Thursday, November 11, 2010

Miss Clara

I was in Les Trois Hiboux children's bookshop about a week ago, looking for a present for The Nephew™, when I stumbled upon a little art exhibit by Miss Clara.  She has two books coming out— La Petite Poule Rousse (The Little Red Hen) and Trois Petits Cochons (Three Little Pigs), both published by Éditions Scarabéa.  

On display were a dozen or so shadow boxes (boîtes vitrines) peopled with small, exquisitely crafted characters out of her picture books—pigs, chicken, geese and the like.  Made with layers of thin paper and fine silk upon an under-structure of wire, they also include found objects (buttons, discarded hardware, feathers...) and collaged backgrounds of book pages and old wallpaper. 

Out of such prosaic and discarded materials, she creates a tiny dream world of poetry and magic.

Miss Clara worked as a graphic designer for nine years before she began creating her dioramas and collages.  Her work can now be seen in magazines, books and art galleries. Some are even available as paper goods from La Marelle.  Her home town is Bordeaux, where she still lives and works.

PS.  Here is a little video about Miss Clara and her world, in case you'd like to see more. In French.

Découvrez Miss Clara et ses merveilles en papier sur Culturebox !

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Il pleut!

It is a damp and drizzly day today, so I give you another sketch of Omelette, with his trusty eggshell umbrella.  The day looks to be filled with down-pourings and puddle-stompings—but if you get tired of watching the raindrops roll down your window-pane, you could do worse than clicking on some of these links:

Sarmède, in the Veneto region of northern Italy, is home to an art school (founded by the wonderful Czech artist Stepan Zavrel) and to an annual illustration exhibit.  Beatrice Alemagna, whose picture books are sublime, is the guest of honour this year.  She is in good company: there are over 300 illustrations by 38 artists— including Martin Jarrie, Kitty Crowther, Violeta Lopiz, Madalena Matoso.  And so many others!  Anna Castagnoli (illustrator and keeper of the marvelous Italian blog on children's books, Le Figure dei Libri)  has written an introduction (in English) for the catalog.  The exhibit runs until 19 December— wish I could go!

Urban Outfitter has asked 10 artists to do 10 bookmarks for them— they are here, as well as downloadable wallpapers.  I especially like Joe McLaren's contribution.

And finally, in keeping with this drippy day, here are some spreads from the out-of-print picture book, Monsieur Cloud, Nuagiste.  Illustrated by François Roca in black and white, it is about a cloud expert (a nephologist) who is hired to make rain by a crooked umbrella manufacturer hoping to make a fortune.  But all does not go as planned...of course!  via Gone Fishing.

OK, back to watching raindrops...