While at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar in Austin, Texas this past weekend, I came across the artwork of Landry McMeans. It was love at first sight! Maybe it’s the 3-D effect created by cardboard relief. Or perhaps it’s the prevalence of gradients, mini blind motifs and Southwestern landscapes. Calling it ’80s-style art would be oversimplifying the diversity of each piece. Yet for those who love retro style, there are definite themes that you will recognize from years gone by.
Sunburst (shown above) is one of my favorite pieces–I love the simplicity of the cardboard strips, as well as the ombre effect created by a lightening of color from the center to the edges of the piece. Below we see Cattails, which reveals a clever use of cardboard throughout the work, from the background to the representation of the plant itself:
And then there are the landscapes. Landry McMeans knows how to capture a Southwestern sky hanging low over the mountains. In fact, the artist is also a songwriter and steel guitar player with the band the Lonesome Heroes, and her touring travels through areas such as the American West have been a great inspiration to her in her work. This is particularly evident in her bold landscapes.
Archival & reclaimed cardboard and acrylic paint are McMeans’ materials of choice. There’s something about the way these materials combine in her pieces that is striking and modern. Yet I can’t help but reminisce about some of my favorite ’80s Southwestern art as well!
A range of motifs can be found in McMeans’ work, from mountains (my faves) to sunflowers and windmills. Another source of inspiration for the artist: paint-by-number pieces. You can see their influence in the distinct colorful forms of each work.
We end with artwork designed by McMeans for the Viva Big Bend Festival as the 2012 commemorative poster. Love the colors, love the shapes, love the font!
A special thanks to Landry McMeans for inspiring today’s post! If you’re traveling to Austin between now and Christmas, be sure to check out her work at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar. For more information on her current exhibitions, click here. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty inspired…