Nanami Cowdroy was born in Sydney, Australia with close bonds to her mixed Japanese-European heritage. Growing up with such contrasting cultures and surroundings, has greatly influenced her style of art and creative expression.
By intertwining complex characters and highly detailed objects her pieces reflect a juxtaposition between foreign and familiar entities and environments. Her imagination is illustrated through works which are elaborate and exotic. She is drawn to subjects, which may on the surface seem delicate or fragile, but are given strength and depth through her pen and ink techniques, intricate hand illustrative style and mixed media compositions.
Rania Hassan is a well known Washington DC artist who has mastered three art forms at once. She is a graphic designer and illustrator, a painter, and a knitter, and she has found a way to integrate all three of her skills into her artwork, under the label goshdarnknit.
Her whimsical illustrations of big-eyed, somber girls and tangled, beautiful botanicals are individually hand printed on Moleskin notebooks in various sizes. She also prints her images on neoprene lunch bags, also individually and by hand.
Her other skills come into play with what she calls her “knit paintings.” Unique collaborations between flat and three-dimensional mediums, her paintings depict two pairs of hands in the act of knitting. The two sets of hands share the knitted fabric, working on the same piece from both ends.
Like many new knitters, when Rania first learned to knit she became obsessed. Obsessed with yarn, with the process, with the seemingly endless patterns and designs to be made from just one stitch and just one length of yarn.
Unlike most new knitters, she translated that obsession into artwork that transcends the fiber and the process. She was intrigued by the community of knitters, and how the act of knitting connected individuals across physical and generational boundaries. Her knit paintings evoke those connections in a pretty, visual, and tactile way.
Originally from New York City, Rania has studied and traveled all over the world, and is now settled in Washington, DC. She has served as an art director for extremely esteemed institutions, including the Shakespeare Theatre, the United Nations, and the White House.
She’s also been awarded the prestigious Craft Award of Distinction for Fiber from the James Renwick Alliance, and an Artist Fellowship Grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Not only has she mastered her mediums, people have noticed!
You can find Rania’s illustrated Moleskine notebooks and her paintings in her online shop, and at many DC-area fine art and craft shows. Visit her web site for news regarding exhibitions and installations of her paintings.
Upon one of my many trips to Craftland I discovered this cute as pie zippered pouch. I fell in love with the fun fabric (designed by the artist) and made a note to find out more about the artist and her work.
Allison Cole is an artist who lives and works in Providence. She is a graduate of our very own Rhode Island School of Design where she received a BFA in Printmaking. She is currently focusing on making work for gallery shows, her fun little Bang Bang You’re Thread shop and freelance illustration. Not too shabby!
After poking around her shop for a bit I realized that I own some buttons of Allison’s design. Well, not the bag of rocks collection but the veggie button set. I love that they are in sets of three and you can spread the love around on your coats, bags or hats. I think this jeweler needs to add these rock buttons to her collection.
Allison makes it easy for us to collect her work. Her designs litter so many functional items. I always keep a hefty stash of cards around so I have the perfect greeting on hand for any occasion. These are so cute and playful with great color combinations. The part of me that is dead set on learning french loves the Bonjour Elephant the best.
I know I compulsively collect blank books. You never know when you are going to need to sketch an idea or jot down a note. This is the perfect size to keep with you at all times. And I am smitten with the bright yellow frame and cute flowers the artist lovingly placed on the cover.
Soon enough this print will find a home on my walls. This print is just darling. It looks like a doodle, a thought from a lover, decorated with swirls and flowers. Playful and powerful, really a perfect piece for this married couple.
Fall is my favorite season of the year! Largely in part because it includes Halloween. I’ve often wondered why I look so forward to Halloween each year, and I’ve decided it’s because Halloween allows for everyone to be as creative and playful as they want. Understand that I don’t enjoy the scary and gory costumes or even the 10lbs of sugar that my children gather and try to consume over the course of one weekend, I enjoy the lighthearted, imaginative merry-making of the evening.
In light of one of my favorite holidays, I’ve rounded up some art that is both alluring and mysterious. These pieces were not created specifically for Halloween, making them a perfect addition to your walls year round.
There is a beautiful haunting quality to all of the pieces at Little Red Fox. The sketches are well balanced between intentional simplicity and complex emotions. I’ve been a fan of this art for years because of the consistency in the quality of work. You will find originals and prints as well as stickers, dolls, and cards.