Tuesday 28 June 2016

Nature Artists - 30 Days Wild

   I've found that a lot of the things I buy from Etsy, when I buy from Etsy, are usually either animal- or fantasy-focused, and I thought it would be a good idea to show some of my favourite sellers - those I've bought from and those I plan to - who have, to my mind, some of the best wildlife-themed designs.

   Lyndsey Green is easily one of my favourite wildlife artists on Etsy. I've bought from her countless times, sometimes birthday cards for my parents, other times goodies for me. I  have many tote bags but the only ones I find myself using are her fox couple and jackalopes of the world. I have a few prints, a coaster, notebooks and a t-shirt, and I eagerly await her new designs. There's a decided simplicity to her work which I love, it's not overpowered by too much detail or too many lines, or too much shading - all things I tend to do - and I really love it when an artist is confident enough in their skill that they don't feel the need to give it too much to try to convince people of what they're looking at. There's a definite confidence and comfort to her skill that shines through in every piece. And, of course, when she gives it a bit of a twist - like jackalopes, tribal patterns or astronomy - it appeals to me all the more.

   Evgeny Hontor of Demiurgus Dreams is a wonderful Russian-based crafter who uses velvet clay to make fantastic animals in varying complexities - some are very, very simple in shape, while others are highly detailed, and I can't honestly say that I prefer one from the other. Some of those with great detail find it in the feathers and overall finish, while others have been impressed with her own unusual designs to give them a fantasy or tribal finish. She also makes a few more fantastical pieces, like dragons, winged rats, Anubis hounds, or on the flip side she paints silhouetted forests onto the animals.
   I've got three pieces from her: a blue moon wanderer deer, a grey moon wanderer wolf, and an impressed rat, which was the first thing I saw of hers a few years ago and fell in love. I've had 7 pet rats in my life, and I have to say, they're the best small mammals you can have as pets and as affectionate as dogs. While hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs will typically scurry away from the edge of their house, and are more typically skittish, rats are very curious and instead rush towards the bars to say hello. Some of them lick you like dogs do, too.
   Also, I've been a World of Warcraft player for at least 8 years now, so her Ji-Kun caught my eye something fierce. She doesn't usually take on commissions, but I think this piece really shows off a lot of her skill.

   Francesca Mosmea of MosMea is an Italian artist who makes amazing - amazing - nature-inspired textiles, from animals to fungi - or should that be the other way around?
   I love the muted tone to her work, and I've had my eye on a little animal plush pillow for quite some time, I've just been unable to decide which! But I have to admit, I'd rather like a mushroom, too! Decisions!
   Everything is hand-painted - I'd assumed it was printed, but even just a quick look through her shop, facebook, twitter and so on shows countless images of her products in the making, which really just astounded me. She does lots of custom work, too; so many of them are images of people's pets from photographs, so MosMea is a wonderful place to go for custom gifts. I've done similar work with my jewellery, making tiny animals in jars based on images of people's pets, and it's a surprisingly nerve-wracking job because it would be so easy to miss characteristic details. I've had no complaints yet, though!

   ┼╗enia Kli Zafska of The Lady Moth is a UK based artist who uses needle felting to create wonderful nature pieces. Her moths (would you believe it) were what really caught my eye. I'm not keen on insects but moths actually charm me a little, when they're not eating my clothes, and, unlike other insects, the bigger the better. Fluffy-antennaed, fluffy-bodied, I love them. I've had my eye on one of these, too, and I think this grey one might just be it!
   Once again, this artist also uses quite muted tones, even on the needle felted blue tit, which is such a vibrant bird, but one thing I love about needle felting in general is the rough edges that come from the method of work. It gives everything a sort of glow, I've always felt, and that joined with muted tones and a moth is a recipe for win.

   Daisy Maude of The Inky Deer is another UK-based artist who creates art in a completely different direction to Lyndsey Green. Daisy's has a curious mix of seriousness and whimsy; creating elegant illustrations befitting a nature book, and using the most beautiful watercolour accent in the background. The colours are light and unobtrusive and really make each piece more interesting to look at, even indirectly. It doesn't draw the eye, but once you see it, you see it, and I think that's a quality that most wall art should have. Easy to ignore, nice to have around, but still worthy of looking at when your eyes do fall upon it.
   Or is that just me?

Oh, the cheek.


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