Foursided Blog

Featured Artist: Edsel LaBillois

    Artist Edsel LaBillois has tongues wagging and jaws dropping in Andersonville. His colorful paintings on canvas are currently featured at our 5061 N. Clark location. See what Edsel had to say about his creative process in this in-depth interview:

    edsel LaBillois, Artist, Foursided

    Who and what really inspires your work?

    For the ‘who’ part of my inspiration, I would have to say Pablo Picasso. I’ve always enjoyed looking at his work and the very wide variety of mediums he worked in. That and his longevity which allowed him to create such a large body of work. When looking at his pieces one can see his vision through his sculptural works in metal and in clay, his printmaking, his drawing, and most well known, his painting. All of these make for a large source of my inspiration.

    As for the ‘what’ part of my inspiration, this would simply be observation. Whenever I’m somewhere other than my studio, I always have my eyes open to interesting visual stimuli. I love to travel with my family and am always on the lookout for new ideas, new interesting landscapes, unusual trees, unfamiliar terrain and nature as a whole. Certainly the trees that I see when I’m somewhere catch my eye. Over the last few years I’ve been to Costa Rica and Norway and really enjoyed the beauty of both places. Travel allows me the opportunity to observe people from many different walks of life, to try and figure out what they’re like from a very brief glance is always something I enjoy.

    Edsel_FrameWall_web

    Can you tell us a little about your creative process?

    My creative process begins once I get home or have a little time to work in my sketchbook(s). I always bring one or two with me when I’m on the road. I don’t always get the time to sketch but at least I’ve got the chance to. More often than not I will take weeks or months before I will sketch something I’ve seen. In a way, I allow my mind to filter out or forget the elements that I do not need and only put the essentials on paper. From there I’ll build off this sketch by refining it or creating groups of similar compositions to draw from. Next, I’ll start to select those images that I want to put on canvas. From there I’ll play with the ratios and dimensions of the canvas to see what works best with the piece.

    When I’m getting ready for a show I’ll also go through the decision making process of sizing. Will a piece be small, intimate, personal, or will it be large, grand or public? I’ve recently worked on few tiny pieces that came with a frame that fit the canvas, pieces that were around 3″ by 2.5″. In the same month I’ve also done pieces that were 5 feet tall by 4 feet wide which have an completely different impact on me when I’m painting them and ultimately to the viewer in the gallery. All of these decisions come into play when I start to work on a group of pieces and often I don’t think in terms of a single piece but in terms of a collection of pieces. I also find that the more I paint, the more I want to paint.

    Edsel_GreyWall_web

    Are there any exciting future plans or projects on the horizon?

    Most recently I’ve created a series of portraits for my Chicago show. It has been a year since I’ve done some portraits and it was great to get back to a subject I enjoy almost as much as trees. Even though these portraits were all done from imagination, they all remind me of people I’ve seen or people I have met. For these I hope the viewer sees in them someone they know or would like to meet.

    I’ve started working on wood instead of canvas for some of my 2-D works. These have a completely different feel when it comes to the paint and the brush. It is a slight departure from canvas, and an interesting one. This has led me to acquiring some larger pieces of wood to create some sculptures using wood chisels and a chainsaw. I’ve been working up some models in wax and smaller pieces of wood to see where this will take me. On the horizon I hope to purchase a welder to begin working in metal again. This will be pure experimentation at first, which is always something I enjoy.

    Make sure to see Edsel’s work on display at Foursided Andersonville! For his full body of work and contact information visit: www.edselart.com

    April Showers Bring Crepe Flowers!

      Spring is blooming…sorta!! At least it is inside Foursided and Twosided window displays. Our uber-creative team put their best foot forward and hand crafted each of these stunning, crepe flowers from scratch to ring in Spring!

      Foursided, Flowers, Andersonville

      You can purchase large, medium or small for Easter, Mother’s Day or the upcoming wedding season.

      Twosided, Lakeview, Flowers, Spring, Mother's Day, Easter

      Twosided keeps it classy with white roses and umbrellas. Those girls are always sooooo… sophisticated.

      Foursided, Broadway, Flowers, Window Display, Spring

      Foursided in Lakeview is ready for the rain with cheery yellow umbrellas, peachy keen flowers and ‘fantabulous’ vintage metal letters.

      Stop by the shop in your hood and pick up a flower to brighten someone’s day. Sizes and prices vary.  Spring is here!

      Artist Spotlight: Historic Perspectives

        Foursided recently acquired stylish maps from Historic Perspectives founder and creator: Graham Hillhouse. The stunning reprints of vintage Chicago maps (both pre and post fire) are lining our walls and they could line yours too! We got in touch with Graham to find out about his creations, inspirations, and framing concepts! See the full interview below:
        historic perspectives, framing, four-sided, featured artist

        How do you go about choosing and researching each map? 

        When I first started this project I was very careful about choosing maps where the most interest would lie, mostly large cities. It didn’t take long for me to realize that was a fairly flawed approach. I started to see a lot of interest in towns I didn’t expect. Places like Kent Ohio, Denton Texas, Elmira New York generated just as much interest as places like New York, L.A., and Austin. At this point I’ve given up on my ability to predict the popularity of a map from a certain city. If I find a map that can be reasonably restored and shows a great contrast of past vs present, I’ll usually go forward with it.

        Do you look for a specific style and date range?

        I love maps almost universally, regardless of the style or date range, but right now I’m focused on mid to late 19th century and early 20th century panoramic/bird’s eye view maps. Their appeal is less functional but more artistic. Rather than showing only the street layout, they show individual buildings, the city landscape, and cultural areas. I think the inclusion of churches, public houses, architectural styles, civic buildings, etc gives a better taste of the past than your typical street map.

        HistoricPerspectives_BusinessDistrict_Foursided_webWhy do you think the trend of decorating with vintage maps is back with a vengeance?

        I think the emergence of digital maps plays a fairly large role. I use Google or Apple maps on my phone everyday. The reintegration of maps back into our everyday lives makes it easier to appreciate and admire what once was. I see a lot of people using maps to represent important things in their lives, whether it’s their geographical roots, or fond memories of a person, trip, or event.

        Do you ever get maps framed? If yes, what frame style do you lean toward?

        I’m extremely partial to vintage, rustic looking frames. There is an abundance of cedar in and around the Austin area. People use it to build barns and fences, so it is ripe for reclaiming. I think the weathered patina of the wood lends a bit of credibility to the map, making it look less like a reproduction.

        BeforeTheFire_HP_Foursided_web

        Are there any particular artists, photographers, cartographers you are inspired by?

        I have quite a few favorites, but the one that sticks out the most is Augustus Koch. He was a German immigrant that was responsible for most of the bird’s eye view maps of Texas cities. Since there weren’t any viable means to get an “actual” bird’s eye view, he would walk entire cities documenting important buildings and geographic features along the way. Aside from being very detailed and accurate, he was also known for his inclusion of African-American communities in his lithographs, which was rare at the time. Since many of the cartographers of that era conveniently left out the existence of African-American communities, his maps often provide the sole graphical representation of those communities.

        Thank you Graham!! To purchase and frame one of these beauties stop by our Foursided stores anytime. If you are looking for a vintage map of a different city (how dare you!) Historic Perspectives has more options available.