Artist Spotlight: Bunnie Reiss

I love seeing art out in public spaces and especially when it is a creation by L.A. artist Bunnie Reiss. I discovered her vibrant art recently and right away had to have a piece of my very own (see gloves below). It makes me so happy to see them on my wall, as her artwork has all the elements I love, and some of which I incorporate in my own work. Decorative folk elements, check. Bright colors, check. Strange birds, check. 

She not only paints amazing wallscapes, but also works with textiles, odd materials, creates installations, illustrations and more. See more of her work here on her site.  

 Images were obtained courtesy of artist. All images © 2016 Bunnie Reiss.

© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
© Bunnie Reiss on Katja Designs SF Blog
 My very own pair of Animal Gloves! Sigh.

My very own pair of Animal Gloves! Sigh.

 

 

 

Reflective Patterns

© Katja Ollendorff

Some folks love either designing in repeat or putting designs into repeat, but I must admit it's not my favorite task. I'm much more of a free flow kind of person. But here is one easy way I can create a quick and interesting repeating pattern, that's different from the traditional square or half drop repeat. And if you are interested, you can watch a 15 minute video of me sketching what is to later become this beautiful decorative pattern.

WATCH HERE>

It's pretty amazing how simple it is and it's fun too!  It took me under an hour to create this pattern from start to finish. Of course I did a tiny bit of cleanup and if I were to do multiple colors, it would take longer, but after I did a live trace in Illustrator, I left the variations of gray because I liked the "antiqued" look that it created and that saved time.

Go to my Product Samples tab to see more reflective patterns that I have designed to be used as tablecloths.

 

  Original scan

Original scan

  Clean up any gaps

Clean up any gaps

So to start, fill a page in your sketchbook with a design—of anything! The key is to have shapes running off the edges and corners so that they will join when flipped horizontally and vertically. Keep this in mind as you are drawing and try to envision what will happen when they are reversed and joined. It makes for less clean up down the road.

Next bring your sketch into Photoshop and flip and copy the image both horizontally and vertically on the top, bottom and sides. You may need to fill in and do slight adjustments at this point if there are any gaps or strange seams (see image below left). 

That's it. You have yourself a cool reflective pattern that you can play with. Have fun! 

  Flip horizontally and then vertically

Flip horizontally and then vertically

 

 

Oh Vienna...

I so wish I was heading there now. My friend invited me to join her on a trip to Berlin, Vienna and Budapest (happening next week)—but unfortunately I had to bail. I had hip surgery recently and wouldn't be able to handle that flight, let alone be mobile enough for sightseeing! What a bummer. Boo hoo for me.

Anyway, since my grand hopes of viewing any Weiner Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) art or textiles I could find there have now been dashed, I resorted to an internet search instead. There are many works of art from that company of artists, and the range and scope is incredible—from art, to postcards, to textile and furniture. My eyes are happy.

Vienna Workshop

 

 

 

Nature Inspired

Since I've been working from home this past year, I sometimes get a bit str crazy. For me, the best solution for this is to get out into nature and fresh air. I decided to take a drive up to Mount Tamalpais yesterday morning. It was so refreshing! It's only 40 min from the city after all and it's really paradise on a weekday morning. Very few people are up there and I kinda love to be there as the fog lifts and reveals the amazing green hills and views below. 

If you follow my two Instagram feeds (this one and this one) you might have seen a few pictures I posted. There were all sorts of sweet and colorful wildflowers all over the hills and they got me inspired to make this when I got home. 

 All designs and images © Katja Ollendorff

All designs and images © Katja Ollendorff

Les Ballet Russes

Have you ever heard of Leon Bakst? No? Well perhaps you have heard of the Ballets Russes, a dance company that was concieved by Sergei Diaghilev, that performed throughout Europe and North and South America between 1909 and 1929.

I did ballet for about 10 of my (much younger) years and I have always loved the world of dance and still go to the ballet regularly. The Ballet Russes has always inspired me because the costumes are so incredibly beautiful, and designed by artists who were very avant garde for the time—from Picasso, Matisse, Chanel and yes, Leon Bakst.

His costumes are bold and bright and I can really imagine that the simple shapes and vibrant colors would be perfect for viewing from a distance while moving across the stage. Here is just a selection of a few I loved in particular. How beautiful that must have been!


He also did set design, and created patterns for textile that were never put into production (as far as anyone knows). Here are a few incredible examples in rich palettes that I found here.

Minted - First Ever Outdoor Challenge

Hey Friends! I have entered the first ever outdoor challenge from Minted. The project was to design a mural for the front of their building in San Francisco. I'd love your vote for any or all of my 3 submissions to the right! You can click on each one and rate them 1 - 5. 

Voting starts today. Please, click on the images here and vote for my Strange Bird murals (if you like them of course). Thank you so much! It would be so fun to win this one and see my art on a wall in the city.

Valentino Spring 2015 Couture

Ok I'm a little late. The season may have passed but the beauty of this collection will never die. My eyes just eat this right up! There is something so satisfying to me about the rich colors and folk patterns—they just speak to my inner European. The patterns are of another time and place yet so familiar; and now incorporated into our modern lives. I love how appreciated these textiles are. I believe folk style is so loved because people want to cherish past traditions and celebrate where they came from. 

Photo credit: Gianni Pucci  / Indigitalimages.com