Living Out Loud in 2016: A Roundup of Art

Regardless of what the world tosses at us, art is a constant we can return to when we need a lift. Join us as we celebrate those who — in the words of painter Émile Zola — live out loud. All hail the artists, sculptors, painters, fiber artists, and collagists who share their art on WordPress.


“If you ask me what I came to do in this world,
I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” — Émile Zola

Ryan McCallister is a ceramicist, sculptor, and welder based in Paradise Valley, Arizona. He does large-scale sculpture commissions of fantastic beasts — including dragons and minotaurs. Even though this Viking-inspired dragon head is stationary, its winding metal gives it a sense of forward movement. I can imagine this piece on the bow of a Viking ship. You’ll want to read the post where Ryan documents his artistic process.

Viking-inspired dragon head by Ryan McAllister (steel and river rock).
Viking-inspired dragon head by Ryan McAllister (steel and river rock).

At bboxproductions blog, Heather shares the artistic journey of her university honors project. Over 30+ weeks, she explored the resonance of handmade paper, culminating in an exhibition of her work. Visit her blog to learn about her processes and the spirit that drives her.

Listening to Birdsong (detail). Screen print  stitching on indigo-dyed banana paper, by Heather.
Listening to Birdsong (detail). Screen print stitching on indigo-dyed banana paper, by Heather.

Each week in 2016, landscape painter Nick Andrew documented a different public park in London, England, as part of his “Sticks in the Smoke” project. He’ll use his sketchbook studies to create paintings that explore city green spaces from the perspective of a rural landscape painter.

Upper and Lower Grosvenor Gardens,  London, England. By Nick Andrew.
Upper and Lower Grosvenor Gardens, London, England. By Nick Andrew.

Julia K. Walton’s blog is not only a showcase for her artistic experiments, it’s also a learning log. She documents her assignments and reflections from the textiles course she’s taking at the Open College of the Arts in the United Kingdom. In addition to the results of her work, Julia shares her inspirations, resources, and artistic processes.

Collage study -- single color by Julia K. Walton.
Collage study — single color by Julia K. Walton.


Working primarily in textiles, collage, and on paper, Debbie Lydon’s art is a response to beauty of the natural world around her. Curlew’s Song was exhibited at St. Margaret’s Church, in Cley next the Sea, Norfolk, England, for a month this past summer. Nearly 12 feet long and over four feet tall, the textile piece depicts the rising crescendo of the curlew’s call. Immerse yourself in the piece’s detail, below, and see it on display in the church.

Curlew's Song, (cloth) by Debbie Lydon.
Curlew’s Song (cloth) by Debbie Lydon.

Niklas Granqvist is an artist based in Porvoo, Finland. In addition to working in charcoal and oil, Niklas creates ethereal digital paintings depicting otherwordly landscapes, cities, and their inhabitants. You could easily lose yourself for hours poring over Niklas’ work, imaging the stories behind each creation.

Untitled, (digital painting) by Niklas Granqvist.
Untitled, (digital painting) by Niklas Granqvist.

Kate Osborne has been using watercolors for 40 years. Visit her blog for an instant hit of color and examine each of her paintings for their wonderfully striking detail. She often documents her process with time-lapse video.

Bee(watercolor) by Kate Osborne.
Bee (watercolor) by Kate Osborne.

Illustrator Joanna Pasek loves to draw fairytale and fantasy scenes including dwarves, elves, and pixies on her site, ink&paint. As part of Inktober, she drew the story of a fairy who finds and saves her prince from disaster — a feminist twist on the tradition of male fairytale heroes.

Little Snow White by Joanna Pasek
Little Snow White by Joanna Pasek.

At drawthepublic, blogger Russell documents the people and places around him. Recently, he’s started to tune into the Prime Minister’s Questions from the United Kingdom’s Parliament. Here, he renders Boris Johnson taking flack for referring to Brexit as a “Titanic success.”

Boris Under Fire by Russell.
Boris Under Fire (pen, watercolor, and pastel) by Russell.

Immerse yourself in art: follow the art tag in the Reader and visit the “Art” category on Discover to see our editors’ picks and features.

December 21, 2016Art, , , , , , , ,