Book review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess

Book Reviews

(Par ici en Français!)

I had another book planned for this week’s review, but I couldn’t wait to share this beautiful illustrated book: Stardust, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Charles Vess.

These two wonderful artists need no introductions, if only to say that their collaboration on Stardust must have been arranged by fairies. I enjoyed this story so much. Stardust, the movie, has been a comfort film to me for so many years. I loved the book even more. Filled with magic, witches, transfigured creatures and wonderful characters, this book is truly a fairy tale for adults. It is such a fun read because it has all the wonderful elements of fairy tales and is filled with action and adventures. And of course, Gaiman’s writing is superb and captivating. The author was able to weave humour and tragedy with enchantments and realism to depict a world so vivid it feels like a recurring dream. I tried to pace myself to make this book last longer, but couldn’t and ended up finishing it in a few days. I cannot wait to visit Wall and Faerie once more, and I am sure I will do so many times in the years to come.

Charles Vess’ illustration are so wonderful! I loved discovering each page and it’s beautiful images. I admire the way he draws trees so much. They are so alive and magical. His characters were also very memorable. However, I think what I enjoyed most about the illustrations is that they were actually filled with fairies: little creatures can be found roaming the corners of each pictures, really enhancing the reading experience. As I am currently working on better backgrounds and scenes, I was awed by Vess’ skill: so many details, so many textures form a coherent and beautiful ensemble. I am also always taken aback by illustrators who create entire universes and know it so well they are able to play with perspective and point of views, and Vess truly is a master at this. I also really enjoyed seeing Vess’ workplace on his website. It’s always so intriguing to see how other artists work! And while you’re there, why not stop and admire his portfolio?

I am so glad I got to discover this classic book. It is the perfect fairytale and wonderful story. The book is beautiful and filled with magnificent illustrations that are sure to enchant any reader. I cannot wait to read this one again, and I hope you will read it too!

Stardust, by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess


 

Book review: Stardust, Le mystère de l’Étoile par Neil Gaiman et Charles Vess

(Ce livre a été traduit et est disponible en français! Yahooo!)

J’avais prévu un autre livre pour la chronique de cette semaine, mais j’avais hâte de partager ce magnifique livre illustré : Stardust, écrit par Neil Gaiman et illustré par Charles Vess.

Ces deux merveilleux artistes n’ont pas besoin d’être présentés, ne serait-ce que pour dire que leur collaboration sur Stardust a dû être arrangée par des fées. J’ai beaucoup apprécié cette histoire. Stardust, le film, a été un film réconfortant pour moi pendant plusieurs années. J’ai encore plus aimé le livre. Rempli de magie, de sorcières, de créatures métamorphosées et de personnages merveilleux, ce livre est vraiment un conte de fées pour adultes. C’est une lecture tellement amusante car elle comporte tous les éléments merveilleux des contes de fées et est remplie d’action et d’aventures. Et bien sûr, l’écriture de Gaiman est superbe et captivante. L’auteur a su tisser l’humour et la tragédie avec les enchantements et le réalisme pour dépeindre un monde si vivant qu’il ressemble à un rêve que l’on n’aurait presque oublié. J’ai essayé de m’imposer un rythme pour que ce livre dure plus longtemps, mais je n’y suis pas parvenue et j’ai fini par le terminer en quelques jours. Je suis impatiente de visiter à nouveau Wall et Faerie, et je suis sûre que je le ferai de nombreuses fois dans les années à venir.

Les illustrations de Charles Vess sont si merveilleuses ! J’ai adoré découvrir chaque page et ses magnifiques images. J’admire tellement la façon dont il dessine les arbres. Ils sont si vivants et magiques. Ses personnages sont également très mémorables. Cependant, je pense que ce que j’ai le plus apprécié dans les illustrations, c’est qu’elles sont en fait remplies de fées : on peut trouver de petites créatures qui errent dans les coins de chaque image, ce qui améliore vraiment l’expérience de lecture. Comme je travaille actuellement sur de meilleurs arrière-plans et compositions, j’ai été impressionnée par l’habileté de Vess : tant de détails, tant de textures forment un ensemble cohérent et magnifique. Je suis également toujours époustouflée par les illustrateurs qui créent des univers entiers et les connaissent si bien qu’ils sont capables de jouer avec la perspective et les points de vue, et Vess est vraiment un maître en la matière. J’ai aussi beaucoup apprécié de voir le lieu de travail de Vess sur son site web. C’est toujours très intéressant de voir comment les autres artistes travaillent ! Et pendant que vous y êtes, pourquoi ne pas vous arrêter pour admirer son portfolio ?

Je suis si heureuse d’avoir pu découvrir ce livre incontournable. C’est le conte de fées parfait et une histoire merveilleuse. Le livre est magnifique et rempli de splendides illustrations qui enchanteront à coup sûr tout lecteur. J’ai hâte de le relire, et j’espère que vous le lirez aussi !

Stardust, by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess (Version anglaise illustrée)

Stardust, Le mystère de l’Étoile (Version française illustrée, épuisée: fouillez chez vos bouquinistes préférés!)

Stardust, Le mystère de l’Étoile (Version française, texte seul)

Cassia Fistula and Orange Breasted Trogon Fairy Painting

New in the Portfolio

This is my first large format painting! I was commissioned for this but was left with complete freedom as to what to paint. I decided to feature two species from Vietnam. The tree is called Cassia fistula and the bird is an orange breasted trogon.

There are more details on the painting in my portfolio, so I hope you’ll come take a look!

Weekly News 06-03-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

Hello everyone!

I hope this finds you happy and healthy!

I really hesitated in writing this week’s newsletter. Current events are starting to take a toll on me, and I wanted to skip it. However, I decided to go for it anyways because I love connecting with you and sharing positivity and good news!

2:  That’s right! Only 2 illustrations left for the Brooklyn Project! This means that I should be able to start working on the layout this week! How exciting. I cannot wait to share more with you!

I read…

I went back to classics, Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea this week. I love Anne: she is so lively and fun. The descriptions of nature and Avonlea are also so relaxing and detailed.

It is a really quiet read, and if you are working on some mindless tasks, all the books of the series are available as audiobooks on Youtube.

New in Store

Over here, in Canada, Mother’s day was last month, and Father’s day is this month. That’s why I have been working on some pictures to celebrate dads!

These cute little bears are both available as coloring pages and coloring cards. I really enjoyed imagining what kinds of activities papa bears could do with their cubs.

I hope you’ll find them cute and check them out!

Youtube

Another one for the Brooklyn Project! I hope you’ll like it!

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Weekly News 05-27-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

Hello everyone!

I hope this finds you happy and healthy!

I cannot believe this: only 7 illustrations to go for my Brooklyn Book!!!! Happy dance!!! I’m so excited to be almost done with this project, but I’m also enjoying it so much. I cannot wait to share more of this with you! In the meantime, here’s a cheeky exclusive preview.

Small panic moment in the studio this week: I ran out of my favourite Hooker’s Green (named after William Hooker, a famous botanical illustrator. I mean, what were you thinking about?) and realized that the stores were out of it. I was able to find it in the end, but it made me realize how dependent on supplies I was. Normally, I wouldn’t really worry about not having a specific color and mix my own, but since I’m working on a book and want the pictures to be cohesive, it was a slight issue (read complete uncontrollable panic). So it made me really curious about making my own pigments and paints. Something new to explore!

I’ve reading…

This was such a fun read! I love books with old houses, family dramas and multiple narrators. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell did not disappoint!

The story starts with Libby receiving the keys to a prestigious house on her 25th birthday. The house belonged to her biological parents, which she knows very little about except that they died a strange suicide-cult-ritual death. I won’t spoil anything else because you should read it!

I really liked how the story was told through different characters. The story itself is simple and explores themes of manipulation, global warming, family and belonging. It was a really entertaining read that kept me turning page after page.

New in Store

Yes, I know, I’m not done with the Brooklyn Project yet, but I’m already starting to work on the next one. For this new project, I’m exploring cartoon characters, and I wanted to play with this a little bit. I really enjoy using my mom as inspiration for cartoons because she has a signature hairstyle. It’s so recognizable, it makes for the cutest character.

So, of course, I made her into stickers. Because it’s so warm here (hello summer!), you’ll find mini-mom ready for the beach!

The best vegan lemon pie

This dessert is perfect for summer because you don’t have to bake it! I used a pre-made pie shell, but you could of course make your own or even make a cookie crumb base for this to keep everything out of the oven. I’ve been obsessing over this pie and can’t get enough of this zingy lemon taste!

Here’s what you need for the most delicious lemon pie filling:
– the juice of 4 lemons (about a cup or 250mL)
– the zest of two lemons 200 mL water (3/4 cup)
– 250g sugar (1 cup)
– 50g or 5 tbs corn starch
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 generous pinch of turmeric powder for the colour (optional)

Mix everything in a saucepan until the corn starch is well dissolved. I use a metal whisk for this. Place on medium heat and stir continuously until it thickens. Place in your pie shell and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Enjoy as is or with some ice cream!

You are very welcome. 🙂

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Weekly News 02-19-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

This week I worked on the second Skull Lady. After, Crow, let me present Deer! I’m enjoying creating these atmospheric backgrounds a lot, and I love these two ladies. They are so full of magic and wonder. It’s perfect for this time of the year when the outside world is cold and gloomy!

For Christmas, I received a sketchbook from the Brooklyn Art Library sketchbook project. It’s a really fun one: they want to create the biggest sketchbook library. That means that you buy a sketchbook, fill it in with anything you want, send it back and there you go! People can check out your sketchbook at the gallery or online.

It’s such a wonderful idea! I am very excited to participate to this project and have been playing with how to fill it in. Well, my first draft is done. It’s such a fun project I can’t wait to share more with you. All I have to say at the moment is that there are plants, a raven and an old house…

I’m reading…

I started and finished the most delicate and deliciously soft novel this week. It’s really it’s own genre. Through “The Greenhouse” by Audur Ava Olafsdottir (she’s from Iceland), we follow a young man who leaves his country to go work in a monastery as the head gardener. The monastery’s garden was once famous for its roses but is in need of a good clean up.
The story itself is very simple, but the reader gets to follow the thougths and impressions of the main character. It’s very comforting and a delicious read!
My copy of the book is a bit old: I found it in a used book store last summer in their dollar bin. It even had an old news paper clipping. This is why I love buying old books!

New in the Etsy Store

Deer Witch is available as a print! Each print is hand signed.

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Weekly News 02-12-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

This week, I worked on two large-format watercolour illustrations. It’s pretty new for me to do full-page drawings, and I must say I like it! Each of these illustrations took me two days of work, but I think the result is worth it. I especially like the crow girl: I really liked working on the atmosphere of this picture and I wish I could join her on her adventures!

I also received the first copies of my colouring book! I’m really happy with the result and it makes me want to make more books. Several pages of notebooks were filled with ideas while waiting for each coat of watercolour paint to dry, so stay tuned!

I’m listening to…

This week, I discovered an extraordinary Korean musician and her Youtube channel “YUNI Marimba“. I particularly like her covers of Harry Potter, but all her songs are fun and relaxing to listen to. These videos are also very funny: I like it when she splits up to do the different tracks of the songs. Worth a listen!

New in the Etsy Store

As mentioned above, my coloring book is now available! I really hope you will check it out as it represents a lot of work and many, many hours of tweaking!


If you liked the illustrations above, they are also available as prints.

Finally, I’m also welcoming a new partner in my store: Annie from Yarnstastic Plushe. My cousin is an incredibly talented crocheteer, and she started selling her patterns in my Etsy store. All the proceeds from her sales are going to the Ronald McDonald House charity which is a charity helping the families of hospitalized children. As she went through extensive heart surgery as a baby and child, this charity really helped her family, and now she wants to give back! Right now, only one pattern is available, but many more are coming (no pressure Annie!).

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