Look at these gorgeous colors! I am excited to share this interview with San Diego based artist Tim Novara. He offers a lot of great insight below.
Tim’s work is inspired by architecture, urban planning, and the built environment. Tim wants his art to “have a positive impact on the world in some small way and not just be a picture on the wall.” For every piece sold, he donates a portion of the proceeds to a local non-profit organization. Currently, donations are going to the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Please read on below to learn more about him!
Uncommon Canvas:When did you begin making art and what was the driving force behind it?
Tim: I first started making art ten years ago, because at the time I was working a demanding full-time job that didn’t allow me to express my creative side and I needed to do something about that. I had no idea what I was doing, but it felt freeing to just experiment, learn through trial and error, and start to uncover my artistic identity. Art was an on-again, off-again affair over the years for me, but in early 2019 I decided to really commit myself to it and get serious.
These beautiful hand-printed cyanotypes were created by the self-taught artist Annie Randall. Annie lives in Bristol, UK. Her work explores the relationship between humans and nature, and the deep need for humans to reconnect to the natural world. Her art delivers an important message – especially during these times. Here is an excerpt from the artist’s website:
“Much of the work shown here was created during the coronavirus lockdown, where the world quickly came to a halt, and our personal worlds suddenly became much smaller. Undoubtedly a difficult and tumultuous time for many, our interactions, smell, touch and feel became restricted. It highlighted humanity’s need for these sensations, both with people and nature.
We’ve become observers of nature, fearful of the unknown, yet equally destructive in our path. Multiple narratives (colonialism, patriarchy, capitalism) perpetuate this relationship, which permeates into the intimate relationships with each other and ourselves. We’re taught to be individual, but we’re intrinsically social just as multiple animals and plants communicate with one another for sustenance and support. My work questions these toxic relationships that we have with the natural world and ourselves, so that we might be able to conjure new connections, and develop a deeper appreciation and awareness of our place in the living world.”
Annie uses her sketches and photos to create digital negatives for her prints, which she then places on cotton paper and leaves in the sun. The above artworks are printed on handmade paper made from recycled t-shirts. (You know we love seeing artists creatively reuse materials to create their work!) Her process is described in more detail here.
In addition to cyanotype prints, the artist also creates pencil sketches, and sometimes works with watercolors and oil. Her work can be purchased on her website: www.annierandallart.com. Annie is donating 10% of the proceeds from the sale of her artwork to the Free Black University Fund.
Best of luck to you, Annie, and thank you for letting us share your artwork!
Artwork credit (from top to bottom): Annie Randall, Plant Head Annie Randall, Moon Face Flowers Annie Randall, In the Flowers
These artworks from Project Onward do a great job of lifting my spirits. I hope that you feel the same. We all need a break from the doom and gloom.
Project Onward is a studio and gallery located in Chicago that supports the work of artists with disabilities. Project Onward started in 2004 and currently has over 60 artists participating in the program.
I had the opportunity to volunteer there when I lived in Chicago. It will always be one of my favorite arts organizations. The artists are truly amazing people who have overcome many challenges, and their art is a way of healing and building their self-esteem while gaining well-deserved recognition for their talents. Their creativity is endless.
The artwork made by Project Onward artists ranges from spectacular glitter masterpieces to intricately detailed drawings. Some of the artists specialize in portraits, including amazing pet portraits. (I admit that I have a growing collection of pet portraits that I will cherish forever.) Artwork can be purchased through the online shop. Half of the proceeds go directly to the artists.
We exist to give artists with disabilities a “visual voice” to tell their stories and change the perceptions of the world. Project Onward is a studio and gallery dedicated to the creative growth of adult artists whose lives are impacted by mental illness and developmental disabilities. Our non-profit studio is inclusive and we embrace artists with a wide range of life experiences. Some are self-taught artists who have Autism, while some are formally-trained artists who have bipolar disorder. There are other artists with challenges that are equally complex. However, all of them willingly explore the innermost recesses of their minds to create powerful works of art.
“Like the pottery archaeologists use to define human cultures of the past, a layer of plastic will signify our own throwaway society. What will these discarded fragments say about us?
– Jo Atherton
Artist Jo Atherton is the perfect example of an artist using non-traditional materials to create art. We also love that she is bringing awareness to environmental issues.
Atherton creates her art from discarded materials collected along the UK coastline. Using the energy of the sun, she makes gorgeous cyanotype prints (also known as sun prints) of the items. She also weaves tapestries from the items that she discovers.
Atherton believes that we can learn a lot about our past through these washed up objects. Some of the items she finds are 30 years old or more, like old plastic toys. It’s interesting and sad to see what happens to these items when they are no longer loved or needed. In the artist’s words:
“I weave strands of stories to engage the public with sensitive environmental issues in ways that distressing images of marine wildlife cannot. My creative practice has become a useful conduit to explore single-use plastics as most of the flotsam objects I work with are commonplace in our homes.”
Her images are stunning and beautiful, yet they also serve as reminders of the disturbing amount of trash, mainly plastic, that is accumulating in our oceans. The artist cannot solve the issue on her own, but she is doing a great job of bringing awareness to the problem. Through her process, she also recycles items that would otherwise be garbage into meaningful artworks.
The Uncommon Canvas is an arts blog that focuses on increasing visibility for artists. We also hope to bring awareness to mental health in the arts. This blog includes interviews, artist spotlights, and art history beyond mainstream narrative.