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May 4th 2012

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with New Canvases

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo and in honor of Mexican heritage, two new canvases, Bailar and Fiesta, by AOL Artist Mr. Kiji have debuted on AOL.com. In commemoration of the holiday and our festive new canvases, we are offering our users a chance to win a beautiful art print of Bailar or Fiesta. To enter the contest and learn more click here.

Mr. Kiji, a Brooklyn-based artist, was born in Kyushu, Japan. He has been an active member of the AOL Artists community since 2010 when his canvas, Transisitor Radio, was featured on AOL.com. Mr. Kiji's passion for art began during an apprenticeship in Tibetan Buddhist Thangka painting when he was seventeen. He then went on to study Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Mr. Kiji's work currently ranges from commercial illustration to large-scale graphic projects. We are thrilled to have such an inspirational creative as part of the AOL Artists program.

Want to make one of the new canvases your background on AOL.com? Click here for Bailar or here for Fiesta.

Apr 20th 2012

AOL Artists Celebrate Earth Day with New Canvases


In honor of Earth Day, four new canvases have debuted on AOL.com - Amur Leopard, Tropics, Ocean, andTrees. Debut AOL Artist Jacqui Oakley painted the beautiful artworks, all of which were inspired by nature, endangered species, and the ecosystem.

"I was especially excited to be chosen to promote Earth Day, since not only do I have a fondness for our little planet, but I also enjoy painting wildlife, and am an admirer of early botanical illustrations," said Jacqui.Her passion for the environment and wildlife began with her travels at a very young age to Bahrain, Zambia, and Libya. We are thrilled to welcome Jacqui to the AOL Artists family.

Each artwork has its own unique story and inspiration based on research and studies done by the artist herself. Explore these stories below, and to learn all about Jacqui, visit her AOL Artists profile page.

AMUR LEOPARD
"This illustration features the critically endangered Amur Leopard. With a population of just 30-35, threats facing the species include habitat loss due to logging, poaching, global climate change and an encroaching human population. I wanted to paint this beautiful creature glancing warily behind foliage; isolated and seemingly melding into the background, disappearing from our memory."
Make this your canvas on AOL.com

TROPICS
"This illustration is focused on tropical flowers, birds and breezes. Maybe it's due to the fact that I worked on these illustrations in the gloomy cold of a Canadian February, but I eagerly jumped at the chance to portray warmth, life and colour. With this piece I wanted the breezes to be wrapped around the flowers showing movement and the relationship between plants water and air through layers of translucent colour. I was inspired by the gorgeous and joyful patterns in vintage 1950s textiles."
Make this your canvas on AOL.com

OCEAN
"One particular environment that is endlessly fascinating to me is the Ocean. I grew up in a house looking out on the Persian Gulf ... I find the immense scale of the Earth's oceans and seas incredibly awe-inspiring and overwhelming. Recently, the Census of Marine Life estimated there to be over 1 million species in the ocean, with three quarters still awaiting discovery. In this image I wanted to allow pattern and movement to depict the endlessly moving currents in the ocean."
Make this your canvas on AOL.com

TREES
"For this piece I wanted to create a more engaging version of the water cycle. I wanted to show the symbiotic relationship between water and air within clouds, trees, bodies of water and the earth. With this painting, I played with contrasting patterns, movement and stylizing nature, all inspired by designs found in the Art Nouveau movement."
Make this your canvas on AOL.com

Apr 10th 2012

Tom Burtonwood and Holly Holmes Join AOL Artists

Made with love by our two new AOL Artists, today we unveil five new canvases on AOL.com by married couple Tom Burtonwood and Holly Holmes.

Holly Holmes is a painter, sculptor, teacher, and curator who resides in Oak Park, Chicago. She created two beautiful watercolor works for AOL, entitled Blue Netting and Streaming (below). Her work is heavily influenced from nature, books, science, and "experiences of the everyday," said Holly.

Tom Burtonwood's three new canvases - Floating Divs (below), Alpha Blocks, and HTML Paint - are inspired by the alphabet, HTML and QR codes. In the studio he makes hard-edged geometric compositions in two and three dimensions with a "dash of 8-bit voxel blocks," according to Tom. He also teaches at Columbia College and the School of Art Institute of Chicago.

Together, the couple co-run What It Is, a project space and gallery in Oak Park. Click here to learn more about Tom and Holly on AOLArtists.com.

Mar 30th 2012

C. Finley Joins AOL Artists and Launches New Canvases

Today, debut AOL Artist C. Finley launched six of her canvases on AOL.com. Known for her vibrant geometric paintings and site-specific public art installations, C. Finley's distinguished series, "Wallpapered Dumpsters," has been reviewed by top critics like The New York Times and CNN. "Wallpapered Dumpsters," which has been executed in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Rome, Berlin and New York, is aimed at exposing communities to art while promoting environmental awareness.
Finley is based in both New York and Rome and is currently the artist in residence at the Gai Mattiolo fashion house. She has exhibited internationally and approaches art-making with an inspiring optimism. AOL Artists chatted with C.Finley about her inspiration, contrasting art scenes and her new projects:

What was the inspiration for your canvases?
My inspiration comes from the integrity of women's work. These particular pieces relate to traditional American patchwork quilt units, mandalas and the rain containing the universe.

What was your favorite part about collaborating with AOL Artists?
The challenge to create something unique, colorful and uplifting that could potentially reach millions.

What was the inspiration behind your Wallpapered dumpster project?
I worked in the film industry as a set decorator and scenic painter. I collected wallpaper from various shoots. I was trying to figure out how to use this material when I was asked to participate in an installation at the port of Los Angeles. I worked in a forty-foot container for an entire week. The quantity of goods imported through the port of L.A. is astounding. The containers were all earth-toned so I wanted to disrupt this mono-tonality by wallpapering one with a baroque pattern. Then a few weeks later a friend let me wallpaper his studio dumpster. That's how it began.

Describe the difference between the art scene in NYC vs. Rome.
Night and Day! New York is fast, competitive, and wild whereas Roma has its own pace. Being neighbors with Bernini, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, among others, I feel challenged to create meaningful, great work. And the language barrier helps to keep me from being distracted by the world outside of my studio practice.

Can you tell us about any new upcoming projects?
I am currently creating a large-scale installation that is a psychedelic patchwork quilt created out of holographic materials. This will also include new paintings and photographs and will be a set for a series of photographs as well as a blue print for a future museum show proposal. It is immersive and viewers photograph themselves and their friends for social networking. Ultimately the viewer becomes the most beautiful part of the artwork. The holographic material creates a beautiful light for framing people.

What are your greatest sources of inspiration in general?
Strong powerful inspiring women, being on the forefront of thinking, and color, color, color!

We are thrilled to have C.Finley's artwork debut on AOL.com as a closing for Women's History Month. Click on one of her six canvases to make it your background on AOL.com today: Raindrop, Triangle of Forces, Rangoli, Bel Fiore, Violet Island, or Peacock Eyes.

Mar 28th 2012

AOL Partners with Behance for Motion Graphics Competition


AOL actively empowers the creative community by commissioning artists from around the world to create the visual identity of the AOL brand. Over 90 painters, illustrators, videographers, sculptors, photographers and multi-media artists have worked with AOL and become members of the AOL Artists community.

With the spirit of creativity in mind, AOL is on the hunt for the next top talent in motion graphics! Through a partnership with Behance, AOL will run a month long competition on the Behance network, tapping into the company's incredible database of creatives. From March 28 to April 28, the competition will run across Behance's digital platform, encouraging Behance users to submit past work to showcase their expertise in the motion graphics field. Up to five finalists will be selected, who will then be given the opportunity to present their creative vision for the motion works, and if then selected, will create AOL's next motion canvases.

The Motion Graphics Competition is being judged by Maureen Sullivan, VP of Brand, Marketing, and Communications, AOL; Nikki Macaluso, Curator, AOL Artists, AOL; and Matias Corea, Co-founder & Chief Designer, Behance.

The Behance Network is the leading online platform to showcase and discover creative work. Creative professionals update their work in one place to broadcast it widely and efficiently. Companies explore the work and access talent on a global scale.

Behance Quote, Alex Krug, Vice President:
"We're thrilled to partner with AOL, a long time supporter of the creative community. Our 'no spec' competition will give Motion Graphics artists an opportunity to work with one of the world's most recognizable brands. Our goal at Behance is to match the best talent with the right opportunity, and there's no one better to partner with in this pursuit than AOL."

Behance Quote, Matias Corea, Co-founder & Chief Designer:
"I'm impressed with the level of recognition that the AOL Artists program has brought to the creative community. I think the AOL Artists program and Behance are perfectly aligned in our efforts to empower creatives in any way we can. "

AOL Quote, Nikki Macaluso:
"Partnering with Behance is a perfect fit for our AOL Artists program. Behance's incredible technology has attracted amazing and talented artists and creatives, and we are excited to engage this world-class community with our AOL Artists initiatives."

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