Since January of this year, I’ve been in full making mode, creating art for no reason other than the pure joy of it. It’s something I regularly promise myself at the end of long involved projects like illustrating a book or animating a film. I’m taking this year to work solely on a group of seasonal pieces that capture the wonder and magic of the natural world, both real and imagined.
Frosty Morning, which is the first completed scene in the series, was inspired by what I saw early one January morning, when every bare branch sparkled with ice crystals. I’m one of those rare people who loves winter so much that it never seems to last long enough. I think it’s because I like long periods of time to work without the distraction of warm weather.
This year, I’m working on a group of seasonal pieces that capture the wonder and magic of the natural world, both real and imagined. Frosty Morning, Mossy Glen and Harvest Time are available as jigsaw puzzles and note cards in my shop here.
If all 4 seasons are completed in time, they will be included in my upcoming retrospective, WHAT A RELIEF: the Art of Salley Mavor at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, ME (June 4 – Sept. 11, 2022). The exhibition will feature a large selection of my artwork, spanning over 40 years, from early on to the present day. Rarely seen works on loan from private collections, as well as pieces I’ve held onto, will fill multiple galleries on the museum’s entire first floor.
Right now, I’m working on the spring scene, which you can see documented in photos and videos on Instagram and Facebook. My followers are so excited about the mossy landscape that it’s all I can do to fend off their questions about how I did this or that. I tell them, “I know you’re curious, but I’m in pure making mode right now and don’t want to dispel the magic by turning on the explaining part of my brain yet. That will come later when the piece is finished and I write about it on my blog.”
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I operate outside of the mainstream, in a different needle and thread universe. It’s been a struggle to find my place in the technique-driven model ingrained in the needle arts community. In the essay, To Teach or Not to Teach, I discuss in detail my approach to making art and my personal philosophy about sharing knowledge.
So, with all of that in mind, I’m preparing to turn on the explaining part of my brain, at least enough to say something to go along with the photos. Over the summer, I will be telling the story of making Frosty Morning in a series of posts that focus on different aspects of my working process. My aim is to inspire more than instruct, to give a peek behind the curtain that may spark your own kind of creativity.
I took lots of photos along the way, so there’s enough material to delve more deeply into several areas including making trees, snow and ice, cozy little shelters, a stone wall and the ubiquitous wee folk characters. The following photos are just a sampling of what’s to come.
Frosty Morning Part 1 – trees, Part 2 – branches, Part 3 – shelters.
See the series of Frosty Morning Posts: Part 1 (trees), Part 2 (branches), Part 3 (shelters), Part 4 (stone wall), Part 5 (sparkles) and Part 6 (wee folk).
Frosty Morning, Mossy Glen and Harvest Time jigsaw puzzles and note cards are available in my Etsy shop.
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Your art is so inspirational!
I am heading to Greenville next week to see the exhibit there. It will be my first live viewing of your work – can’t wait! Love that you are creating!
That’s wonderful, Robin. I hope that you enjoy the show!
Another exquisite project underway!! Thanks for the peek.
Your work is amazing!! Thank you for sharing.
Very impressed yet once again!!! Thanks, Maria
breathtaking!! love the lace as snow idea …brilliant!!
Your work makes me happy.
I love the whimsy of your works.
Your work is so beautiful. You are such an amazing artist…a master at blending color, texture, patterns and objects to tell a story. So much talent and imagination. I love it!
I like cold and frosty, but am less keen on pounding rain and chilly drenching.
Do you know a good book or website about photographing needlework? People post fantastic pictures but, when I try, they’re just messy/fuzzy or too distant to capture detail at all. (I don’t know anything about photography!)
I recommend getting a general book on photography. There are lots out there. I learned the basics in my High School photography class. Composition, depth of field, etc. Cell phone cameras do a remarkable job of taking closeups.
I so love your imagination, and am very inspired in my own handmade. Just happened to see the ” president of flat earth” recently. Love it, and especially when you said ” the fairies made you do it”. You re a person after my own heart! Can’t wait to visit the exhibit at the Brick Store Museum this summer. Happy creating!
What a fortunate gal you are to have found such a craft that delights you, and in turn so many others.
I’m returning to doll making, thanks to two little granddaughters who joyfully carry around my efforts.
As soon as I finish my current project, I’ll start collecting items for The Wee Folk project. I love the dwellings and backgrounds. What Fun! Thank you!