green Zen I + II, which eventually found its way into the final piece. I have many like it. I did them casually in my sketchbook at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, from medieval religious paintings.

What has inspired you recently?
Art of all kinds! I love Persian art, Medieval art, Flemish art, Japanese print-making of the last century, abstract expressionist painters from the 50’s and 60’s, 60’s and 70’s psychedelia, neo-realist/nouvelle vague/70’s auteur cinema...to name just a few!



Why did you choose to pair The Shama Foundation with your prints?
I chose to pair my prints with The Shama Foundation of Madagascar. I do not have children, so this is one way to be supportive of the most innocent among us, not to mention those with the most potential. It is also a way to acknowledge that I myself have been very fortunate to grow up in a supportive family with all of my needs more than met. As the Shama Foundation says on their website: "Madagascar is considered one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. An educated people may make the informed economic and environmental choices needed to heal and sustain Madagascar’s unique ecosystem."

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
Going to a concert, movie, theater, a museum - any art viewed in a public space - everyone has probably had the experience of feeling art transform even thousands of people in the same time and space. It can be life affirming. It is probably the most powerful force I can think of. I feel that life would not be much more than mere survival without it.



If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Kveta Pacovska. I am enamored of her work for its purity, child-like boldness, and amazing confidence and imagination. She is also in her eighties, and far as I know, still doing work like this.

In the end, the most difficult and important task for any creative person is to find his or her own way – to put aside and even contradict much of what you've learned. Question it all, disprove it, and find your own voice. It’s not easy, sometimes not fun - but if you pursue that, you'll be doing work that you and only you can do.



Who are some artists you think people should know about?
I'll mention a few not wildly famous or trendy people, in case it may introduce anyone to someone new: Niki de Saint Phalle, Lee Bontecou, Biala, Kenneth Anger, Nicolas de Stael, Tadanori Yokoo, Friso Henstra, Nicole Claveloux, Anne Herbauts...that’s enough to start on!