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Lesley Atlansky's Art Blog
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    Lesley is a painter living and working in Portland, Oregon.   read more

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Something Beautiful - EarthArt Clayworks

My friend Am Griswold makes really wonderful clay pieces, and she’s been sharing a ton on instagram. I thought I’d share them with you, and you can follow her if you like!



Am has a great studio called EarthArt Clayworks out at the McMenamin’s Edgefield, where you can watch her create and buy some of her unique and wonderful clay pieces.


Isn’t this custom stein great?!



Good stuff!

Something Beautiful - Equinox Art & Design

I went to Emerald City Comic Con this past weekend, and while I have a ton to do now that I am back home, I know I flaked out on making a Something Beautiful post for the last two weeks and I really wanted to get something out today. So, the short and sweet version!

I saw these prints at ECCC and fell in love. I am a sucker for a beautiful dragon, and these silhouette fantasy pieces by Marsha Rollinger of Equinox Art and Design are just gorgeous. They had necklaces too, and I’m regretting not going back and getting one.

 © Marsha Rollinger, Equinox Art & Design 2014

© Marsha Rollinger, Equinox Art & Design 2014

They have a Society6 shop as well, so if this is your thing, check it out!


© Marsha Rollinger, Equinox Art & Design 2014

New Original Gouache Painting - “The Stars We’ll Be”

I’ve been sitting on this painting for a while, letting it rest before I decide if it is really done.

The Stars We'll Be

"The Stars We'll Be", 11"x14", 2014, Lesley Atlansky.

I wanted to paint a sister painting to “The Stars We Are”, with the colors essentially flipped.

"The Stars We Are", 11"x14", 2014, Lesley Atlansky

"The Stars We Are", 11"x14", 2014, Lesley Atlansky

It was really fun mixing up all the different orange colors. I don’t have orange paint, so I mixed several shades with the two or three different red and yellow paints I have.

As usual, I used wax paper to create random patterns in the wet paint.

Detail of "The Stars We'll Be"

Detail of "The Stars We'll Be"

The original is available on my Etsy shop. Prints and other things can be found on both Society6 and RedBubble.

Something Beautiful - Musical Laser Forest

Hello! Is your Monday as rainy and dreary as mine? Maybe this will brighten your day.


This is the Musical Laser Forest, an interactive musical instrument by the creative team Marshmallow Laser Feast.

It’s a huge forest of laser beams that features over 150 rods which can be tapped and played. By strumming and tapping them users can trigger both sounds and lasers and the piece becomes a collaborative instrument, as well as an otherwordly playground. The idea was to tap into people’s sense of wonderment and playfulness and let them explore this in a magical environment.

Check out this video of the Musical Laser Forest in action. You can see more of their installations on their site.

Free Shipping at Society6

I have a shop on Society6 where you can get my art on prints, canvases, cases for your phone or iPad, and even mugs and clocks and pillows! They are running a free shipping promo through Sunday.


To get free shipping through March 9th, use this link to get to my shop and activate the discount! If there is a painting of mine you like but don’t see up on the Society6 shop, let me know and I’ll add it.

Thanks for looking, and happy shopping!

Something Beautiful - Paul Zizka’s Photography

"Veiled Aurora" © Paul Zizka Photography

"Veiled Aurora" © Paul Zizka Photography

Many of you will not be surprised to find me drawn to the photography of Paul Zizka. I’d like to share it with you - welcome to this week’s Something Beautiful.

Fang in the Mist © Paul Zizka Photography

Fang in the Mist © Paul Zizka Photography

Paul Zizka is a professional mountain landscape and adventure photographer based in Banff, Alberta.

Specializing in photographing in difficult conditions and hard-to-reach places, Paul has a passion for shooting alpine sports and backcountry experiences, capturing the spirit of adventurers and finding unusual angles of common mountain subjects. As a landscape photographer, he particularly enjoys the challenge of capturing nature’s beauty at night and the unique features that come with a dark sky – stars, Northern Lights and dramatic silhouettes.


Feeling small? A kayaker lingers below the colossal toe of the Bow Glacier, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.© Paul Zizka Photography

These photos are just so stunning. Just look at those rocks, that ice, the sheer scale of it!


Resplendent Sunrise © Paul Zizka Photography

Paul has a lovely looking photo book out called Summits and Starlight: The Canadian Rockies. The subtitle should be Two Things Lesley Loves!

Cryophilia - Johnston Canyon

Cryophilia - Johnston Canyon © Paul Zizka Photography

There are tons of gorgeous pictures at Paul’s website and I encourage you to go and check them out! I’m going to go scroll through Pinterest and pin some of his inspiring photos.

Something Beautiful - Tape Installation

The Danish design collective Numen / For Use has been exhibiting these amazing creations made out of tape. I’m going to show you the Tape Tokyo exhibit, but you can see all their Tape Installations at the link above.


Numen/For Use is a design collective working in the fields of scenography, industrial and spatial design and conceptual art. The group first formed in 1998. as a collaborative effort of industrial designers Sven Jonke, Christoph Katzler and Nikola Radeljković under the banner For Use.

In 1999 they establish Numen as a collective identity covering all projects actualised outside the sphere of industrial design. From 2004. onwards, after setting up a large scale site-specific project for the production of “Inferno” in the National Centre for Drama in Madrid, Numen/ For Use become intensely involved with scenography. Further realisations in theatres across Europe ensue.

Since 2008. the collective turns its focus towards configuring objects and concepts without a predefined function, an activity resulting in the more hybrid and experimental works such as the Numen-Light series and Tape Installation.


“Tape Installation” is an art installation that developed out of a dance performance in which the trajectory of the dancers’ movements was traced with tape. The giant cocoon-like structure that will appear at “Tape Tokyo” will be like a parasite attached to Spiral’s atrium. The first part of the exhibition period will see the artists working with several assistants recruited by an open call in Japan. Together they will create the installation publicly, transforming it day by day as the work progresses. After it is complete, visitors will be able to enter inside the installation for a viewing experience that feels like the artwork is enveloping them.


This is just so neat. I wonder what it feels like inside. Is it hot? Is it bouncy? What does it sound like?

Here is a time lapse video of the installation:

Something Beautiful - Naz Shahrokh

Okay, so doing this every Monday didn’t get off to a perfect start, but if you had yesterday off for President’s Day then you are still getting to see this as you kick off your work week.

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Naz Shahrokh, Tree of Life, detail, 2003
594 Glass Jars Filled With Stems, Dried and Pulverized Petals, Leaves, and Metal Wire on Tree

I ran across these really cool art installations by Naz Shahrokh, whose work has a deep connection with the natural world.

Landscape and nature act as important sources of inspiration throughout my work. I consider my work linked in tradition with the Ethnographic arts, as my studio practice is inspired by my direct surroundings, while also to native man’s relationship with nature and the cosmos, and to modern and contemporary artists who have drawn their inspiration from the natural environment.

I strive to reference a harmonious meditative visual experience. Along with the use of detritus, either synthetic or organic or the mélange of the two, I attempt to transform the typically disregarded and commonplace materials into something less ordinary. I am drawn to the tactile process of assembling, collecting, giving new meaning to materials. The process of creating order out of chaos is a meditation and process that is deeply meaningful.



© Ayyub Hamilton

Spice Wall + Detail 2010 collected spices and herbs in plastic bags on wall 287 x 380cm
This is so beautiful. I bet it smelled fantastic. Here is her statement regarding this installation:
This project is site-specific to the palette of the East, as it is an investigation of spices/herbs found throughout the Gulf region, the Middle East, and North Africa. I began the process of collecting these materials in Egypt, but the source of inspiration derives from a visit to Iran in 1995 where I had for the first time experienced the mounts of spices found at the local bazaar in a town called Rascht (where my mother is from).

The process of collection of spices took many years until I was at a place where I could finally begin assembling the work. The formal framework in this project is appropriated from Ellsworth Kelly, as the vertical rainbow is inspired by his work. The plastic bags that house each spice/herb is site-specific to Abu Dhabi (UAE), as these are the bags in which one finds the local spices sold.


Artist Palette (For Agnes Martin), 1999-2001, jars filled with dried and pulverized petals and leaves, rock, gridded paper pad, metal brush, paint tube and feather in metal wooden box. 6 x 14 x 2 ½”


Artist Palette 1, 1999-2001, collected earth pigments, glass jars, rocks, stems, metal brush, paint tube in metal container , 12 x 11 ½ x ¾”  © Jennifer Osborne


Artist Palette 3, 2004, collected and assembled materials 6” x 20” x 2 ½”  © Jennifer Osborne
These Artist Palettes are my favorite. I find so much inspiration in the colors of the world around me, I love that you can at first glance look at a landscape and think “brown” or “green”, but when you get down into it the shades of colors seem infinite.

Something Beautiful - Art by Rafael Araujo

I’ve been terrible at blogging, so I thought the very least I could do is share something beautiful to start your Monday off right. I’m going to do this every week.

First up is the stunning collection by Venezuelan artist Rafael Araujo. The series is called Calculation, and I first saw them on the blog Colossal.

Nautilus, by Rafael Araujo.

Nautilus, by Rafael Araujo.

Here is what they wrote about these fantastic pieces:

At a technology-free drafting table he deftly renders the motion and subtle mathematical brilliance of nature with a pencil, ruler and protractor. Araujo creates complex fields of three dimensional space where butterflies take flight and the logarithmic spirals of shells swirl into existence. He calls the series of work Calculation, and many of his drawings seem to channel the look and feel of illustrations found in Da Vinci’s sketchbooks. In an age when 3D programs can render a digital version of something like this in just minutes, it makes you appreciate Araujo’s remarkable skill.



These are just so beautiful! The precision and care is just phenomenal.

Shell, 2004, Ink, acrylic/canvas 47.1x39.3 in., Rafael Araujo

Shell, 2004, Ink, acrylic/canvas 47.1x39.3 in., Rafael Araujo

Go to his website and look at all of them. Quite a few have process shots, and the link to the blog post above has a great photo of Shell in progress showing the tools he uses.

Seen anything beautiful lately? Share with me in the comments!

New! Original Gouache Painting “The Stars We Are”

The Stars We Are, detail.

The Stars We Are, detail.

I finished a painting! My first for 2014, though I started it quite a while ago.

Here is the piece in its entirety:

The Stars We Are, 11x14 gouache on paper, 2014.

The Stars We Are, 11x14 gouache on paper, 2014.

I started out painting several layers and shades of orange. After that was good and dry, I added masking fluid in the dot pattern on top of the orange paint. I then cautiously laid the grays and blues on top until I was satisfied, then peeled off the masking fluid to reveal the orange underneath.

I assumed I’d be working on it more after I did that, but I looked at it and thought, nope, this is exactly what I want. Then the name came to me in the form of a song, and that was that.  I’d love to do one with the colors reversed, dark grey circles on a vivid orange plain.

The original is available on Etsy!

Prints and things can be found on RedBubble and Society6.