Handmade Halloween 2017: Dead Spider Hands aka Ally Burke

Last year I did a Handmade Halloween post and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d do it again this year. This time I’m featuring an artist whose work I’ve been collecting for a few years now and who has a wonderfully creepy vibe: Ally Burke aka Dead Spider Hands.

This spooktacular print of Haunted House ($20) features a sort of Frankenstein’s monster-inspired woman with a ghost filled house in her hair, complete with planchette hair clip. I really enjoy the minimal use of color in this piece, which was from Burke’s Inktober 2016 series. I’m also almost positive that this was inspired by Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, which I just finished reading.

If you’re in the market for original art, Burke has a number of pieces available. Above is Spookyberry Twins ($100) and it’s done in her newer style. Since I’ve collected her work for a few years it’s been really interesting to see how it’s changed, with more detail, color, and shading being added over time. I really like how the black lips are shaded on the left of the two faces.

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Junko Mizuno’s Ravina the Witch? Show at Gallery Nucleus

Junko Mizuno’s newest show, “Ravina the Witch?” at Gallery Nucleus, includes artwork used to make her book of the same name. It runs from August 5th to August 20th 2017 and features both paintings and graphite drawings, as well as a limited edition print and signed copies of the book. Below are some of my favorite pieces from the show and my thoughts on them.

The featured piece for the show is “Ravina and Crow” (above) of which I was lucky enough to buy the graphic drawing. This piece is available as a signed, limited edition art print; the edition size is 50. The original piece sold in preview.

Above is a cover study for “Ravina the Witch?” I almost bought the drawing of this piece before ultimately deciding on the one I got, but this piece is really fun. The original painting and graphite studies have all sold.

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Camilla d’Errico Vintage Art Plate Release

Camilla d’Errico has announced a huge and really exciting release for August 4th 2017 at 9 AM PST in collaboration with the Planet Bee Foundation. The Bee Release will feature prints, clothing, original artwork, and one of a kind printed plates. The plates are custom printed and are quite lovely, I’ve chosen some favorites that you can see below with a full gallery at the bottom of the page.

One of the most striking plates from this release features d’Errico’s painting “The Beekeeper” which will also be a signed, limited edition print for the event. The plate chosen for it is perfect, and I love the use of blues in the piece.

Another lovely plate is “Lemon Drop” which I’m seriously considering making a move for. The lemon flower with the bumbling bee atop it is too cute to resist, and the plate, again, is just perfect.

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Tracy Lewis at La Luz de Jesus Gallery

As Within So Without by Tracy Lewis

As Within So Without by Tracy Lewis

Watercolor artist Tracy Lewis has new work at La Luz de Jesus Gallery as part of a group show running from July 7th to 30th 2017. The blurb from the group show is below:

Tracy works primarily in transparent watercolor, layering luminous glazes of pure hue to give everything a candy coating of Easter-like color. Inspired by a collection of curiosities, along with a love of fairy tales, Art Nouveau and Old Hollywood Glamour, Tracy creates portraits of ephemeral beauty, often in a contradiction of disquiet and harmony; the compassionate femme fatale. “I am fascinated with the interconnectedness of all things, the strength, and fragility of our world, the duality of nature. The metamorphosis of life and death, the beauty of it all captures my imagination. By listening to nature’s incantations, I hope to portray in my work some of these delicate and unseen forces that surround us” states Lewis.

Transcendent by Tracy Lewis

The description “a candy coating of Easter-like color” appears on Lewis’ own website a number of times, which means that she either wrote the blurb herself, or the gallery borrowed it from her (a very common practice). Oddly, that’s exactly what I wouldn’t say about her work because I don’t think it quite gives credit to the strange intensity of her figures (her daughter, Gretchen Lewis, is the model).

Easter, Ostara, the Spring Equinox, whatever you want to call it, is when the word starts to come back to life in a blush of hesitant color. The colors are pale – completely consistent in palette for this selection – yes, but they’re also contemporary. Almost painfully contemporary and grounded so much in the now; after all, Pantone’s colors for 2016 were Rose Quartz and Serenity, the exact color schemes of all of these watercolors. Or is it more ‘millennial pink‘? Many of the pieces boast peonies, the official flower of Instagram. Art Nouveau and Old Hollywood Glamour don’t come to mind for me one bit, and I love it, because these pieces don’t feel old or backward-looking.

In the group show they aren’t in a sea of similar pieces, the fragility of the color scheme makes them leap out. While other artists seem frantic, angry, and consumed with the ugliness of consumer society, Lewis’ work is – to borrow the title of the piece to the left – Transcendent. It doesn’t strike be as ars gratia artis, but more showing the mystical spirituality in nature.

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