Striking New Prints from Tugboat Printshop Reflect on the Mysteries of Nature and Mythology

a woodblock print depicting five daffodils reflected in a pool of water

“Reflecting Narcissus.” All images © Tugboat Printshop, shared with permission

For Valerie Lueth of Tugboat Printshop, the final piece is only one stage of the painstaking yet satisfying process of making woodblock prints. The works emerge from meticulous planning and carving of numerous blocks, which the Pittsburgh-based artist layers on top of one another to achieve a variety of colors, patterns, and striking contrasts.

One recent print “Reflecting Narcissus,” depicts five daffodils reflected in a pool of water. The composition references the Greek mythological character, Narcissus, whose beauty and youth were admired by everyone who looked upon him, even though he didn’t love anyone. That is, until he saw his own reflection in a pool and fell deeply for his image, pining away until he died and was transformed into a flower named for him.

Lueth (previously) is known for creating detailed prints that call on the beauty of nature and folklore, and she revels in the process behind each work, which you can explore more in-depth on her website. She was recently featured in issue 25 of the printmaking magazine Pressing Matters and has two prints currently available for pre-order, including “Ladder Tree,” shown below. Follow Instagram for additional updates.

woodblock carving in progress of daffodils, shown on a work table with tools and held up by the artist's hand

“Reflecting Narcissus” woodblock in progress

a print of daffodils is pulled from the woodblock

Pulling “Reflecting Narcissus” print

two side-by-side images, showing a woodblock of daffodils with yellow and blue ink on it (on the right) and the print made from the block (on the left)

Left: One color block for “Reflecting Narcissus.” Right: The first layer of the print

a print of a tree being pulled from a woodblock

“Ladder Tree” in progress

two side-by-side images of a raindrop print (on the left) and the woodblock that the print was made from (on the right)

Left: “Raindrops.” Right: The woodblock in progress for “Raindrops”

a woodblock carving of a tree with green ink rolled onto it

“Ladder Tree” block

a detail of a woodblock of a leafy tree with a few branches shaped like a ladder

Detail of “Ladder Tree” block

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Striking New Prints from Tugboat Printshop Reflect on the Mysteries of Nature and Mythology appeared first on Colossal.

Seasonal Blooms Capture Sunlight in Jessica Saunders’ Delicate Stained Glass Sculptures

a round stained glass wreath with bluebells

Photos by Alice Walker. All images © Jessica Saunders, shared with permission

“Flowers are connecting, grounding, uplifting, healing, and worth treasuring,” says Essex-based artist Jessica Saunders, whose delicate stained glass sculptures highlight an array of familiar and beloved blooms. From daffodils and poppies to cornflowers and hydrangeas, her pieces celebrate the cyclical nature of the seasons and the incredible range of specimens in both our backyards and the wild.

For Saunders, inspiration comes from her own garden and walks outside with her dog Bramble, observing the gradual changes in blossoms and foliage throughout the year. She also builds upon stories people share with her about specific flowers that evoke memories of others or places they’ve visited, which can be captured in glass as an everlasting reminder.

Saunders began working with stained glass in 2020 when her partner gifted her a beginners’ guide to the practice. “I immediately fell head over heels in love with the process,” the artist tells Colossal. “It felt natural to use my hands this way, and understanding all the different techniques came easily.” She enjoyed the challenges and possibilities of the medium, intrigued by its colors, textures, and transparency, in addition to its ability to be endlessly recycled.

While preserving personal memories or observations, Saunders is also helping to keep a heritage craft alive. Stained glass “takes time and care; it can’t be rushed,” she says. “Each piece has positive intentions soldered, ground, and burnished into them.”

Saunders is currently working on her Summer Collection, scheduled for release around the solstice in June, which will include honeysuckle, rudbeckia, sweet peas, hollyhocks, strawberries, and more. Find more on the artist’s website, and follow updates on Instagram.

stained glass flowers and vines in ceramic vases alongside live specimens

stained glass magnolia flowers and vines in ceramic vases alongside live specimens

stained glass flowers and vines in ceramic vases alongside live specimens

stained glass flowers and vines in ceramic vases alongside live specimens

stained glass flowers and vines in ceramic vases alongside live specimens

stained glass flowers and vines in ceramic vases alongside live specimens

stained glass flowers and vines in ceramic vases alongside live specimens    stained glass flowers and vines in ceramic vases alongside live specimens

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Seasonal Blooms Capture Sunlight in Jessica Saunders’ Delicate Stained Glass Sculptures appeared first on Colossal.

Elaborate Still Lifes Erupt with Vivid Color in Eric Wert’s Oil Paintings

A detailed still life oil painting of an overflowing vase of flowers against a teal patterned background.

“Acquiesce” (2021), oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches. All images © Eric Wert, shared with permission

“For me, the experience of painting an object reveals just how alien and unknowable it truly is,” says Eric Wert, whose vibrant still lifes seem to glow from within. From decadent bouquets that overflow from their vases to a pair of rain-speckled magnolia branches, the subjects of the Portland, Oregon-based artist’s oil paintings are portrayed in hyperrealistic detail.

Wert draws on his background in scientific illustration, a discipline that attracted him “because of the emphasis on rigorous accuracy in representation,” he says. “Over time, I found that objective technical drawings would never convey the complex feelings experienced while observing my subjects.”

Contributing to the long history of still life in European art history, Wert’s compositions take a contemporary view of the tradition while retaining the elements that characterize the genre: composition and precision. “My oil paintings are intended to be both seductive and destructive—a highly controlled meditation on the impossibility of control,” he says. Abundant flowers spill from displays and cross sections of fruit reveal sensual textures. The backdrops also complement the central subject, often depicting ornamental textiles or wallpaper patterns.

Wert references the qualities of vanitas painting in particular, which brim with symbolism intended to remind the viewer of the worthlessness of worldly desires or pleasures within the broader context of mortality. “Conveying a recognizable image happens early on in the process,” Wert says, “but my favorite part of the painting happens days or weeks later when I stop trying to control it—when I get out of the way and let the object reveal its other self.”

Three of the artist’s paintings are currently included in the group show Still Life at Gallery Henoch in New York City, which continues through April 12. Find more on Wert’s website, where prints of some of his paintings are available for purchase in addition to a selection of puzzles and cards published by Pomegranate. Stay up to date by following the artist on Instagram.

A detailed still life oil painting of a bowl full of tropical fruit, set against a background of a Chinese dragon textile pattern.

“Dragon Breath” (2023), oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches

A detailed still life oil painting magnolias on a black surface with water droplets.

“Magnolia” (2022), oil on panel, 18 x 24 inches

A detailed still life oil painting of a bird's nest made from moss on a branch against a dark violet background.

“Moss Nest” (2024), oil on panel, 20 x 16 inches

A detailed still life oil painting of a full crystal bowl of plums in various colors, set against a teal and gold background.

“Plums” (2023), oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches

A detailed still life oil painting of an arrangement of ferns and moss.

“Sottobosco” (2022), oil on canvas, 40 x 50 inches

A detailed still life oil painting of an overflowing bowl of vegetables and fruit, including cabbage, artichoke, tomato, grapes, and more.

“Still Life With Medieval Tapestry” (2016), oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

A vibrant still life painting of an overflowing arrangement of flowers.

“The Arrangement” (2015), oil on panel, 50 x 40 inches

Part of an elaborate oil painting of flowers, pictured with the artist's hand applying a detail with a small brush.

Detail of a work in progress

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Elaborate Still Lifes Erupt with Vivid Color in Eric Wert’s Oil Paintings appeared first on Colossal.

Bright Succulents, Cacti, and Plants Attempt to Break From Ant Hamlyn’s Claustrophobic Terrariums

colorful flowers and succulents are squashed under a pvc panel with a cork top

“Succulents.” All photos by dotgain.info, shared with permission

In Ant Hamlyn’s latest body of work, flowers and plants at the prime of life attempt to burst from their habitats in a desperate search for air and room to grow. The London-based artist is known for his sculptures of botanicals suffocating underneath acrylic panels, a subject matter he continues for his forthcoming exhibition Terrarium.

Opening this week at Weserhalle in Berlin, the show features Hamlyn’s signature specimens made of velvet and shiny, inflatable plastic. Like earlier works, Venus fly traps, plush petals, and the hallucinogenic spotted fly agaric mushroom make an appearance, although this time, they’re unable to breach the plastic panes. Small cork tops seal each stifling terrarium, choking the plants of oxygen and confining them to claustrophobic environments that, unlike the real-life chambers, aren’t created to promote and sustain life.

Terrarium runs from March 15 to April 13. Find more from the artist on Instagram.

colorful cacti are squashed under a pvc panel with a cork top

“Cactus”

red and white spores sprout in a terrarium

“Shroom”

colorful flowers and plants are squashed under a pvc panel with a cork top

“Snake Plant Bonsai”

colorful flowers, fly traps, and plants are squashed under a pvc panel with a cork top

“Carnivores”

red and white mushrooms and plants are squashed under a pvc panel with a cork top

“Big Shroom”

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Bright Succulents, Cacti, and Plants Attempt to Break From Ant Hamlyn’s Claustrophobic Terrariums appeared first on Colossal.

Grace Gillespie’s Vibrant Linocut Prints of Flowers and Foliage Tap Into Her Artistic Roots

A linocut print of green flowers.

All images © Grace Gillespie, shared with permission

Grace Gillespie grew up in an artistic household, but she resisted pursuing visual art at first, especially printmaking, because it was something both of her parents excelled at. “I guess I wanted my own ‘thing,’” she tells Colossal, which for most of her twenties was music. Then, during the pandemic, she found herself furloughed, disillusioned with the music industry, and back at her parents’ home in Devon, England.

During her six-month stay, Gillespie had access to a large etching press belonging to her mother, artist Sarah Gillespie. “I decided to try my hand at linocut and was immediately very addicted!” the artist says. “I was also just incredibly lucky that (my parents) had a lot of old lino and tools lying around—a bit ancient and rusty, but they did the trick.”

Gillespie was initially drawn to flowers because at the height of the summer, they exploded in her parents’ garden. She found solace and energy in their variety of colors and textures. “I think that both this newly found love of gardens and plant life, plus the new world of printing, really saved me through some quite tricky times around the pandemic,” she says. “I had left music mostly behind, moved house, and realised I had an anxiety disorder all in the space of a few months, and printing really helped to pull me through and keep my brain inspired to create.”

Reduction printing, the technique of carving away at the surface of linoleum or wood to create surfaces that can be layered, inspired Gillespie to play with color and complexity. “I absolutely love the surprise of when you lift the paper and reveal a print… sometimes a surprise mistake!” she says. “It’s a funny process and a lot can go wrong…. But it does make it all the more satisfying when you peel back the paper to reveal something really juicy and satisfying.”

See more on Gillespie’s Instagram, and check out her shop on Etsy to purchase prints.

A colorful linocut print of flowers.

A linocut print of green flowers.

A series of linocut prints of chrysanthemum's strung up to dry on a studio wall.

A linocut print of blue flowers.   Linocut prints of a vase with flowers hung up with clothes line clips.

A linocut print of a dahlia.

Two images side-by-side showing the process of making a linocut print. On the left, red ink is rolled over a piece of lino. On the right, prints dry on a rack.

A linocut print of three flowers.

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Grace Gillespie’s Vibrant Linocut Prints of Flowers and Foliage Tap Into Her Artistic Roots appeared first on Colossal.

Finely Rendered Birds and Animals Cling to Dried Flowers in Steeven Salvat’s Wheatpastes

four bird wheatpastes cover a conical structure with a cupola on top in a lush green landscape with brick buildings on either side

All images © Steeven Salvat, shared with permission

Sprouting between windows and tucked around corners, Steeven Salvat’s wheatpastes add a dose of natural history to everyday urban life. The French artist has spent the last few years meticulously rendering gem- and mechanic-encrusted beetles and butterflies, amassing a vast insectarium that draws attention to the intersections of art, science, and history and underscores the preciousness of each creature.

During the last two years, though, Salvat has begun to consistently work outdoors and on walls, creating public pieces that capture his painstaking linework on a larger scale. Whether painted in acrylic or slathered with wheatpaste, the realistic renderings are similarly detailed and delicate, conveying the smooth fur of a field mouse or the fluffed plumage of a bird mid-flight. Many of his recent works, part of the ongoing Petite Nature project, pair renditions of oversized dried flowers with tiny creatures “to awaken awareness on the fragility of ecosystems such as grasslands and natural water points, often sacrificed in the name of urbanisation.”

In addition to the wall works, Petite Nature also features smaller drawings on paper, which will be on view in January at Le Cabinet d’Amateur in Paris. Salvat generously shares glimpses into his process on Instagram, and you can find originals, prints, and postcards in his shop.

a wheatpaste of two tiny mice clinging to sprigs of orange flowers on a yellow outdoor wall. a bicycle with a crate is in front and a woman riding a scooter is on the far left

a wheatpaste of a bird and a brown leaf on a yellow wall between two windows

left: a wheatpaste of a dead bird with two yellow flowers growing from its body. right: a wheatpaste of a bird perched a sprig of small white flowers

a painted acrylic mural of two birds perched in bright red floweres on a blue wall

a wheatpaste of a mouse resting atop a bright red flower on a black wall

left: a bird with a scissors and surrounded by red and blue string flies on a wall with a woman dressed in black passing in front. right: a bird with a scissors and surrounded by red and blue string flies on a wall

a woman in a puffy black coat touches the ornate blue and white cage of a yellow bird on a perch in a wheatpaste

a woman in white walks past a wall with a wheatpaste depicting a small reptile curled around a yellow dried flower

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Finely Rendered Birds and Animals Cling to Dried Flowers in Steeven Salvat’s Wheatpastes appeared first on Colossal.

Finely Rendered Birds and Animals Cling to Dried Flowers in Steeven Salvat’s Wheatpastes

four bird wheatpastes cover a conical structure with a cupola on top in a lush green landscape with brick buildings on either side

All images © Steeven Salvat, shared with permission

Sprouting between windows and tucked around corners, Steeven Salvat’s wheatpastes add a dose of natural history to everyday urban life. The French artist has spent the last few years meticulously rendering gem- and mechanic-encrusted beetles and butterflies, amassing a vast insectarium that draws attention to the intersections of art, science, and history and underscores the preciousness of each creature.

During the last two years, though, Salvat has begun to consistently work outdoors and on walls, creating public pieces that capture his painstaking linework on a larger scale. Whether painted in acrylic or slathered with wheatpaste, the realistic renderings are similarly detailed and delicate, conveying the smooth fur of a field mouse or the fluffed plumage of a bird mid-flight. Many of his recent works, part of the ongoing Petite Nature project, pair renditions of oversized dried flowers with tiny creatures “to awaken awareness on the fragility of ecosystems such as grasslands and natural water points, often sacrificed in the name of urbanisation.”

In addition to the wall works, Petite Nature also features smaller drawings on paper, which will be on view in January at Le Cabinet d’Amateur in Paris. Salvat generously shares glimpses into his process on Instagram, and you can find originals, prints, and postcards in his shop.

a wheatpaste of two tiny mice clinging to sprigs of orange flowers on a yellow outdoor wall. a bicycle with a crate is in front and a woman riding a scooter is on the far left

a wheatpaste of a bird and a brown leaf on a yellow wall between two windows

left: a wheatpaste of a dead bird with two yellow flowers growing from its body. right: a wheatpaste of a bird perched a sprig of small white flowers

a painted acrylic mural of two birds perched in bright red floweres on a blue wall

a wheatpaste of a mouse resting atop a bright red flower on a black wall

left: a bird with a scissors and surrounded by red and blue string flies on a wall with a woman dressed in black passing in front. right: a bird with a scissors and surrounded by red and blue string flies on a wall

a woman in a puffy black coat touches the ornate blue and white cage of a yellow bird on a perch in a wheatpaste

a woman in white walks past a wall with a wheatpaste depicting a small reptile curled around a yellow dried flower

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Finely Rendered Birds and Animals Cling to Dried Flowers in Steeven Salvat’s Wheatpastes appeared first on Colossal.

The Artists of ‘PULP’ Fold, Emboss, and Quill Their Way Through the Possibilities of Paper

A sculpture of a figure made from cardboard. The figure holds a cell phone and their torso is hollow with an upside-down tree inside.

James Lake. All images © the artists, courtesy of MAKE Southwest

Strips of cardboard, papier-mâché, and precision folding are just a few of the techniques artists employ as they explore of the endless potential of paper. Whether using found pages of magazines and books, intricately folding single sheets into detailed figures, or designing unique wearable pieces, artists are constantly finding original ways to use the humble material.

Kicking off next month at MAKE Southwest, a group exhibition titled PULP celebrates the possibilities of the medium in all its forms, from quilled flowers to figurative sculptures to playful miniatures. Collaboratively curated by the Paper Artist Collective and GF Smith, PULP presents the work of more than two dozen international artists, including several we’ve shared here on Colossal over the years, like Layla May Arthur, Daphne Lee, Juho Könkkölä, Kate Kato, and more.

PULP opens on January 20 and runs through April 13 in the town of Bovey Tracey, on the edge of Dartmoor. If you’re in the area, you can plan your visit and learn more via MAKE Southwest’s website.

A quilled paper artwork of a bright, orange flower.

Daphne Lee

A detailed artwork made of white paper of a bird with wings spread.

Emma Boyes

A sculpture made of papier-mache, portraying a pink squid.

Tina Kraus

A small paper sculpture of a little facade of a house, installed inside the opening of a tin can.

Rosa Yoo

An array of paper sculptures resembling realistic mushrooms, plants, and feathers.

Kate Kato

Two images side-by-side. The image on the left is an abstract, colorful geometric composition photographed on a green background. The composition has six sides and contains a kaleidoscope-like arrangement of bugs. The image on the right shows a single piece of gold paper that has been folded into undulating geometric shapes.

Left: Samantha Quinn. Right: Dail Behennah

A sculpture made from found paper, with laters of lattice and framework in a cube shape.

Kate Hipkiss

A ring made from compressed paper.

Jeremy May

A field of dandelions in a gallery space. The flowers are made from paper.

Monique Martin

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article The Artists of ‘PULP’ Fold, Emboss, and Quill Their Way Through the Possibilities of Paper appeared first on Colossal.

The Artists of ‘PULP’ Fold, Emboss, and Quill Their Way Through the Possibilities of Paper

A sculpture of a figure made from cardboard. The figure holds a cell phone and their torso is hollow with an upside-down tree inside.

James Lake. All images © the artists, courtesy of MAKE Southwest

Strips of cardboard, papier-mâché, and precision folding are just a few of the techniques artists employ as they explore of the endless potential of paper. Whether using found pages of magazines and books, intricately folding single sheets into detailed figures, or designing unique wearable pieces, artists are constantly finding original ways to use the humble material.

Kicking off next month at MAKE Southwest, a group exhibition titled PULP celebrates the possibilities of the medium in all its forms, from quilled flowers to figurative sculptures to playful miniatures. Collaboratively curated by the Paper Artist Collective and GF Smith, PULP presents the work of more than two dozen international artists, including several we’ve shared here on Colossal over the years, like Layla May Arthur, Daphne Lee, Juho Könkkölä, Kate Kato, and more.

PULP opens on January 20 and runs through April 13 in the town of Bovey Tracey, on the edge of Dartmoor. If you’re in the area, you can plan your visit and learn more via MAKE Southwest’s website.

A quilled paper artwork of a bright, orange flower.

Daphne Lee

A detailed artwork made of white paper of a bird with wings spread.

Emma Boyes

A sculpture made of papier-mache, portraying a pink squid.

Tina Kraus

A small paper sculpture of a little facade of a house, installed inside the opening of a tin can.

Rosa Yoo

An array of paper sculptures resembling realistic mushrooms, plants, and feathers.

Kate Kato

Two images side-by-side. The image on the left is an abstract, colorful geometric composition photographed on a green background. The composition has six sides and contains a kaleidoscope-like arrangement of bugs. The image on the right shows a single piece of gold paper that has been folded into undulating geometric shapes.

Left: Samantha Quinn. Right: Dail Behennah

A sculpture made from found paper, with laters of lattice and framework in a cube shape.

Kate Hipkiss

A ring made from compressed paper.

Jeremy May

A field of dandelions in a gallery space. The flowers are made from paper.

Monique Martin

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article The Artists of ‘PULP’ Fold, Emboss, and Quill Their Way Through the Possibilities of Paper appeared first on Colossal.

Faceted Limes and Apples with Scribbled Skin Shape Yuni Yoshida’s Vivid Photographs

A fine art photograph of gem-shaped fruits.

All images © Yuni Yoshida, shared with permission

Gem-like limes, hand-drawn apples, and sweet stilettos are just a few of the subjects of Yuni Yoshida’s vibrant photographs. Combining elements of design and commercial photography, the artist (previously) taps into preconceptions tied to the textures, shapes, densities, and ripeness of fruit and florals. She manipulates each item by hand, meticulously cutting, preserving, and arranging individual pieces. “I pay a lot of attention to food and flowers because I like things that are natural and have life,” she tells Colossal. She has long been drawn to organic materials because of what she describes as their warmth and individuality.

Find more on Yoshida’s website and Instagram.

A fine art photograph of a skinless apple with its skin in the foreground cut to appear as if it was drawn on with marker.

A fine art photograph of two stiletto shoes made from watermelon and forks stuck in for the heels.

A fine art photograph of pieces of fruit cut together to resemble an optical illusion of magnification.

A lime carved to look like a diamond.  A fine art photograph of a skinless apple with its green skin in the foreground cut to appear as if it was drawn on with marker.

A fine art photograph of three skinless apples with the red skin in the foreground cut to appear as if it was drawn on with marker.

Flowers arranged and shaped to look like an orange, cherries, grapes, bananas, and other berries.

A fine art photograph of two skinless pears with the skin in the foreground cut to appear as if it was drawn on with marker.

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Faceted Limes and Apples with Scribbled Skin Shape Yuni Yoshida’s Vivid Photographs appeared first on Colossal.