One of my favorite things about Instagram is when illustrators share their work in progress. I love seeing the process! Amber Davenport, a self-proclaimed “pattern lover,” shares her paintings in the midst of being created—including the her current palette. The acrylic pigment is used in busy jungle illustrations featuring loads of florals and creature friends. Their dizzying combination of color and painted texture makes them a joy to look at and begs you to spend some time with them.
Do you want to try embroidery but don’t know where to start? Patterns can help you become comfortable with wielding a needle and thread as you learn new stitches. And with the recent revitalization of hoop art, illustrators are creating modern modern hand embroidery patterns that you can try today.
If you’re a long time reader to Brown Paper Bag, you know that I love color. I’ve spent more than a month (so far) on the The Color Series, which chronicles illustration, embroidery, and even sketchbooks to show how creatives will utilize a single color in their work. So far, I’ve selected vibrant colors like pink, green, and purple. But today, let’s back off from brilliant blue and set our sights on gray illustrations(or grey, for those across the pond).
1. Friendly shark pencil case by minnebites
2.Retro flower brooch by Kate Gabrielle
3. Incense burner No. 2 by Tactile Matter
4. Monochromatic hoop art by Yes Stitch Yet (on Brown Paper Bag)
5. Jupiter small round shoulder bag by Oliness Art Studio
6. Midcentury Ornaments Still Life tea towel by Esther Sandler
7. Cat plant accessory by I Like Cats
Molly Fairhurst gets back to basics in her expressive illustrations. Concentrating on form and the gesture of her subjects, the paintings have an energy that draws you in, be it one of her 1,000 Tigers or portraits of people in action. In my favorite of her illustrations, you get the distinct feeling that you’re coming into the middle of something exciting.
One of the most iconic form of ceramics is known as “fanciful” Staffordshire figurines. Originally created in the Victorian era, these pieces were painted by unskilled workers and have a folk art-like feel. Because of their humble nature, they were geared towards the middle class. “You never would have found one of these in the home of royalty,” antique dealer David Lackey said. Nowadays, they’re highly collectible—and not to mention an influence for contemporary ceramic artists.
If you’ve ever tried embroidery, you know how methodical the practice is. It teaches patience; you’ve got to take it stitch by stitch, because there’s no great shortcuts when it comes to embroidering by hand. Embracing this fact is Slow Stitch Sophie, a Vancouver-based crafter who wowed me last year with her “fields” of beautiful floral embroideries. Since then, she’s continued her practice of creating intricate compositions that resemble sun-soaked landscapes.
After taking a week off, it’s nice to return to The Color Series. Unfamiliar with what that is? Over the past several weeks, I’ve chronicled illustration, embroidery, and sketchbooks that overwhelmingly use one color in their compositions. (If you’ve missed my previous picks, check out blue, pink, green.) Now, helping to round this series out are purple illustrations.
Brown Paper Bag is taking a short break from July 17 to July 21.
If you’re reading this, I’m probably on vacation in California! I’m determined to unplug while I’m there—easier said than done. I’ll be back on Monday, July 24 with a continuation of The Color Series. Have a great week!
(I will be posting on Instagram throughout the week. Follow me there!)
1. Azylis zippered pouch by Manuella Gonzalez
2. A wild bouquet hoop art by Katy Biele
3. Creature of the Night locket by Bonbi Forest
4. Seduction sculpture by Janice Chang
5. Fern print napkins by Bonnie Kaye Studio
6. Stackable succulent terrarium rings by Star Strung
7. Custom portrait pillow by camelotia