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!)
Last year, illustrator Rachel Jo gave herself an assignment. “I decided to challenge myself to do a painting a day for a month in November 2016 to really get my style to show some consistency,” she tells me in an email. “The proportions of my figures were really wonky and my color palette was all over the place.” The 30 days were “difficult but rewarding,” and it’s been a big help in her current endeavors and overall career.
When I first came upon the embroideries of Lauren Singleton, aka YesStitchYes, my immediate thought was, “They look painterly!” Her style, with elongated leaves and petals, remind me of graceful brush strokes rather than lines poked with a needle. Paired with script-style text, this hoop art has a breezy, carefree style to it—one I don’t often see in embroidery.
Another Monday, another edition of The Color Series! Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve picked illustration and crafts where one color dominates the rest (in a good way, of course) in composition and form. So far, we’ve seen tranquil blue and pink reverie. Now, it’s time for green embroidery and green illustrations.