In 2010, I attended the Vermont Studio Center for an artist residency. (To anyone who is considering applying — you should! I had a great experience.) There, I met Maria Britton, a fellow artist in a different studio. At the time, she was painting abstract images on sheets stretched taut over stretcher bars.
Fast forward to lately, and I thought about Maria and her work. What does it look like now? Upon Googling her, I see she’s still working on sheets, but in a more refined way. Now, instead of simply painting on top of them, she works into them, incorporating embroidery, techniques. Here’s a statement about her work:
From conception to death, the surface of a bed is a place where one both experiences and escapes reality, a physical connection between dreaming and waking life. In the studio I seek out homespun innovations to play up the materiality of the patterned sheets on which I have been painting for the past 10 years. Recently I have started to incorporate smocking, a form of embroidery, into my paintings which enables me to manipulate the surface of a sheet into a bumpy, textured, and patterned surface. After the hand stitching is done on the reverse side of the sheet, I then carefully stretch the sheet on a stretcher, keeping an eye on what each pull does to the surface. Using washes, glazes, and streaks of acrylic, I work intuitively and impulsively with brushes, sponges, and squeegees. While painting, I am compelled to conceal and reveal the dated floral patterns that I find simultaneously comforting and repulsive. The end result is a mishmash of painting and crafty techniques which transform the predictable patterns into wrinkled innovations.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen the embroidery I started. It combines two of my favorite things to draw — flowers and embroidery.
I’ve been playing with some different stitches, including the long-and-short-stitch that outlines the floral hand. Hoping to be done with it by next week!
If you’ve ever considered embroidering, I’d recommend it! it’s a relatively inexpensive hobby to start and I personally find it really calming. Like yoga for your brain (Maybe? Sure.).
As I type this, I’m looking at my little potted cactus that I love so much. I wish that I could own more (real) cacti, but my boyfriend has a strict 5 plant limit to our household. Here are some that desert plants that have recently caught my eye. Follow me on Pinterest for more.
I think pom poms are coming back (because I just saw a cool looking DIY on Pinterest). Or are they already back? Probably the latter, because Australian-based artist Louise Weaver was putting them on fake birds years ago (around 2009).
Like Karley Feaver’s assemblage taxidermied birds, Weaver adds adornment to the stuffed budgies. She crochets rainbow-colored coats and adds sequins to their plumage. She talks with about the ideas behind the work, which primarily centers around transformation. Not just physically, but through mimicry and taking on the aspects of what’s around it. Camouflage, however fabulous it may be.
INTRODUCING a new Brown Paper Bag project! Own a new mini print each month by a different artist!
So, ever since I redesigned Brown Paper Bag, I knew I wanted the header image to be more than just a brown paper bag. There are so many amazing artists and illustrators in the world (just spend some time looking in the archives) that I thought, “maybe someone else could illustrate an awesome header!”
And thus, the Header Picture Project was born. Every month, I’ll launch a new header image for the top of Brown Paper Bag by a different artist/illustrator/designer. The best part about this? You can own a mini print of the image that’s featured!
So, without further ado, here’s the inaugural illustrator for the Header Picture Project, Perrin!
The print (preorder it here):
The header image for Brown Paper Bag:
I asked her a few questions about herself and her work. To learn more, check out her website and other beautiful illustrations.
Location: Practically in Lake Erie
What was your dream job when you were 7 years old? I wanted to do voice-overs for commercials.
Your profession now: Mover & Shaker; Picture-maker.
What’s your favorite thing to draw? Anything delicate & tedious, maybe beautiful, but probably weird.
What was the inspiration for this piece? I was given the blog’s namesake as a jumping off point and wanted to create a mysterious and narrative piece. I had been looking at a lot of vintage photos from the 40s and was really attracted to the fashions, colors, and styling. I knew I wanted to make something in that world.
Who is the guy with the bag on his head? Thats the mysterious part! I really hope to give the viewer room to interpret him however the story plays out in their minds. (p.s. if any viewers want to submit the answer to this question I would be keen to know what they come up with!)
How did you create your illustration? Was this any different from your regular process? I worked digitally on a Wacom tablet in ye old Photoshoppe. I built everything up in full color before desaturating all the colors in the end to mimic the appearance of an old photograph. I left a little bit of my sketch layer showing through to soften things.
and finally: Who is Blanche DuBun? Enlighten those that don’t know: WELL, she is my muse, sidekick, and furry pal. She is my pet rabbit; a real funny bunny.
I’m back from a much needed vacation and will be here in full force tomorrow. For now, let’s admire the illustrations of Teagan White, shall we? If you shop at Anthropologie or have been to a bookstore, you might have seen her work — colorful, detailed images perfect for the nature lover. From White’s website:
Her work encompasses intricate drawings of flora and fauna, playful watercolors of anthropomorphic critters, illustrated typography, and everything in between. Nature’s subtleties and reciprocal relationships between living things inspire her most, and her work typically incorporates nostalgic colors, decorative arrangements of organic forms, and meticulous detail.
Get lost in all of the beautiful bird plumage! All images via her website.
Part of White’s portfolio includes children’s book work and typography. Here are a few more pieces!