Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wonderful Wonderland: Art & Inspiration

Alice isn't even one yet, but I'm already thinking about her "big girl" room. I don't know when (or where) this will happen, but I want to get in one more room design while I can still call the shots.

I decided against a Wonderland-themed nursery because I wasn't ready to let go of the orange already on the walls (subtext: we didn't want to paint the entire room again), and orange didn't jive with what I'd want this Wonderland to be. Plus, we were keeping Alice's name a secret and I figured "Wonderland" might be a dead giveaway. Anyway, I don't think I can resist giving Alice a little wonderland of her own once she's ready to move on from her giraffe nursery. Especially if she doesn't find Lewis Carroll's fantasy land quite as enchanting as I do when she's all grown up, at least I'll have had my fun before she gets too cool for school.

I love the whimsy and imagery that the Alice stories inspire, I think it offers so much creative opportunity, especially for a little girl's room. I want to create a vibrant and colorful space that is girly without being too precious and magical without being too on-the-nose. I'd like to draw on some of the existing iterations of the story without being too reliant on any one element. I love John Tenniel's original illustrations and I love Mary Blair's visual development art for the original Disney animated feature (which, of course, I also love). 

I'm working on a color board and inspiration board to share at some point, but in the meantime I wanted to give you a sneak peak at some of the art that is inspiring my vision for the space.

These pieces were part of the Nucleus Gallery exhibition "Curiouser and Curiouser." I missed the actual show, but not the art, thanks to the online collection. I love the different manifestations and interpretations of the Wonderland world and characters and themes, but thought these four were particularly wonderful. 
Clockwise from top left: Alice In The Rain by Lorelay BoveI See You, Cheshire by MALL; Down The Rabbit Hole and Did You Ever See An Alice? by Alina Chau

I am totally smitten by these three artists. I think their individual styles are fabulously suited for the subject matter, they've perfectly captured the magic and nonsense of Wonderland. The colors are just what I'd had in mind for my Alice's wonderland and I love that each piece tells a different bit of the story. The best part is that I think I can get (and afford!) prints of all four pieces! I just need to do a little budgeting and make it happen, before that isn't the case anymore.

I've also fallen in love with Brittney Lee's portfolio after I saw her work at our office's holiday craft fair. I started following her blog along with the artists above, which is how I discovered her amazing paper sculptures. Last week, I saw the post on Brittney's most recent paper sculpture and almost died. Imagine my reaction as I walked down the hall at work to find it HANGING ON THE WALL! It literally took my breath away. I gasped and stopped dead in my tracks to admire every little detail. I walk down that hall on my way out of the building every day and I cannot pass it by without stopping. Without further ado, please enjoy these photos, reposted with permission from Ms. Lee:
It's amazing. It's even more wonderful in person. I think Ariel is exquisitely rendered, and there is so much emotion in her expression that it makes my heart hurt. The photo doesn't do justice to the dimensionality of her face, hair, tail, the book, Flounder, the cavern of wonders, ect., etc., I could go on forever, so I'll just stop now. This piece was created for a charity auction happening soon, and judging from the winning bids on the ornaments auctioned off during the holidays, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to afford this or any of the other pieces on the block...

I would love to see Brittney's interpretation of Wonderland - I can only imagine how fabulous it could be. I'm wondering if I might be able to sweet talk her into a commissioned piece (assuming I can sweet talk Alice's dad into funding such a thing!). Wouldn't that make a wonderful first birthday present?! 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these artists and the pieces that are helping to inspire my Wonderland vision. I'll continue to share as it takes shape. Many thanks to these very talented ladies for graciously allowing me to highlight their work here. To see more of their amazing art, please check out their blogs and websites and etsy stores! 

Lorelay Bove: blog and etsy store
Alina Chau: blog and website
Brittney Lee: blog and etsy store
MALL: blog and website

1 comment:

  1. Erin! There is an artist up here in Seattle - Justin Hillgrove - who does some really incredible monsters and robots and movie tribute paintings. I have several, including an original watercolor from him, and I bought my sister a "Hellboy" print.

    Go about halfway down this page to see all of his Alice paintings. A little darker than the ones you posted, but they are still very beautiful. I've seen the original "Down the Rabbit Hole" in person, and it is stunning.



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