2015 took an interesting turn, which included pneumonia taking me down for weeks. Never in my life had I been that sick! I'm so glad to be back to 95% of myself, and have faith that 2016 will be a year of good health. #respiratoryissuessuck Anyway, I hope everyone is staying warm and happy and about to enjoy the New Year! On another note...
Personally, I'm not opposed to seeing pics of adorable babies, fancy pasta dinners, and #pdxcarpet on Instagram; they may be cliche and drive people nuts, but you can't take life (or social media), too seriously. Also, babies are cute. That being said, when trying to explain to someone why I love Instagram so so very much, and how it is my very-favorite-place on the internet, I realized a big chunk of the people I follow are artists. Maybe this is why my Instagram home feels so pretty and cozy and bright? I thought I'd share some of the artgrammers (is that a thing? did I just make it one? no? okay. ) that I most enjoy following.
The artists I follow seem to fall at least loosely into a few categories, so I grouped them here that way too. Some styles may just appeal more to you than others.
Let's start with my absolute favorites; watercolor artists who focus on florals and natural elements. Delicate, soft, detailed, unique... and on Instagram there is a lot to love.
Andrea Fairservice paints a lot of feminine florals, and there is something so free and bright and happy about them!
Jenny Kiker has the most soothing Instagram feed of all time. Her work is focused on natural elements - it's a whole virtual land of green ferns and cacti.
Rachel E is a little more informal feeling - bright, fun, casual, quirky. The thumbnail above is a floral, but her Insta feed is balanced out with happy little illustrations of everyday things, too.
Jenna Rainey of Mon Voir is a favorite of mine to follow. There is something especially graceful about her feathers, flowers, and calligraphy - I have taking her online classes on my wish list, and am thinking this January might be just the time.
Kristin Van Leuven has really sweet prints in her online shop, but even better has a clever way of framing them too! I enjoy her wider range of subjects, and really awesome work ethic.
Natalie Studio is a great example of how watercolor paintings of flowers or patterns can be used in design projects, like stationary. Her floral paintings are also just a little looser, with a little more of a sense of freedom than other artists, which I love.
Abstracts are, honestly, my jam. I love to paint abstract, and know that people react strongly one way or the other. It's not unusual to be asked, "So.... do you also paint real things, like people or landscapes?" For me, abstracts can communicate things a still life just never could.
Britt Bass Turner is a popular abstract artist, with a bright and happy shopin Georgia I think anyone could enjoy visiting. Her paintings have this amazing balance between cheerful and still full of depth.
Natacha Carrier is French, so admittedly I may not understand most of the text she shares. However, her work is so fun, and she balances abstract strokes with pattern in a really appealing way.
Kim West has a moodier, deeper element to her work and it makes her Instagram feed really intriguing. She also shares process photos on occasion, which are always my favorite. There is something about seeing a work in progress, right? It feels like this special insight she is giving you.
Emily Jeffords paints the sky - and paints it BIG. She could paint the tiniest little painting, and the sky would look endless and awe-inspiring. Everything she shares feels so calm, and clean, and relaxing.
Patricia Vargas shares work that feels bold. The colors create this depth, and they often are ones I would have thought of pairing together. She shares pictures of them in actual use in rooms, which helps create a sense of scale too.
Tracie Cheng is talented in a way that I'm both intimidated by and drawn to. It feels focused, and thought out, but still like it happened naturally; there isn't a single thing that feels forced in her work.
There is an immediate response to seeing a beautiful object in nature - whether in real life, or in a painting. It's relaxing, therapeutic, and just lovely. These four artists capture that special magic just perfectly.
Arakelova is in Kiev, and so I can't always understand the captions to her work; that doesn't stop me from enjoying it. All of her posts feel so beautiful, and light and airy; her paintings of animals are both delicate and bold.
Leslie Duke is one of the only artists I follow who doesn't work primarily in watercolors or mixed media. Her paintings are some of my favorites to see posted, though. She shows #wips frequently, which is something I always get a little thrill of excitement to see - it feels so secret to watch something in progress. She paints a variety of items, but honestly - it's the blueberries that kill me every time.
Jessica Roux has these little videos of her pencil sketches that I can sit and watch on loop; I swear, they are fascinating. And sort of meditative to watch, too. I've never seen someone so invested in the details, and it creates work that really stands out. Seriously, go watch those videos!
Shana Frase thinks of the quirkiest things to paint. Seriously, no one is quirkier. Jewels? NYC disposable coffee cups? Bras? Helium balloons? And they are all such pretty, fun paintings. She surprises me with her all of the time, which is the best.
Patterns and illustrations fill our daily lives with color and feeling. It's impossible to untangle design from our daily experiences; what we buy, services we receive, messages we are communicated. It can add so much color and joy, when done right - and these artists do.
Monica Lee shares a lot of fashion illustrations, which I may not know a lot about but enjoy SO MUCH from her. Also, she is prolific - she posts new illustrations all of the time. She also makes cute handbags and items (one of her t-shirts is on my wishlist, but I'm going to break down and buy it myself once they are back in stock).
Drew Europeo paints lovely florals too, but it is her watercolor calligraphy that shines. She frequently posts quotes in beautiful lettering and color choices. She also shares reviews of brushes and paints, which I very much appreciate and which isn't something many artists do.
Lisa Congdon is a force to be reckoned with; she is the person I end up wishing could be my mentor, or friend, or sister... or honestly anywhere where I get to talk with her and sketch with her and see her perfectly quirky house in person. She is well-known and successful, and online still feels so open and fun and accessible.
Ashley Goldberg paints patterns that always have some sort of unique spin on them; pastels, or an 80's throwback feel, or shapes and colors I never would have considered pairing.
Emily Sanford shares her ultra-bright patterns on Spoonflower, but on Instagram you can see them in closeup, in progress, and gain some added insight into her work. Pink is just about my favorite color, so you'll get pretty quickly why I like her work so much.
Who did I miss? Please share! There can never be too many beautiful Instagram feeds to follow. Come hang out with me on Instagram too! It's mostly cat pics, but still.