Flora and fauna have forever been an inspiration for art, but now more than ever artists are finding new and inventive ways to bring our world to life. Out are the days of hyper-realistic flower fields and seasonal still life studies, replaced by delicate sculpture, clashing colours and bold neon prints.
Inspired by the longer, brighter days, I've curated a spring inspired selection of five artists challenging the concept of beauty and the interpretation of the natural world, reimagining it in their own unique way through art. As spring shifts into summer, there really isn’t a more appropriate time to give the art in your abode a well-deserved spring clean…
1 Fantastical Fauna
I adore the otherworldly style of Sophie Iremonger’s art. She captures beautifully delicate illustrated flowers as if they are not part of this world at all but transporting you into an alternate magical cosmos. ‘Cherry Blossom Nostalgia’s’ plucky palette of yellows, pinks and purples is a great way breathe life and colour into a room. I personally think it would look great in an entrance hall - what a welcome for guests!
2 Neon Nature with Bluebell Wood Spring
I have to admit, I just can’t help but stare at Helen Brough’s work, trying to read it and figure it out. It just doesn’t fit into the ingrained traditional image of a bluebell wood for me…Which is exactly why I am so engaged by it. Her interpretation completely challenges my idea of what I perceive to be a springtime woodland, flooding my sight with unexpected electric colours and familiar but not quite formed shapes and textures of the woodland.
3 Blossoming Bliss
I love how Laura has transformed a symbol of spring that can tend to look prissy and fussy into a feminine and striking feature. Through bold oil paint brushstrokes and an alternate colour palette she has captured the movement and transient energy of blossoms in spring. I can imagine this being a real focal point in a living room, the large bloom pattern and sprinkling of white paint splashes give this piece multiple layers and textures that can be incorporated into furnishings.
4 Picturesque Planting
If you like the idea of furnishing your home with planting, but you’re not blessed with green fingers, Simon Job’s series of paintings ‘Trace’ will bring the natural beauty of flora into your home hassle free. His ethereal images draw attention to the beauty of the most common-place plants in our natural environment. These medium sized works would suit being hung as a series in a kitchen or dining room, the blue hue palette bringing a touch of calm to a typically busy room.
5 Spring into Sculpture
Claire Brewster’s beautiful paper cut outs are an utterly unique take on traditional depictions of nature. Using old maps, Claire creates delicate 3D paper collages that literally leap from the wall, the colours and print of the original map add layers of detail to draw the viewer in for a closer inspection. The warm summer colours and delicate design of the rose would look great in a living room or bedroom with touches of floral pattern woven through furnishings to bring the theme together without being overkill.
The Spring Catalogue | Browse the Collection
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Viva Europa | A Selection of Our Top European Artists
Beat the Brexit Blues and celebrate ten of our favourite European artists at Rise Art. Some hail from the sunny climes of Greece and Spain, while others have their roots in the Hygge-loving Nordic regions. Each of these artists brings something unique to Rise Art, and we’re excited that they’re able to share with us the visual flavours and tastes of the Continent. Find the feature on the blog.
Out and About with Rise Art
This past weekend our Artist Champion, Izzy Proby, headed over to the Wimbledon Open Studios to catch up with our amazing Wimbledon Studios artists, Harriet and Aisling. Both are producing outstanding work and we encourage Rise Art followers to keep up to date with these talented young ladies.
Rise Art News
Workshop with Kristjana S Williams at Harrods
Get those creative juices flowing with the fabulous Kristjana S Williams, who will be holding mask-making workshops at her pop-up in Harrods on 19 and 20 May. The event is absolutely free, so channel that inner artist and get involved.
On a Roll | Stella Kapezanou
Stella is on fire! It seems nobody can get enough of her funky and vibrant contemporary paintings. To add to the list of her many accomplishments, the artist has been shortlisted for the 2017 Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize as well as the Chiara Williams Contemporary Art 2017 SOLO Award. An exhibition for the former opened yesterday at Piano Nobile, King’s Place and an exhibition of the ten finalists for the SOLO Award, including Stella, will be opening on 31 May.
ArtSlant Winner | Michelle Hold
We are pleased to share the news that Michelle has won an ArtSlant Award for her extraordinary abstract painting called ‘Touched By Water’. Find the winning painting available for purchase here at Rise Art. Plus we have many more of Michelle's beautiful artworks to choose from…
Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival | Helen J Young
Our very own Helen J Young has just exhibited her magnificent paintings as part of the Oxfordshire Artweeks open studios. If you missed the show, keep up to date with Helen's latest activities and take a look at her abstract works here.
Paradise at Nelly Duff | Dave White
Next week sees the opening of Dave’s new show, ‘Paradise’, at Nelly Duff. The artist’s dynamic wildlife works are unmistakable and, quite frankly, irresistible! Take a look at his impressive collection on Rise Art here. The exhibition will run from 25 May to 4 June.
Art World Happenings
Photo London | Somerset House
2017 marks the third year of Photo London, one of the biggest photography events on the arts calendar. Leading galleries from around the world exhibit the brightest and best photographers from every region. Escape the rain this weekend and head to Somerset House for the exceptional show.
Mamma Mia! | Canaletto & Art of Venice at The Queen’s Gallery
Today an exciting exhibition opens at The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Lose yourself in 18th Century Venice and get up close and personal to spectacular works by Canaletto, Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Francesco Zuccarelli, Rosalba Carriera, Pietro Longhi and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. We recommend grabbing a slice of pizza on your way home to round off the outing.
Viva Europa | Browse the Collection
The fantastic Kristjana S Williams is currently hosting a pop up at London's iconic Harrods store, showcasing a series of her paper cut originals, limited edition prints and her latest incredible 3D globes. If you're around and about the city this weekend, don't miss her Mask Making workshop (details below) for a chance to meet the artist and make your own work of art inspired by her stunning, tropical florals.
We managed to pin down Kristjana for an exclusive quick-fire interview. Go behind the scenes into her studio and see the artist in action in our exclusive video interview, and read on to find out what art means to her.
Tell us a bit about the processes you use to create your work. What visions and inspirations are behind it?
When I began making art, I would draw most of the elements and illustrations by hand, but I later discovered the technique of Victorian engravings which I was able to recolour and reinvent to keep each piece individual. I started to combine these with my old love of maps, and was really pleased with the result. I am greatly inspired by nature, but also the energy of London city really influences me.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
When I was younger I wasn't sure whether I could pursue being an artist as my main profession, therefore I made a living through electronics and other things. Things started to change when I later gained a place on the Illustration Course at Central Saint Martins.
What was the first artwork you ever made?
Ink Forest, which was originally a fabric design on a 1.4m x 1.4m scale and later became an artwork. This was probably the first piece I created.
You've completed several commissions in London and beyond, do you have a favourite?
The Knowledge in London's Iconic The Shard building is a good favourite of mine. It was exciting to see the finished piece go up and the way the Thames river is lit from behind makes it quite special.
What do you love most about making are & what do you hate about it?
I find the process of creating art very therapeutic, but it’s also like an adventure. With every piece you make you learn something new and discover something different. I don’t think there are any real aspects of making art that I dislike. I suppose it can be time consuming but I think it’s necessary to dedicate the time to ensure you're truly pleased with the final result.
How long does it take you to complete one of your 3D London maps?
It takes me about 3 - 6 months to complete a 3D London map.
Give us a quick one like about your studio space - what do you love about it?
The studio is constantly busy, there is always something exciting going on! We have been in this studio for just over a year now and the space is great, we are lucky to have huge windows which flood the room with light.
What's playing in your studio right now?
I listen to a lot of meditation and relaxation music when I work as I find it helps me focus.
Tell us about your Mask Making Workshop this weekend
Our team would love to invite you to a Mask Making event this weekend. Join me in-store at Harrods, London to create your own spectacular work of art!
19th May - 20th May, Fine Art & Stationery, 2nd floor: 2-5pm
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your place.
Prints to Pop | Browse the Collection
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Simon Job’s transient, minimalist works capture the shifting natural forces that work around us but lie just beyond our vision. We visited the artist’s studio to get the lowdown on how he fell into the world of art and how he finds the balance between chaos and control.