Sketchbook of Carl Randall

by Anh-Minh on September 11, 2014

carlrandall1A couple of years ago, I was in London while the National Portrait Gallery was holding its annual BP Portrait Award exhibit. I picked up a postcard of Carl Randall‘s Mr. Kitazawa’s Noodle Bar as a little souvenir. The oil on canvas piece is one of a number of paintings that Randall created, based on sketches done during his time in Tokyo.

I have the postcard framed in my kitchen and enjoy looking at it every day. But only recently did I realize that Randall’s website not only features his portfolio of paintings, but also pages from his sketchbook—providing a cool behind-the-scenes peek at his work process.


My affinity for Japanese food is showing here—Sushi is another one of his paintings that I love.


And check out the progression of this piece! The rough drawing was done with pen on paper, while the later iteration was pencil on paper.


Here’s his Tokyo Subway and the initial sketches for the painting.

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{ All images via Carl Randall }



by Joanna on September 9, 2014


Around the start of summer, Alexis posted about Michelle Morin’s work. With the changing of the seasons, I have a tendency to look to new art to refresh my apartment. So I recently revisited Morin’s Etsy shop, Unitedthread, which she started as a way to share art “that is inspired by the imaginary worlds and narratives within nature.” True to this mission, her beautiful work explores nature and botanicals in a truly gorgeous way. The pieces have a great energy about them. I’m gravitating toward the ones with a black ground—they are so dramatic and feel just right as we move into that time of year when darker/cozier palettes are especially welcome! Morin is based in New Hampshire, so it’s easy to understand how nature and the water inspire her. Executed in watercolor, each work features stunning details and quirky elements.

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{ Images via Unitedthread }


Jessie Breakwell

by Joanna on September 2, 2014


There are just so many words to describe the work of Australian artist Jessie Breakwell: quirky, colorful, dynamic, bold, and bright. Her subject matter varies from nudes to animals to the jungle. I find myself attracted most to her brightly hued animals, though. Each piece seems to possess a great sense of humor while also just being flat-out gorgeous in a very approachable way. According to Breakwell’s bio, she doesn’t take life too seriously and it’s clear that this carefree approach comes through in her art in the best way possible.

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{ Images via Jessie Breakwell }


Tom Killion Woodcut Prints

by Anh-Minh on August 18, 2014

killion1I was recently looking at the list of exhibitors for this weekend’s Palo Alto Festival of the Arts, and was excited to see Tom Killion‘s name. Killion is a local printmaker who specializes in woodcut works. His subjects include some of my favorite places in the Bay Area—like Big Sur, the Marin Headlands, and Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

Influenced in part by the Japanese art of ukiyo-ëKillion carves his landscapes out of linoleum and wood. He then prints them on to handmade kozo paper, employing oil-based inks and a hand-cranked proofing press. Over at Wanderfoot, they’ve got a great profile on Killion with photos taken in his Pt. Reyes studio. I love seeing a glimpse of his process, and am looking forward to checking out his work in person at the festival. (Good news for those who are unable to go to the event: Killion sells his prints through his website.)

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{ Print photo via Tom Killion. Studio photos by Klea McKenna via Wanderfoot. }


Lizzy Stewart

by Joanna on August 13, 2014


Meet Lizzy Stewart. Illustrator, painter, artist. Stewart’s aesthetic is fresh and lively, while her paintings themselves feel like tiny, intricate worlds unto themselves. Working in a variety of mediums, from watercolor to pencil, she is a true talent. She studied at both the Edinburgh College of Art and Central Saint Martins, and is currently one-half of independent publisher Sing Statistics. Additionally, Stewart’s clientele includes The New York Times, Random House, and The Guardian.

Although I’m bummed that her illustrated guide to Helsinki has sold out, there’s plenty of other lovely items still available in her online shop.

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{ Images via Lizzy Stewart. Found on Design Crush. }