Friday, March 21, 2014

A Taste of 1883 &1884

My mailbox is very happy today. I just received a rare Kate Greenaway print from 1884. Sent to me by my dear friends Ann and Terry Cobb, this will be framed and treasured! Engraved by my hero Edmund Evans and a beautiful example of the work of my favourite artist Kate Greenaway. Kate was an introvert through and through. She was heavily critiqued for her work, and although she listened to each critique carefully, she remained comitted to her own vision. She accepted that which she considered true and discarded the rest! She was determined to paint what made her happy and would not submit to the vision of anyone else. As I read through her biography this week I am amazed at her discipline. She was an early riser, and worked from just after her breakfast until her lunch time. Although she shared her home with her family, she was strict about being undisturbed in her studio unless the matter was extrememly urgent. She took a short lunch break and then worked for a few more hours in the afternoon. She allowed time each day for a walk outdoors and if she had a visit to attend to, she would take care of that at tea time. Evening hours were left to correspondence and reading or sewing the clothing that she would choose to illustrate. Her letters of correspondence were often illustrated. This example is from a birthday greeting she sent to John Ruskin.
She fought hard to retain her copyright to her work although she was shamelessly copied and marketed by her competitors in other countries. I adore her spirit and her work! This precious bookplate was created for one of the children who posed for her illustrations.
Along with my precious Kate print, I just received a tiny book from 1883. Muster Alphabete
is a beautiful representation of the Victorian forms that I love. Although they often border and surpass the realm of the excessive and can push the envelope of good taste, I admire their attention to detail and their love of ornamentation.
I am welcoming Spring today with this glimpse into the past.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Behind the Scenes

There are some things you can never know until you start to go through them.
When I took on the role of IAMPETH President this year, I truly had no idea of all of the hours of work it would involve or the friendships I would forge along the way. The road has had some highs and some lows. Some stresses and some moments of pure joy. And we are only in March. Still plenty of road left to travel before the conference in Indianapolis. It all boils down to the love of the art form and working hard to promote and preserve that art. Today, IAMPETH takes a giant step forward in building our new database. Lots of hands and minds have come together to see this happen. I am so thankful for the support of family, friends, board members and colleagues and especially thankful for one dear friend's time and energy into this project. Dear Debi this is for you my friend. For those of you who know my process, there are no surprises here in this piece. I think in pencil and then paint.
The design took place during one of the busiest seasons of IAMPETH planning and working!
Now being mailed off to bless my friend.