Are you ready for the next fabulous Take Over?!
If you are a follower of our beautiful, bizarre community, you already know (and surely love) this feature: Every month, we select one of our favorite artists to hijack Beautiful Bizarre Magazine’s social media for a whole day. One full day of inspiration and creative energies – directly from the source and curated with ?!
In February, we handed our socials over to Lavely Miller; What an inspiring and thought-provoking Tuesday it was! Painter Lavely is the 3rd Prize winner of the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize in the category Traditional Art in 2021 and the Take Over just came at the right moment to reconnect and see, what inspires her to create such magical portraits.
Lavely’s Take Over sounds exciting but you missed the Take Over on our Socials?!
Don’t worry, you can check out the artist’s curation and inspirations right here and right now!
My name is Lavely Miller, and I won third prize in the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize 2021 Raymar traditional art award category. I’m honored to have been asked to take over the socials for Beautiful Bizarre Magazine this month! Here’s a little about me before we get started:
For the past 20 years, I have painted in acrylic using my fingers. Recently I’ve begun incorporating a sort of adapted Flemish method – using layers of transparent glazes, sometimes upward of 100 separate applications of color, in an attempt to heighten the realism and illusion of depth in my final images. I often paint on paper sealed and glued to a separate surface; as the paper contracts and expands in reaction to being adhered, a noticeable “crinkling” effect is created, which can be seen throughout much of my recent work.
On a more contextual level, my paintings are usually a sort of meditation on great difficulty, loss and salvation. I think of them as thank you letters to God.
Sally Mann // Photography
I should probably start this off by saying Sally Mann has been my number one favorite artist my entire life, and I’m old. I’ve loved her work so much and for so long that I likely lost all perspective some time ago. Fair warning.
So, anyway, Sally Mann is a national treasure and nothing short of a gift from God. I think of her in the way some people thought of Ruth Bader Ginsberg: she needs to be protected and kept alive forever and ever at all costs because the world literally depends on it. Sally Mann’s work is beautiful and brave and hopeful and dark; it eloquently describes life and death, erosion and time, newness, the strength of fragility – defining the ephemeral in ways that feel both solid and of this earth as well as supernaturally risen from the ground.
I have looked at it all throughout most of my life.
Whenever people ask me about my own training as an artist, I usually talk about my grandmother’s influence. When I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me how to paint. I believe, in many ways, Sally Mann taught me how to see.
Edward Povey // Painting
I think Edward Povey is one of the most interesting painters alive today. And, curiously, he and his work have always struck me as having been plucked from some nebulous date in the past. Or maybe all of them. But somehow not quite this one completely.
There is something about Povey’s work that feels as though its description is just on the tip of my tongue – like my fingers are searching through words I’ve maybe read somewhere before but cannot quite write down.
His work is brilliant, and he’s a lovely man. And that’s the best I can do.
Arinze Stanley // Drawing
Alright, so, just to be clear – these are drawings, not photographs. I imagine this artist fields confusion about that fairly regularly, as maybe all hyper-realists do. Because, yes, they look really, really, *really* real. And this can be pretty fascinating in its own right – there’s something mesmerizing about witnessing a skill developed to this level.
I’m obviously a fan of realism. I’m a realist painter. I’d cut off a finger to be able to paint as realistically as he draws (though if I could choose, it would be an extraneous one and on my left hand). But there’s far more in this man’s drawings than that skill – even from a formally rendered perspective. If you zero in on his work, he’s abstracted form and depth and color with a graphite pencil in ways difficult even for a whole arsenal of tools that produce the full rainbow spectrum.
Ayana Ross // Painting
Ayana Ross won last year’s Bennett Prize – the largest visual arts award in the US given to a female figurative realist painter. I happened to be one of the finalists in the running for this at the time, so, obviously, I hate her. But damn, she is a fine painter.
It’s not very often (in my opinion) one can tell easily at first glance that an artist “has it”. Sometimes it’s harder to define what that “it” even is. Ayana’s paintings have this in spades. They work in ways that almost seem effortless, casual, despite knowing they are neither of those two things. She has a gift casually possessed, I suppose it could be said. Her work is a joy to look at, and she is easily recognized.
Annie Murphy Robinson // Drawing
First of all, these drawings are life-sized enormous, which appeals to me greatly as I am a “bigger the canvas, closer to God” sort of a person. I can get inside a piece of work done on a large scale in ways I’m not always able to with smaller pieces.
There’s also a certain amount of heft implied in the workload of giant art that I personally find attractive. Every year I get older, I realize more and more how little of anything I really understand. But I get hard work, and when I look at Annie’s work, I recognize every hour. And each of them is singing.
Amy Werntz // Painting
The weighty spectacle of Amy Werntz’s work is not easily captured in digital, thumbnail-sized images. Seeing them in person is a powerful experience. Her presentation of human ageing is painted unsympathetically yet it manages to beautify a pathos that feels palpable and profound. These paintings glow and pulse and breathe in front of you. And then, suddenly, they become a surprising reminder or introduction to the fundament of beauty.
Sir John Seerey-Lester // Painting
Full disclosure: John Seerey-Lester is my uncle. I was allowed to pick anyone and then left unattended, and now here we are.
Sometimes referred to as the Godfather of Wildlife Art throughout his career, John was knighted, sired, and published. Primarily a painter, he also authored a number of books on Theodore Roosevelt that included images of his work as illustrations. My father sat for many a depiction of hunters and Roosevelts. I posed as a few bears. John told a good story like no other – each time, hands down, throughout every one – I always thought the best part of the tale was him.
I loved him. John Seerey-Lester died last year at 73.
Her uncle Sir John Seerey-Lester was the last artist Lavely chose for her wonderful TAKE OVER. What a wonderful end to end this day!
Thank you, Lavely, for the beautiful and intimate curation of our feed and the personal inspiration you shared with all of us!
Don’t forget to check out Lavely’s work and show some ?, see you all next month for another Take Over! ✨