If there’s one driving ambition behind this blog, it’s to find those creative spirits who bloom just off the beaten path, and to transplant them into the lives of the many readers out there who need a fresh touch of color to get through the day. More often than not, the subject matter inspires a little healthy reflection, but every once in a while, we happen upon something that radiates pure joy…something like the playful, vigorous visions of Zukzuk. While the artist, Helen Acraman, can slog weighty themes with the best of them, as evidenced in This is Where You Live or perhaps the darkly satirical Zukzuk Cow, it’s her sunny side that sets her apart. Grinning bears and random mood bubbles sparkle throughout her work, to the point that the unbridled mirth of pieces like I Run to You and Sugar Drop Baby becomes quite contagious, and the mischief of Masked Bear and others just adds to the innocently utopian ethos.
Though the themes might seem refreshingly cheery, however, there’s no denying that a grown-up soul guides the direction of the art. Acraman’s fascinating family portraits, such as Older and Bolder, Family Tree and Zukzuk Family with a Small Footprint, acknowledge the fact that life is lived in community, none more important than the one closest to us. And if her festively plumed Peacocks or Jelly Bean Birds say anything to us, it’s that color is more a state of mind than an element of art, and that what brightens Acraman’s canvas is simply the overflow of what’s already in her heart. Oh, and by the way, in case you’re interested in bringing a little of this goodness home with you, here’s a jolly bit of news: Helen will be giving you any $20 print of your choice, should you be lucky enough to win today’s giveaway. To qualify, visit the Zukzuk Gallery, then come back here to tell us about your favorite print. Wishing Willow subscribers earn an extra entry; be sure to let us know in a second post if you’re a subscriber. To post without a Google account, just click “anonymous.” Be sure to also leave your email address. The winner will be chosen randomly. Contest ends 10/31/08. Best of Luck!
**We have a winner! Abby who said, "My favorite is definitely Homage, though I loved a lot of her pieces. Really beautiful work.**