Spending a day with John McRae at the CASTLE is always like taking a bath in creative inspiration. Ideas and images get tossed across the shop, as we chat about new finds, discoveries and directions! Yesterday was no exception! John ALWAYS has something new up his sleeves! Here he is with one of his magical 'Optical Illusion Spring Tableau's', a truly enchanting Victorian style handheld folly, made from a convex mirror, miniature trees and foliage, dresden, and an antique handle. Look within - at the mirror - and you are immediately transported into a three dimensional illusion of a springtime tableau! Magic as only John can do!!!
I'll be working with John McRae at the CASTLE today and on Monday! If you are in town, come by and say Hello!!! I've been wanting to share John's Paper Pinwheels for a while now, so today seems appropriate. This is also a great post on how one artists mind works - namely Johns!
John came to my house a few months ago, and admired my hand-tinted 'French Merchant' prints that I have hanging in my hallway. One in particular caught his eye immediately. Called 'Merchande de Moulins a vent' (Windmill Merchant) by Carle Vernet, it shows an older woman with a basket full of wonderful toy pinwheels. See image below.
Let me tell you, I've had this print hanging in my home for over two years and not once did I think to take direct inspiration from it. John did!!! A couple of weeks after his visit, not only had he recreated the pinwheels in the print, but he come up with a few of his own designs, and created a class out of them! Combining juicy papers, Dresden, wooden sticks, and cotton batting dolls John's Whirling Wonders would be perfect for any party!
If you'd like to make your own Paper Pinwheels, John's class will be held on Saturday May 30th, from 11:00 to 5:00. (Call 510-204-9801 to reserve a spot!)