Susanna's photos always make me happy, but these 'winged envelopes' she created make me want to sing! I adore them!!!
I am actually surprised that I haven't done a post on Anna Lambert until now. She is truly one of my favorite ceramic artists! Her handbuilt earthenware showcase her whimsical sensibility and love of nature! Her naturally colored pieces often feature beautiful organic shapes topped with delightful birds, fish or flowers. It would be impossible to chose just one!!! ENJOY!
Who can possibly resist these wonderful creatures by Taniusha Stepanian of Russia! Her 'Little Red' makes me smile with her jaunty step and cap tilted just so, as if she is leading a parade of jolly friends. And what friends!!! Just look at these felted creatures, dancing, jiggling and having a wonderful good time!!!
These delightfully whimsical illustrations are by SARAJO FRIEDEN of California. I love her vibrant and energetic sense of line, and how she has added embroidery touches to her illustrations! Who can resist birdhouse crowns or pockets filled with laughter? So fun!!!
Elsita of Elsa Mora is one of the most creative women I know! Born in Cuba and now living in California, she creates from her heart, sharing with us her struggles and successes in life in a prolific stream of artwork! This Monday her Mother, Margot, arrived and Elsita is creating a special book commemorating her visit. With the help of her 6 year old daughter Natalie, and her Mother, they are creating a profoundly beautiful and touching memoir full of wisdom, advice, art and whimsy! Elsita writes about the 'Dream' collage they created together seen above:
"My Mom said that during her whole life her wings have been cut so many times but they always grow back because she never stops dreaming. And here is the translation of what my Mom wrote for Natalie in the little book: Natalie, remember that in order to fly you will first need to learn how to dream. Dreams make our wings grow. Your Grandma Margot."
Be sure and peek HERE to follow along as her 'Blank Book Project' continues! Truly INSPIRING!!!
Recently I received a delightful email from a woman in Japan. We quickly discovered that we have very similar interests and she sent me a list of links to Japanese artists which she felt I might be interested in. Naturally I loved them all, and will share them with you here over time... But as always happens when I start looking at new links, the paths lead me elsewhere, and I end up somewhere entirely different. Such is the case here. Somehow I discovered the site of Yuri Puri an amazing felter from Japan! Her work is truly delightful, like stepping into a wonderful fairytale! Her pieces are often large in scale and full of color and texture - truly a feast for the eyes! ENJOY!!!
Here is my sample for the upcoming CASTLE class PAPER CAROUSEL, to be held Monday April 14th! Students will create a 'Woodland Animal Carousel' that spins on a 'lazy susan'. I've used some fabulous vintage hand-colored animal prints that came from Germany, as well as a combination of other paper-theatre images, gold dresden and green metallic crepe paper. The little gold saddles are actually dresden crowns - turned upside down! This should be a wonderful class, and I am already thinking of other 'themes' to use for future Carousel's!!!
For initial inspiration I found this wonderful 'Paper Circus' print-out online! As easy as it looks, it still took me about 2 1/2 hours to cut and assemble, and I didn't like how the spinning interior functions. Great idea, but hard to make it look good. (I'd recommend stiffening all your paper before you cut the pieces out.) Still, if you want to make your own 'Paper Carousel' and can't take my class, THIS is a fun one to try!
Following our visit with Stephanie Blythe the other day, we headed over to the tiny town of Port Costa to visit Wendy Addison's studio THEATRE OF DREAMS! As her sign so whimsically proclaims on the front door, she is open only by Chance or Appointment! Not wanting to 'take the chance' of missing her we made an appointment for 1:30!
Walking into Wendy's shop is like entering WONDERLAND. Glass cases are filled with one of kind creations and vintage finds and glittering constellation's hang from the ceiling... Magical Theatres beckon from every corner, and delightful visual poetry fills the air... We were swept away with fairy dust, while being serenaded by 'Queen' Wendy herself. Like little children, we put our noses right up to the glass, and looked with wide eyes, trying in vain to decide which 'candy's' to bring home... Each of us did finally find a few special things to steal away, with the hope that we could bring Wendy's magic with us as we went home... Come join me here in a THEATRE OF DREAMS!!!!
Yesterday, my dear friend Jocelyn, who is visiting from L.A., Lea and I set off for the Bay Area in search of magic and inspiration! Our first stop was the home and studio of Stephanie Blythe, who lives just north of San Francisco. Stephanie for those of you who may not know, is the Master of porcelain fine art fairies! With her nimble fingers she has been creating teeny tiny little creatures, dressed in magnificent finery since 1977. Her background in textiles and love of Children's book illustrations formed a firm foundation for her career in Fairy art! The piece above, called 'One World, One Heart', spoke to all of us on many levels...
While visiting we brainstormed the possibility of Stephanie doing a FAIRY DOLL WORKSHOP someday soon. A very special opportunity for you to come and make your own magical fairy doll, in Stephanie's studio using one of her amazing molds. IF THIS TEMPTS YOU, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT HERE, AND OR EMAIL ME PRIVATELY, and I will let you know what we can come up with!
So many steps are involved in creating these little treasures, and we delighted in seeing hints of each process. From initial inspiration, to boxes filled with tactile delights; a cozy corner devoted to sculpting and painting, and a vintage cabinet filled with dyes in many fairy colors... Here I will leave you with a photo album of our amazing visit, filled with whimsy, magic and plenty of fairy dust!
We couldn't resist holding one of Stephanie's new Madi the Magical Fairy Play Doll, seen here as a whimsical little bumble bee!
And of course, drooled over the many wonderful past creations Stephanie has produced! It was truly an amazing and magical visit being with the lovely Stephanie and her little fairy kingdom! Thank you Stephanie for letting us peek in your wonderland!
More about our wonderful trip coming tomorrow!
There is a beautiful simplicity and refined sense of design in the art of Neverfly on Deviant Art. An asian sensibility... I love how the lines and colors seem perfectly chosen, not too much and not too little. And of course, the allusions to fairy tales and fables!!! Delightful!
Last Friday a friend and I visited Susan's Store Room in San Anselmo. If you are in the Bay Area, and need a 'WHIMSY' fix, let me tell you, this is the shop for you!!! For 30 years, Susan, the lovely proprietor of Susan's Store Room has delighted and thrilled all who visit with not one but three huge rooms filled to the brim with toys, dolls, bears, miniatures, gifts and all things magical and whimsical! Not a space is left bare, and no corner empty, truly a wonderland of delights!
Susan is also known for a delightful series of books, "The Travel Journals of the Steiff Reggie, Pansy and Clarence Bears". Our visit just happened to coincide with the arrival of her newest book: "Clarence goes to The Chelsea Flower Show". This wonderful book (illustrated by the very talented Maryjo Koch) tells the tale of Clarence visiting England! Clarence, designed by Susan and created by STEIFF takes us all over the Queens Kingdom, journaling about his adventures as he goes. Here we see Susan and Clarence posing at Beatrix Potters home!
(Book and Bear available from Susan's Store Room)
You need to plan on spending a good amount of time when visiting Susan's Store Room, there is sooooooo much to see! look around and you will find Noahs Ark - filled with Steiff animals of every kind; Jolly Gnomes hiding behind a forest of trees; dressed Mice having tea-parties; King Tut holding a conversation with a giant ostrich and Elephants playing Safari! Doll Houses filled with delicious miniatures of every kind, tempt us to join in the fun. Every Holiday has its place all year round here, with Halloween and Christmas sharing space with Easter and Valentine's. Shelves are crowded to overflowing and Dolls and Bears peek out where ever you look! A visit to Susan's Store Room makes us walk back in time and be children again! Truly an adventure not to be missed!!!
Years ago, I remember the first time I saw one of Elaine Hanowell's Koi lamps, in a gallery in Berkeley. I loved it then as much as I do now. There is something magical about seeing light within the Koi shape, as if it is swimming down from the moon into a room... Lovely!
Sometimes I discover an artist whose work takes my breath away... Fanny Crenn - muse, artist and creater of Les Bijoux D'Odette has me swooning in desire and admiration! Fanny lives in West Brittany, France, and Odette, the central character in her work, lives in her heart! In Fanny's dexterous hands, old photos and ephemera, antique clothing and textiles, leather gloves, and other small objects are transformed into beautiful 'reliquaries' filled with memories and romance. Her small wearable pieces are like tiny textural nostalgic scrap-books... Her sublime clothing reminds me a little of the princess in the fairytale Furball (a very refined version of couse!)- wearing bits of this and that and looking absolutely wonderful! We are Lucky indeed that Odette inspires so much!!!
With a name like The Thieving Magpie you know you're in for some whimsy and fun! Richard Dunbrack of Massachusetts takes "...odds and ends of memories and forgotten past and recreates them into masterful pieces of art." Art that makes you smile, and laugh and wish you could live the fairytale he has begun!!!
There is something quite magical about Hib Sabin's sculptures. With names like 'Spirit', 'Ritual' and 'Dreamer' one expects nothing less... I adore his owls, one nesting within another - so protective. His bowls and masks bare a sensitive nod to earlier American Indian art. "I am interested in transformation, the interaction of humans with the spirit of nature." Hib says. His reverence for animals and birds shows clearly as does his heart - deeply embedded in a 'spirit of nature'...!