Dave Barnes

Dave Barnes is an artist and illustrator who's work uses nostalgic storybook images along with playful colours to create fascinating pieces. His work is not as simple as it might appear and once you look more closely at the images and text he incorporates into his pieces they suddenly seems much less...cute. A boy with an axe, portions of images scribbled out with black or red pen, words suggesting failure, loss, and the cruelty of childhood.

 His illustrations and line drawings are beautiful gestures that remind me a lot of prints which might be part of the reason that I enjoy them so much. I also really like his use of colour- there's a simple yet grungy look about them kind of like finding a bunch of old photographs that have been stuck in an attic or basement trunk for decades.

~ Dave Barnes artistic approach involves the practice of transforming modern concept to reveal nostalgic mood, sometimes refered to as “Oldification”. Recycled elements, faded colours, layered/collaged backgrounds, and sand~papered imagery all play a part in this process, along with the use of bold observational line and memory dissolved Rockwellian imagery. Often disregarding conventional rectangular canvases for manipulated wooden shapes to help emphasize theme and subject, I try to use art as a translation of experience and observation that derives inspiration from environment and memory.

Make sure you check out his website


Jason Holley Illustration

Jason Holley is an artist I stumbled across quite by accident when reading a news story about coyotes and his illustration was featured on the web page. When I checked out his website I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. His works are often made up of images painted on paper, cut out and collaged together. Most of the work on his site are illustrations that were done for specific clients such as Field and Stream When a client returns an illustration to him he often peels his favorite images back off of it to re-use in his personal work or in other illustrations. For this reason, most of his illustrations survive only in reproduction. I love the aged and dirty quality of his work combined with the delicate line and nostalgic colours.

Visit his website for more


The Fantasy World of Ron Pippin

Ron Pippin is an artist who has created all sorts of magical artifacts that have an implied narrative. All of his pieces tell a story that is at once familiar and yet un-tellable because it seems to float just beneath the surface of our consciousness. The great thing about Pippin's work is that it at first appears to be a collection of historical documents and artifacts from a time and place that we know but can't quite remember as if this place were imprinted upon our brain before we were born, a place that seems at once familiar and yet we can not quite articulate how it is familiar. Using archetypal imagery and a specific  method of display Pippin creates a museum like space that adds authenticity to his objects. Check out his website:


Art and Science

Art and science might at first seem to be on opposite ends of a spectrum but bend that spectrum just a little and you'll see that often they are intricately woven together. I think of my studio as a laboratory, a place where I experiment with combinations of colour, texture, theme, material, techniques and ideas. Scientists often become artists and artists often dabble in science. Almost every single discipline in science has been explored by artists: chemistry, biology, immunology, anatomy, forensics, pathology, medicine, environmental, atmospheric,  conservation, agriculture, animal, urological, psychological, gynecological, taxonomic, physics, aerospace, rocketry and even metaphysical sciences have influenced the works of artists around the world.

One of the most famous and most influential artists and "scientists" of our time and one whose works captured my imagination from the time I first saw his drawings when I was about seven years old is Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci was a man with a ravenous curiosity. He drew nearly everything he saw and many detailed sketches of human anatomy were created from observing and dissecting cadavers sometimes under less than legal circumstances. He was also an inventor and while he might not have had the engineering skill to build his inventions, they offer a glimpse into the imagination of science minded artist. Detailed sketches of compositions for paintings, studies of details and drapery, studies of faces and emotions, of animals, babies, dissections, plant studies, rock formations, whirl pools, war machines, helicopters and architecture are just some of the things Da Vinci used as subject matter.

Leonardo lived at a time when science or natural philosophy as it was known and religion were often at odds. His sketches are wonderful examples of the various interests he had and offer a glimpse into life before the birth of modern medicine. The thing that I loved most about Da Vinci as a kid were his drawings, not his paintings. There were so many more drawings and sketches to look at far more fascinating and detailed than his paintings ofen coded in allegory or religion so I suppose I was more interested in the subject matter of the drawings than I was of his paintings. Even though many of his drawings seemed unfinished to me at the time, I love the way the lines just taper out to a suggestion of form and the beautiful gestures that suggest motion and volume. Even the "blueprints" for his inventions are beautifully rendered from his imagination and appear as though when assembled, whatever the  machine, it should work perfectly.

It is easy to claim that Da Vinci was a master and that of course he should have influence on artists but how exactly that influence manifests in one's own work might not be immediately apparent. In my case I think becomes obvious over time and now I can't imagine what my work might be without it.


Welcome to the Paper Coyote

Welcome! As if I didn't have enough on my plate, I have decided to write another blog. This one is about my passion, the thing that gets my heart beating and my hands dirty: Art. If you have found your way here from my other blog or my facebook page you might already know what to expect. This blog will be filled with awesomeness. It is going to become a sort of electronic scrapbook of art, artists, writing, nature, craft, photos and whatever else I find inspiring that may not have a label.

I am a collector of things: paper, photos, journals, scraps of metal, dead animals, old books on hunting and trapping, and images. More than anything else I collect images. Most of my favourite images are in my head held as mental Polaroids with soft edges and imaginary colours some things not even really in focus but somehow exact in their existence.

This blog is going to be a collection of things I like: images, artists, techniques, photos, prints, paintings, crafts and just fun stuff.  This blog is about inspiration and joy and that feeling of Oh wow look at that!

So put on your boots and wear something with pockets cause we're about to embark on a journey where you'll be picking up a million shiny little things that for whatever reason you might feel the need to hold on to.

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