Samantha French Underwater Painting

Underwater Paintings by Samantha French

Exploring the idea of escape, tranquility and nostalgia for lazy summer days and childhood, Samantha French’s underwater paintings are truly magical. They remind me of a photo once taken of my brother underwater at a Florida theme park, I love the colours in her work and having personally found water extremely difficult to paint, French has the light and reflections just right. Her work is fun, bright and bold. Original oil’s range from $8,000 upwards. However, you can also buy prints of selected pieces on her Etsy storesmall size from $26 and limited edition large format (24″ x 31″) for £550… I want one!

'Winter's Warm Hearts' by Ryder

‘Winter’s Warm Hearts’ Limited Edition Print By Ryder

Today I am swooning over this brand new limited edition print by Ryder that has just been delivered into work. I first featured Ryder’s artwork back in August (see original post here) and he has a new edition that has just been released… I have fallen in love with it!

‘Winter’s Warm Hearts’ pictured below is part of a magical Christmas release by Castle GalleriesIsn’t this what enchanting winter memories are made of? ‘Winter’s Warm Hearts evokes memories of family Christmases, snow days off school and staying out making snowmen until the last sunlight falls and your mum calls you in for hot chocolate.

You can buy Ryder’s ‘Winter Warm Hearts’ framed for £695.

Ryder "Dangerous Liasons"

The Enchanting & Secret World of Ryder

Roland Barthe was one of my key texts when beginning my BA Hons Fine Art and quite frankly, I despised it. However, several times since graduation I have encountered his texts. In 2002 the world famous Pompidou Centre, Paris devoted an important exhibition to his literary criticisms, including ‘The Death Of The Author’. In this essay Barthes surmises that to interpret and read a text in it’s truest form, the reader must disengage with the author. Stating that…

Criticism still consists, most of the time, in saying that Baudelaire’s work is the failure of the man
Baudelaire, Van Gogh’s work his madness, Tchaikovsky’s his vice: the explanation of
the work is always sought in the man who has produced it

He promotes empowerment and gives the reader back control to garner what they like from the work without preconceptions of the author, or for the purposes of this post, the artist. It is with this thought in mind that I would like to introduce to you the new collection by Ryder. Blurring the lines between arts disciplines and breathing a narrative into the enchanting images, the work of Ryder is a true mystery.

Ryder is no more, no less than a name on a piece of paper. No artist biography to influence your impressions, no collection overview to police your critique, just the art laid bare.

All that is known about Ryder is that they are created by a male. No artist biography explains the work or his life, leaving the art to speak for itself…

You can buy Ryder’s hand signed limited editions at through Castle Galleries.

Nic Joly 'Never Forgotten'

Never Forgotten: Nic Joly World War One Commemoration

World War One began on this day 100 years ago, it is imperative that we remember the lives lost and stories from the time which changed the world forever. One of my favorite artists has created a wonderfully simple but moving piece of artwork to mark the centenery. Following an extremely poignant meeting with a 96 year old  Second World War veteran Nic says that the history and events which happened 100 years ago now. He says:

In my own small way, I want this piece to remind us that all those who have given their lives, in conflicts from the First World War until the present day, will be Never Forgotten.

Using the ultimate symbol of Remembrance, the poppy, Nic Joly has created a piece aptly entitled ‘Never Forgotten. The edition size is 1,566 – to mark every day the war was fought. Each piece will be labelled on the back with a small piece of information about that day in the First World War so that each piece is as individual as every day during that time, and each life lost. Castle Galleries is donating £100 from the sale of every piece to The Royal British Legion, to help Nic reach his goal of raising £150,000 to help support war veterans past and present. This is a wonderfully inspiring project and I think you’ll agree the piece is stunning.

Sabine Timm

Miniature Sculpture by Sabine Timm

I have fallen head over heals for her cute miniature sculptures! Düsseldorf based artist Sabine Timm uses found objects from hair combs, flowers, broken ceramics, and dolls house furniture to home wares. She arranges handmade miniature sculptures in a very amusing way, bringing character and humour to her work. Combs are turned into little characters, adorable mini houses are stacked up and vintage dolls house furniture is used to create temporary scenes. Who could resist the personality given to these inanimate objects? Do visit her flickr stream, it is wonderfully kitsch.

To buy photographic prints of Sabine’s work visit The Human Empire Shop.

Mary Jane Ansell - 'Little Victories' (Oil on Panel, 14 x 26 inches)

Contemporary Portraiture by Mary Jane Ansell & Leah Yerpe

It is not often that I gravitate towards portraiture, and I would certainly not hang a portrait in my home. However, the work by Mary Jane Ansell and Leah Yerpe have really captured me – they’re beautiful.

Working on up to 20 paintings at a time Mary Jane initially sketches out the scenes with props and then photographs her models and meticulously whittles down the images to work from when creating the final painting. It is this attention to detail that gives her work a real depth. Despite standing alone in their own right, her recent portraits ‘Contemporary Romanticism’ picture girls wearing military outfits in elegant, whimsical poses. I adore how the flashes of regal red warm up the model’s skin tone.

Similar to Mary Jane Ansell’s early artwork Brooklyn, NYC artist Leah Yerpe is influenced by mythology. She allows her models to move freely as they like and her portraits show them multiplied in different shapes, twisting, floating and falling over the paper. Sometimes flowing, sometimes sharp and contorting as if caught within the frame. This freedom is contrasted by her fastidious drawing technique – the detail is just fantastic…

Follow Leah Yerps blog here and buy prints of Mary Jane Ansell’s work on her online shop.

Michelle Morin - Spring

Michelle Morin: Botanical Art

Michelle Morin is an artist who previously worked for many years in horticulture. It is this special relationship with plants that gives her work a true depth. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see an artist brave enough to use colour and experimentation in watercolour. Her work has a modern edge to classic botanical illustration. It is not contrived and with layers and layers of organic paint her work draws you into the environment and has a very calming effect.

You can buy hand signed archival prints from just £11.97 – How could you not?! I plan on getting a few! See images below and visit her Etsy store here.


Doodle Designer: Blule

In my day job as an art consultant I am regularly meeting no end of creative people and collectors. Often, I am introduced to artists/illustrators who my clients are also fans of and I have recently been shown the work of Blule (aka: Clemintine)…

A French illustrator living and working out of Bondi, Australia. Her website is absolutely adorable and she uses watercolours to create bright and fun illustrations ranging from animals to fashion illustration. I have two black cats myself so naturally, I adore her cat pieces – I am smitten!

You can buy original work and giclee prints of Blule’s fantastic work via her website. Prices range from $75 (AUS $) for prints up to around $500 for individually commissioned illustrations.