Sunday, June 5, 2011

Story Book Sunday - Alice and The White Rabbit by Clara Burd

Clara Burd never illustrated the book Alice In Wonderland, but she did paint an illustration included in a fairy tale book.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Story Book Sunday - At The Back of The North Wind - Maria L. Kirk

George Mac Donald wrote a wonderful book, At The Back of The North Wind, first published as a book in 1871.
It has become a timeless classic that has been reprinted for more than a 125 years. This thoughtful book not only appeals to children but also adults. As George Mac Donald stated he did not write only for the young ‘but for the childlike whether of five, or fifty, or seventy-five’. Numerous illustrators have given life to the image of the North Wind as described by George Mac Donald. Below is one of my favorites by Maria L. Kirk. Very little is known about Maria Kirk, despite the fact she illustrated over 50 books. She is perhaps best known for her illustrations for Alice In Wonderland. The image below is true to size and color for this edition printed in 1914 by J. B. Lippincott.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Story Book Sundays

Join me each Sunday for a "Story Book Page" in 300 ppi - low compression jpg graphic that you can frame, use in your graphic projects, altered art or just save and enjoy. One of my favorite books is "The Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson. I grew up on these wonderful verses and know them all by heart. So many wonderful illustrators have interpreted Robert Louis Stevenson's verses with their own vision and style. The verse below was illustrated by Fern Bisel Peat whose style reflected the Art Deco era. Click on the link below to be brought to the full size image, then right click and save to your computer.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sue Blackwell - An Inspiration!

The art of paper cutting or scherenschnitte was founded in Switzerland and Germany in the 16th century and brought to America in the 18th century. I personally became fascinated in this art form more than 20 years ago while designing custom stencils. I love the concept of positive and negative space and the basic principle was easily transferred to paper stencils creating a unique pattern to pass paint through. This art form has been around along time and has been re-interpreted over the years in unique and original paper cuttings by modern artists. The tools needed could not be simpler, a pair of scissors or exacto knife and paper. You can find beautiful paper cuttings through out the internet. Dover books offers numerous books that you can use for patterns to get you started. While scherenschnitte is a unique art form it is two dimensional so when I found Sue Blackwell's 3 dimensional paper cuttings I was inspired and delighted. Please watch the videos below to see a selection from her portfolio and how she creates her paper sculptures.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Site Pinterest!

I run across so many wonderful paper art sites on the web, that I cannot possibly list them all here on my blog. I recently joined a Pin Board site that allows me to "Pin" great finds to a cyber Pin Board. These boards are not unlike the cork boards I tack up inspirational items on. This is great for designers, artists and collectors. Check out my pin boards at Hedgehog Studio on Pinterest!

Fun With Paper Toys and Animation

There are some incredible paper toys that you can download on the web. I just ran across this delightful video that you can watch below. You can also download and make the paper toy elephant yourself at The Curiosity Group
The Curious Dream– From Flat to Flight from Cre8tivegirl on Vimeo.

I enjoy adding information, videos and downloads hoping that it will inspire you in the world of paper arts. So many of these paper toys make wonderful animation videos. Watch the two below from Maricor/Maricar

Murder By Death - "White Noise" from MaricorMaricar on Vimeo.

If All The World Were Paper from MaricorMaricar on Vimeo.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and a Toy Theatre

A few days ago I was searching the web and came across this fantastic blog Tektonten Papercraft. If you enjoy paper crafts you will want to spend hours there. While browsing I came across a Toy Theatre that C. Jefferson O'Connor created. The Toy Theatre is based on the movie "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus". Having never seen the movie I was intrigued and downloaded the free printable. The very next evening I ran across the movie on television and watched it. This movie dates from 2009 and I am sure many of you have already seen it if you like fantasy films. It has a great cast and was directed by Terry Gilliam. The film follows a traveling theater troupe (designed like a large toy theatre) and escorts audience members through a magical mirror. I actually enjoyed the premise that was sent at the beginning of the movie, that stories must be read aloud or the world will cease to exist. Unfortunaely this was not the plot of the movie. The very beginning reminded me of "The Neverending Story" one of my all time favorites from 1984 all about a magical land created by imagination, threatened with destruction due to the loss of imagination in our world. Both movies stress the importance and power of imagination. Again that  probably explains why I like paper toys and toy theatres, it encourages imagination. Watch  "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" and create your own Imaginarium  from C. O'Connor's blog.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Toy Theatres and the Paper Arts

I thought I should expand a little on the previous post. If you do a search on under toy theatre you will come up with a wonderful selection. I have included a couple below for you to view.
The video below is a traditional Pollock toy theatre.

 As a  fan of Monty Python (have all their VHS and now of cource the DVDs) the video below reminds me of the wonderful talent and animation art of Terry Gilliam.
A parody on the movie "Inception". If you have not seen the movie it is worth watching.

As I mentioned previously there is a resurgence in the Paper Arts and the concept of the jointed paper doll is popular again. You can find great examples of this at If you want to give this a try Lindsey Carr has made some incredible jointed paper toys and she has made one in pdf format for you to download at her blog.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Ice Book

I have been intrigued and fascinated with the toy theatre. As a child I always loved plays and the ballet. As a student I volunteered at the San Francisco Opera House as anusher so I could see them. I will never forget one opportunity I had to see the Moiseyev Dance Company and go back stage. I sat with a cobbler who travelled with the troupe. He told me he was always busy making and repairing their ballet shoes. I volunteered at the Curran and saw everything from "Death of a Salesman" to "Scrooge". Many happy memories! So why this fascination with the toy theatre? Perhaps because it brings back those happy memories or perhaps it is the fun in working with paper, cutting and gluing and designing. I have read numerous books on the subject many written in the 1930' through the forties. You can find many references under the subject Juvenile Drama, popular in England during the mid 1800's. Scenery, characters and theatres reproduced on a small scale for children to cut, put together and re-enact the plays that were being seen by adults at the "Grand" theatres of the time. The more I researched the subject the more fascinated I became so forgive me for my enthusiasm! As a naive observer I see a resurgence in the interest with the toy theatre and paper toys. Perhaps this is a reaction to video games or perhaps due to an economy that is encouraging frugality. Paper is fun to cut for the young and the old and it does not cost much! You can find wonderful jointed paper dolls, mechanical paper toys, and entire paper villages. The popularity in Altered Art and collage has only added to an old children's playtime being revived with new life. I have recently thought about going back to school and getting my masters in Art Therapy, but the expense is astronomical. So here I am having fun designing paper toys, banners and other fun paper projects using images from a simpler time. I added the video below not only because it is a work of art, but because it demonstrates to me we can create a beautiful world with paper and technology.

The Ice Book from Davy and Kristin McGuire on Vimeo.

Do you like?

About Me

My photo
Hello! I am a Social Worker by profession, but love graphic arts and the art of illustration. I have collected hundreds of first edition children's books from the late 19th and early 20th century. I love the work of Jessie Wilcox-Smith, Clara Burd, Blanche Fisher-Wright, Anne Anderson, Frank Baum, Fanny Cory, Margaret Tarrant, Johhny Gruelle, Frances Brundage, Maria Kirk, Milo Winter, Beatrix Potter, Maud Humphrey to name just a few! I love to share!