Closeups (summer trees)

Before summer passes us by, I’ve gathered a group of trees from my artwork to show. The first one is a crayon drawing on lined paper from 1963, when I was 8 years old.

crayon on lined paper, 1963, age 8

Jumping ahead 20 years, this tree is from an early fabric relief picture called “Jumping Girl”. My obsession with embroidering leaves was underway!

detail from “Jumping Girl” 1985

This is from my first children’s book, The Way Home, published in 1991. By this time, I’d started making branches with thread wrapped wire. Read the story of the making of the book here.

detail from “The Way Home” 1991

Here’s a faux tile I made for my kitchen in 1990. See the other tiles in an earlier post here.

Faux Tile, 1990

About 10 years ago, I started using more felt and appliqued this tree trunk to the dyed cotton velveteen sky in my book, The Hollyhock Wall.

detail from “The Hollyhock Wall ” 1999

Now, I’m using felt almost exclusively. The next 2 details of trees are from my picture book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes.

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

I incorporated many found objects in the “Posies” book and here’s a glimpse of  driftwood and bark buildings, with a tree between.

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Close-ups (shells)

This is a series of shell images, starting with a fabric scallop pin, which I made in the late 70’s. See the story about my pins in earlier posts here.

shellpinWM

The scale and natural delicacy of shells make them suitable props for my little dolls. Here’s a 2″ mermaid photographed on the beach.

mermaidWM

This is an appliqued felt purse from the 90’s, which is like the ones featured in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects.

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Shells make good sleeping places, too. This is a detail from an illustration in Wee Willie Winkie, from the page which reads, “Are the children in their beds?”.

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Here is a detail from “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?”, which is included in my picture book, Pocketful of Posies; A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes.  

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This is from “the old woman stands at the tub, tub, tub” verse, which is also in Pocketful of Posies. Her washing tub is made from a “boat” shell that is commonly found on our local beaches.

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Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Close-ups (gardens)

How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence.  ~Benjamin Disraeli

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Here are a couple of pieces that I made in 1982, when I was transitioning from 3d sculptural work to flatter, framed pieces. I started using the term “fabric relief” about then because people kept asking what they were called. It’s still hard to explain what I do at cocktail parties!

The water coming out of the hose is metallic thread. The figures playing croquet are very early “wee folk” with cloth heads instead of the painted wooden ones I use now.

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This is a detail from the strawberry garden scene in a illustration from Mary Had a Little Lamb. The stones were glued onto the velveteen background fabric.

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Here’s another Mary character in her garden, this one from The Hollyhock Wall. Her hair is wool fleece and the background is embroidery on dyed velveteen.

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“Eleven, Twelve, dig and delve”. This illustration is part of a rhyme in Pocketful of Posies.  The straw hat is made with thread wrapped wire and the spade blade is a heart charm.

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Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Close-ups (butterfies)

I slipped in this moth (actual size 3″), even though it’s not a butterfly. He was a character in a story called “The Great Cleanup” (1979), which I wrote about in an earlier post here.

Moth from “The Great Cleanup” 1979

This close-up is from the endpapers for Pocketful of Posies, which is shown more in an earlier post here.

detail from endpapers in “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

Here is another butterfly project, a felt purse from  Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects. The shiny dots are nail heads.

felt Purse from “Felt Wee Folk” 2003

This tiny butterfly (actual size is 1″) is a detail from my upcoming book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. See the whole illustration for “Jumping Joan” here.

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Close-ups (dogs)

Ceilidh

I’d like to present this group of dogs in honor of my pet and studio companion, Ceilidh, who died last month. Her name, pronounced Kay-lee, is from the Gaelic word for a folk music and dance party. This is the last photo I took of her this past winter, just before she turned 14.  She was a lab/golden mix and a real sweetheart who gave us many wonderful years.  

The first picture in the series is a faux tile I made in 1990 for our kitchen.  See all of the tiles on an earlier post here

Faux Tile, 1990

 This white dog is in the “Sidewalks” poem illustration from my book You and Me: Poems of Friendship.  

detail from "You and Me: Poems of Friendship" 1997

 Here’s the dog who laughed to see such sport in Hey, Diddle, Diddle!  

detail from "Hey, Diddle, Diddle!" 2005

This little dog is made from a key, hook eyes and other found objects. See an earlier post about the whole piece, “Walking the Dog”, here.   

detail from "Walking the Dog" 2005

This dog is dancing in a ring around the rosies from my upcoming book, Pocketful of Posies.  

detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Close-ups (strollers)

With the warm weather, parents are out in droves pushing their young ones in strollers. I went through my books and found some details to show you. The strollers are made with wire frames and button wheels. This first one with the red-haired mother is from my 1997 picture book, You and Me: Poems of Friendship.

Sidewalksstroller2WM Here’s a stroller from another page of You and Me with a baby that’s about 1″ long.

detail from “You and Me: Poems of Friendship” 1997

This mother and child is from my 2001 book In the Heart. Autographed copies are available here.

ITHmomstrollerWMThis double stroller is being pushed by the old woman who lived in a shoe,  from my  book, Pocketful of Posies. The children are about 1 1/2″ tall.

PFOPstrollerWMNote: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Close-ups (boys)

I’ve spent a good part of my adulthood surrounded by boys; sons, friends and nephews. They have kept me grounded and brought a counter balance to all of this girly stuff I do, like sewing and fairy dolls.  Having sons has made me sensitive to the male point of view and I make an effort to include images of boys in my artwork, even though it’s easier to depict females. This first picture is from “Vineyard Family”, a piece I made as a naive young mother in 1985 and shows a rather idealized docile child.

 

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detail from “Vineyard Family” 1995

   This pair of boys are from “Fall Children” (see more here), which I made 10 years later in 1995. At this point, I’m trying to bring more motion to my figures, perhaps a more realistic reflection of children. Their sweaters are made from cotton socks and their shoes are leather.

detail from "Fall Children"

detail from “Fall Children” 1995

Here’s George reading a book in a chair made from old worn upholstery fabric. His clothing is also made from cotton socks. The full picture can be seen here.

 

detail from "George's Chair" 1996

detail from “George’s Chair”

This boy sitting in his real stick fort is from my book, You and Me: Poems of Friendship.

 

detail from "You and Me: Poems of Friendship" 1997

detail from “You and Me: Poems of Friendship” 1997

This is my favorite boy, “Dusty Bill from Vinegar Hill”, an unfamiliar rhyme I found and loved. His hair is made from a spiky acorn cap, which a friend sent from California. Even though I never learned how to crochet, I figured out how to construct his bag using a regular needle. Bill’s in an illustration from my upcoming book, Pocketful of Posies, which you can find out about here.

 

detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Close-ups (peas)

My peas are starting to come up in the garden. Their vines are such a cheery sight in the spring and then the first food to pick in June. This series of closeups begins with a peapod pin made with velvet ribbon and green wooden beads. You can read the story about my pins here.

peapod pin 1977

peapod pin 1977

Here’s a detail from “Picking Peas”, a fabric relief from 1985. The full scene is on another post here. The peapods are glass beads. I must have figured out how to knot the string to make the net or cut a piece out of an existing net.

detail from "Picking Peas" 1985

detail from “Picking Peas” 1985

The peapods in this illustration from Mary Had a Little Lamb are made from seed beads sewn inside thin satin ribbon.

detail from " Mary Had a Little lamb" 1995

detail from ” Mary Had a Little lamb” 1995

This is a felt pin from my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk. The peas in the ribbon pods are glass beads in both this photo and the one below.

pin from "Felt Wee Folk" 2003

pin from “Felt Wee Folk” 2003

 Here are some felt pea vines from an illustration in my upcoming book, Pocketful of Posies.
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detail from Pocketful of Posies” 2010

Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Close-ups (owls)

Owls have such distinctive shapes and characteristics that make them visually appealing.  They can be identified by a simple silhouette or depicted in all their glory with every feather rendered in detail. This series begins with an owl (enlarged x 2) from an illustration for the Halloween poem in my book, You and me: Poems of Friendship and then continues with a felt purse from my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk. There’s the tiniest owl from In the Heart and then two from my upcoming (Sept./2010) book, Pocketful of Posies.

detail from "You and Me: Poems of Friendship" 1997

detail from “You and Me: Poems of Friendship” 1997

owlpurse2WM

detail from "In the Heart" 2001

detail from “In the Heart” 2001

detail from endpapers in "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

detail from endpapers “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.

Close-ups (mushrooms)

Ah, the fascination of mushrooms, with their bizarre, alien quality. This group includes some real mushrooms I found and used as props and some I made.  The first photgraph is of some mushroom houses that I made for a scene that was used in an educational reader illustration in 1979. To see more mushroom houses and read about the story in another post go here.

mushroom houses, 1979

 Skip ahead 20 years to this photograph, which shows some of the first Blossom Fairies that I offered as kits in 1999.

Blossom Fairies on a mushroom, 1999

  This is a pair of wee folk sitting in a cluster of mushrooms that were growing so fast that I had to run home and get my camera before they changed shape.

Wee Folk under mushroom, 2002

 I molded the next mushroom from clay, glued kid leather on top and painted the leather red. For the photo shoot, I put some drops of glycerine on the mushroom to look like rain.

mushroom made from kid leather, 2005

 This last one is from my up-coming book, Pocketful of Posies (Sept. 2010).  

detail from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

Note: See other posts in the Close-ups series archive here.