Weekly news: February 1st, 2022

weekly news

(This is a newsletter 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. Et elle est également en français!)

Happy Year of the Tiger everyone!

I hope this year brings you luck, advancement in your projects, time with your loved ones, courage to take constructive risks, an abundance of resources, fun, joy and love!

I made you a special video to celebrate the Tết or Vietnamese Lunar New Year. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

We’ll go back to our regular scheduled programming next week, but rest assured that I’m making progress on my tulip painting 🙂

Until next week,

Take care 🧡🧡🧡

Special New Year Video

Inspiration

Why not take this special day to see what’s going on with the Big Cat Rescue live cam? So far, this Tiger seems to have the same schedule as our cats: sleep, wake up, look around, repeat!Why not take this special day to see what’s going on with the Big Cat Rescue live cam? So far, this Tiger seems to have the same schedule as our cats: sleep, wake up, look around, repeat!Why not take this special day to see what’s going on with the Big Cat Rescue live cam? So far, this Tiger seems to have the same schedule as our cats: sleep, wake up, look around, repeat!

L’Atelier

A small treat…

I’ve also made (finally) December’s and January’s vlog video!



Weekly news: January 26, 2022

weekly news

(This is a newsletter 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. Et elle est également en français!)

I hope you are all doing well!

This week, I’ve started work on my first botanical painting of the year… with a twist! I’ll share it with you when it is more advanced. A friend suggested that I should paint tulips *uhm* a year ago, and I am very happy to be starting work on it this week. I think it’s the perfect cure for the winter blues. It has been incredibly cold, and going outside really has been a struggle. It feels encouraging to be dreaming of tulips and Spring.

Aside from that, I’ve been researching solutions to improve my packaging and reduce the amount of paper or bio-plastic I’m using for orders at the boutique. I designed this stamp to use instead of stickers on envelopes. I really like it! I think stamps have a wonderful feel on Kraft paper.

Until next week,

Take care 🧡🧡🧡

Inspiration

A very cute and adorable storybook!

Head over to the blog for a complete review!

L’Atelier

One last and new version of this power couple is now available in the shop!

Wouldn’t make a fun card for Valentine’s day?

A small treat…

This photo series is fascinating: polar bears exploring an abandoned weather station. While you’re there, I hope you’ll explore Dmitry Kokh’s website his photos are stunning!



Book review: Mina, by Matthew Forsythe

Book Reviews

(Par ici en français!)

I am not sure where I first saw the gorgeous illustrations of Matthew Forsythe, but one day my librarian sent me a message to tell me that Mina was ready to be picked up. What a pleasure to discover this book, almost by accident!

I was really excited to dive into this book because the illustrations are so adorable! The characters are designed with skill and attention. They are so simple yet incredibly expressive and relatable. Surrounding them is a rich world filled with books, nature and friends. I particularly enjoyed the house in this story: I could imagine myself lounging around reading books on the sunlight carpet too! The illustrations are magical in that they are rich in whimsical and fascinating details. Creating a feeling of warmth, the colours are rich, and sometimes unexpected, and make you feel instantly wrapped in the woods where our mousy heroine lives. Adding to this, soft textures tie everything together to create an enchanting universe.

If all of that doesn’t make you want to pick up this book, the story will! Incredibly funny, this story has the reader anticipate the ending with trepidation. I am quite sure the ending will be unexpected and surprising to you, as it was for me. I thought back a lot about this simple story and what it meant. I have yet to come to a definite understanding, but one thing is for sure, trust and friendship play a central role in this book.

I hope you will look for this book as I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. The magical and whimsical illustrations are sure to captivate you, while the story will make you ask for more adventures of this atypical family. Happy reading!

Mina, by Matthew Forsythe, Simon & Schuster


 

Book review: Mina par Matthew Forsythe

(Ce livre est disponible en français! Youpiii!)

Je ne sais plus trop où j’ai vu pour la première fois les magnifiques illustrations de Matthew Forsythe, mais un jour, ma bibliothécaire m’a envoyé un message pour me dire que Mina était prête à être empruntée. Quel plaisir de découvrir ce livre, presque par hasard !

J’étais vraiment impatiente de me plonger dans ce livre car les illustrations sont tellement adorables ! Les personnages sont dessinés avec soin et attention. Ils sont si simples, mais incroyablement expressifs et attachants. Ils sont entourés d’un monde riche, rempli de livres, de nature et d’amis. J’ai particulièrement apprécié la maison de cette histoire : Je m’imaginais moi aussi me prélasser en lisant des livres sur le tapis ensoleillé ! Les illustrations sont magiques, car elles sont riches en détails amusants et fascinants. Créant un sentiment de chaleur, les couleurs sont riches, parfois inattendues, et vous font vous sentir instantanément enveloppé dans les bois où vit notre héroïne timide. De plus, des textures douces lient le tout pour créer un univers tendre et enchanteur.

Si tout cela ne vous donne pas envie de lire ce livre, l’histoire le fera ! Incroyablement drôle, cette histoire amène le lecteur à anticiper la fin avec appréhension. Je suis certaine que la fin sera inattendue et surprenante pour vous, comme elle l’a été pour moi. J’ai beaucoup réfléchi à cette histoire simple et à sa signification. Je ne suis pas encore parvenue à une compréhension définitive, mais une chose est sûre, la confiance et l’amitié jouent un rôle central dans ce livre.

J’espère que vous rechercherez ce livre car je suis sûre que vous l’apprécierez autant que moi. Les illustrations magiques et fantaisistes ne manqueront pas de vous captiver, tandis que l’histoire vous fera rêver à d’autres aventures de cette famille atypique. Bonne lecture !

Mina, de Matthew Forsythe, Comme des Géants

Weekly news: January 19, 2022

weekly news

(This is a newsletter 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. Et elle est également en français!)

I hope this finds you well!

This week, I finished Lady Tiger! I really like how she is assorted to Lord Tiger I showed you last week. It was so much fun researching and designing their costumes. I really cannot get over how complex and adorned Elizabethan clothes were.

I hope you’ll visit my portfolio for more pictures.

Since I had this wonderful pair of Tiger Lords completed, I worked on some products to add to the shop. I made these “peeking” bookmarks, and , if I can say so myself, they are so fun. These two tigers really have the most intense gaze, and I thought it would make each reader laugh each time they picked up their books to have the Lady or Lord stare at them.

Administratively, it was also a very productive week as I am done with inventory! I have to admit I dreaded it, but this year I was able to make this tedious task more pleasant by shifting my perspective. By feeling so grateful for my work, my shop, and even the expenses I had for the shop last year, I really didn’t feel dragged down by inventory. I only hope I can remember this mind trick next year!

Until next week,

Take care 🧡🧡🧡

Inspiration

Such a beautiful book: both the story and illutrations are wondeful!

Head over to the blog for a complete review!

L’Atelier

Lady and Lord Tiger really have the spotlight this week in the shop!

A small treat…

I had so much fun scrolling through Meetissai’s pictures. This artist makes funny and quirky little sculptures of animals. They are often very funny or … a bit wacky.



Weekly news: January 12, 2022

weekly news

(This is a newsletter 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. Et elle est également en français!)

Happy New Year 2022!

I’m wishing you all a wonderful year filled with good books, moments in nature and little joys every day.

I also hope you had a lovely holiday season and that you were able to rest and recharge for a few days.

During the break, the shop was open, and I kept busy taking care of your orders. Thank you so much for you support! It made me so happy to fill out your orders. When I was not packing orders, I slept a lot, ate too much chocolate, read some books and watched some movies: the perfect holiday! It really filled me up with ideas and projects for this new year. But first, I wanted to finish the odds and ends from 2021.

First, this Tiger King!

I loved researching Elizabethan fashion for this painting! These clothes were quite incredible, weren’t they? I’m working on Queen Tiger now, and she should finish up my Tiger series. I had so much fun painting and drawing these tigers! They are such beautiful animals.

On my plate this year: many, many, many flowers! I cannot wait to start working on a wildflower series. After painting fun Tigers, I’m excited to go back to botanical painting and its precision.

I have so many fun surprises planned, but all good surprises start with a secret!

So while you wait,  please visit  King Tiger in my portfolio!

Until next week,

Take care 🧡🧡🧡

Inspiration

Let’s start the year with some fun and silly reading!

Head over to the blog for a complete review!

L’Atelier

A small treat…

Let’sgo on some spirit travelling through the wonderful photos of artist Lazar Gintchin. His website is full of wonderfully beautiful pictures, but I particularly enjoyed the Faroe Islands gallery.



Book review: Wild Beings, by Dorien Brouwers

Book Reviews

(Par ici en français!)

I stumbled upon this book while browsing at my favourite bookstore, Brome Lake Books. It is always dangerous for me to enter this bookshop because it is impossible to leave empty-handed, yet it is a danger I cannot resist! This time, I left with Wild Beings by Dorien Brouwers.

What immediately caught my attention were all the textures. Each page is layers upon layers of different scratching, stamping, watercolour and other unidentified but beautiful textures. The colours are also used in a very fun and wonderful way. I particularly liked how white was used to add details and create beautiful lush yet light effects. The illustrations were made using watercolours, and this medium is used in a very creative and complex way. The book also includes monoprinting techniques which I think add some of the beautiful textures that are so compelling. I am so impressed by how incredible each composition is: rich in colours, patterns, animals and textures, each page is a whole scene to admire!

The beautiful diversity of animals illustrated also makes it a pleasure to flip through the book. I also really enjoyed how children were depicted, or eluded to, in each illustration. Once I noticed this, it was fun to look for the children hidden in each page. Throughout the book, the illustrations and text weave a relationship between children, animals and nature. All three become interlocked in the most beautiful and vivid way. This book really calls on the reader to go outside and explore. Each page made me want to jump, climb or swim!

I am so glad I brought this book home. The illustrations are so inspiring and beautiful! The message of the book is also rich in wisdom and excitement for the natural world. It is a real pleasure to look at this book, and I hope you will look it up too!

Wild Beings, by Dorien Brouwers, Little Brown and Company


 

Book review: Wild Beings, by Dorien Brouwers

(Malheureusement, ce livre n’est pas encore disponible en français, mais les illustrations sont si jolies, que je suis certaine que vous aurez beaucoup de plaisir à l’admirer quand même!)

Je suis tombée sur ce livre en parcourant les rayons de ma librairie préférée, Brome Lake Books. Il est toujours dangereux pour moi d’entrer dans cette librairie car il est impossible d’en ressortir les mains vides, mais c’est un danger auquel je ne peux pas résister ! Cette fois, je suis repartie avec Wild Beings (Créatures sauvages) de Dorien Brouwers.

Ce qui a immédiatement attiré mon attention, ce sont toutes les textures. Chaque page est constituée de plusieurs couches de grattage, d’estampage, d’aquarelle et d’autres textures non identifiées mais magnifiques. Les couleurs sont également utilisées d’une manière très amusante et merveilleuse. J’ai particulièrement apprécié l’utilisation du blanc pour ajouter des détails et créer de magnifiques effets luxuriants mais légers. Les illustrations ont été réalisées à l’aquarelle, et ce médium est utilisé de manière très créative et complexe. Le livre comprend également des techniques de mono-impression qui, à mon avis, ajoutent certaines des magnifiques textures qui sont si fascinantes. Je suis très impressionnée par la complexité de chaque composition : riche en couleurs, en motifs, en animaux et en textures, chaque page est une scène à part entière à admirer !

La belle diversité des animaux illustrés fait également que c’est un plaisir de feuilleter le livre. J’ai également beaucoup apprécié la façon dont les enfants sont représentés, ou évoqués, dans chaque illustration. Une fois que j’ai remarqué cela, il était amusant de chercher les enfants cachés dans chaque page. Tout au long du livre, les illustrations et le texte tissent une relation entre les enfants, les animaux et la nature. Tous les trois s’imbriquent de la manière la plus belle et la plus vivante qui soit. Ce livre invite vraiment le lecteur à sortir et à explorer. Chaque page me donne envie de sauter, de grimper ou de nager !

Je suis si heureuse d’avoir ramené ce livre à la maison. Les illustrations sont si inspirantes et si belles ! Le message du livre est également riche en sagesse et en enthousiasme pour le monde naturel. C’est un vrai plaisir de parcourir ce livre, et j’espère que vous le découvrirez aussi !

Wild Beings, by Dorien Brouwers, Little Brown and Company

Book review: Poucette par Marco Mazzoni

Book Reviews

(Over here in English!)

Oh là là, ce livre est un vrai trésor! Marco Mazzoni est un artiste italien qui utilise les crayons de couleur de façon simplement magique. Dans cette magnifique version du conte d’Andersen, Poucette, on est emporté dans un univers de couleurs et de fleurs.

Poucette est l’une de mes histoires préférées. J’adorais le dessin-animé de 1994 lorsque j’étais petite, même si les enlèvement successifs ainsi que les mariages forcés de la petite Poucette me faisaient un peu peur. C’est avec un plaisir renouvelé que j’ai déniché cette merveilleuse version à la bibliothèque. Les illustrations de Marco Mazzoni sont simplement sublimes! L’utilisation des couleurs est presque kaléidoscopique et donne un effect diffus et une impression de légèreté à chaque page. La multitude de fleurs quant à elle nous emporte dans un univers incroyable et parfois un peu inquiétant, comme si, tout comme Poucette, on y était emporté malgré soi. Finalement, les personnages animaliers un peu glauques de l’histoire sont merveilleusement dépeints. J’adore la façon dont les illustrations ne sont pas simplement une représentation graphique de l’histoire mais plutôt une série d’impressions diaphanes que l’histoire inspire aux lecteurs. C’est un travail extraordinaire où la beauté et l’épouvantable se marient avec grâce, faisant un parfait écho au conte d’Andersen.

J’espère vraiment que vous pourrez dénicher ce magnifique livre. L’univers créé par l’artiste est tout simplement incroyable et merveilleux. Chaque page est un chef d’œuvre à regarder encore et encore. Ce livre saura plaire à tous les amateurs de conte classique et piquer la curiosité de tous les lecteurs!

Poucette, Marco Mazzoni, Albin Michel

Mignolina, Marco Mazzoni, Rizzoli (version Italienne)


 

Book review: Thumbelina, by Marco Mazzoni

(This book is not yet published in English, but the illustrations alone make it worthwhile, no matter which language you read!)

Oh my, this book is a real treasure! Marco Mazzoni is an Italian artist who uses colored pencils in a simply magical way. In this beautiful version of Andersen’s fairy tale, Thumbelina, we are carried away in a world of colors and flowers.

Thumbelina is one of my favorite stories. I loved the 1994 cartoon when I was a child, even though the successive kidnappings and forced marriages of little Thumbelina scared me a bit. It is with renewed pleasure that I found this wonderful version at the library. The illustrations by Marco Mazzoni are simply sublime! The use of colors is almost kaleidoscopic and gives a diffuse effect and a feeling of lightness to each page. As for the multitude of flowers, they take us into an incredible and sometimes disturbing universe, as if, just like Thumbelina, we were carried away in spite of ourselves. Finally, the slightly creepy animal characters of the story are wonderfully portrayed. I love how the illustrations are not simply a graphic representation of the story but rather a series of diaphanous impressions that the story inspires to the readers. It’s an extraordinary piece of work where the beautiful and the gruesome blend gracefully, in a perfect echo of Andersen’s tale.

I really hope you can find this beautiful book. The universe created by the artist is simply incredible and wonderful. Each page is a masterpiece to be looked at again and again. This book will appeal to all fans of classic tales and will capture the curiosity of all readers!

Poucette, Marco Mazzoni, Albin Michel (French version)

Mignolina, Marco Mazzoni, Rizzoli (Italian version)

Book review: La Vallée aux 100 Prodiges, par Sandrine Gestin

Book Reviews

(Over here in English!)

Cette semaine, je vous présente un autre trésor de mon enfance, un livre jeu, un livre dont vous êtes l’héroïne: La vallée aux 100 prodiges de Sandrine Gestin. Je vous avais déjà parlé de cette illustratrice incroyable ici.

J’ai passé tellement de temps à lire, à explorer et à résoudre ce livre! Si vous n’êtes pas familier avec le concept de livre-jeu, une aventure est proposé au début du livre. Par la suite, chaque page renferme une énigme et un choix qui vous réfère à une autre page. On parcours ainsi les pages au hasard de nos choix judicieux ou moins astucieux. Cette aventure se déroule dans le royaume féérique de Kïnsayl et les lecteurs sont invités à aider une fée égarée. Sur le chemin, on rencontre des elfes, des animaux fantastiques et des personnages farfelus et parfois inquiétants. Le jeu est très bien fait: mis à part l’aventure principale, des petites quêtes secondaires font en sorte que l’on revient encore et encore à ce livre pour le résoudre complètement.

Maintenant, ce qui me fascine le plus avec ce livre, à part la mécanique de jeu impeccable, ce sont bien entendu les incroyables illustrations. Sandrine Gestin a un talent incroyable pour représenter les fées, les elfes et les univers de féérie. Ces peintures respirent la magie! J’aime beaucoup les compositions riches en tellement détaillées de chaque page. Les différents nœuds elfiques que l’on retrouve dans ce livre sont simplement à couper le souple: il est difficile d’imaginer comment l’artiste a pu les concevoir aussi clairement et précisément. L’univers qui est ainsi crée est magnifique. Les différentes textures ajoutent aussi beaucoup de réalisme à chaque tableau. J’aime aussi beaucoup les personages qu’elle crée: ses fées et ses elfes sont tout de suite reconnaissables tellement son style est consistent et solide. Finalement, on ne peut qu’être épaté devant toutes ces magnifiques images qui nous emportent directement au royaume de féerie.

C’est un plaisir particulier de retrouver un livre de son enfance. Certains sont un peu défraichis ou pas aussi bien que dans nos souvenirs. Celui-ci est tout à l’opposé: toujours aussi amusant, incroyablement plus riche que je me souvenais, ce livre a résisté de façon impeccable au passage du temps et continue d’inspirer et d’émerveiller.

La Vallée aux 100 prodiges, par Sandrine Gestin, Gründ


 

Book review: The Valley of 100 Wonders, by Sandrine Gestin

(Unfortunately this book has not been translated to English 😦 )

This week, I would like to introduce you to another treasure from my childhood, a game book, a book in which you are the heroine: The Valley of 100 Wonders by Sandrine Gestin. I previously told you about this incredible illustrator here.

I spent so much time reading, exploring and solving this book! If you are not familiar with the concept of game books, there is an adventure at the beginning of the book. Then, each page contains a puzzle and a choice that takes you to another page. We go through the pages according to our choices, judicious or not so clever. This adventure takes place in the fairy kingdom of Kïnsayl and the readers are invited to help a lost fairy. On the way, we meet elves, fantastic animals and eccentric and sometimes disturbing characters. The game is very well done: apart from the main adventure, small secondary quests make you come back again and again to this book to solve it completely.

Now, what fascinates me most about this book, besides the impeccable game play mechanics, are of course the incredible illustrations. Sandrine Gestin has an incredible talent for portraying fairies, elves and fairy worlds. Her paintings exude magic! I love the incredibly detailed and rich compositions of each page. The various elven knotwork found in this book are simply breathtaking: it’s hard to imagine how the artist was able to design them so clearly and precisely. The universe that is created is beautiful. The different textures also add a lot of realism to each painting. I also love the characters she creates: her fairies and elves are immediately recognizable because her style is so consistent and solid. Finally, one can only be amazed by all these magnificent images that take us directly to the realms of enchantment.

It’s a special pleasure to find a book from your childhood. Some are a bit faded or not as good as we remember them. This one is quite the opposite: still as fun, incredibly richer than I remembered, this book has stood the test of time impeccably and continues to inspire and marvel.

La Vallée aux 100 prodiges, par Sandrine Gestin, Gründ

Just In: Vietnamese Fruit Market Tiger!

New in the Portfolio, weekly news

Something new has arrived to my portfolio! I had so much fun painting this piece. I hope you will visit my portfolio to see some process pictures 🙂

If you like this piece and would like to support my work as an independent artist, it is available in my online shop as a card and print.


Forest Flower Painting: Something New in the Portfolio!

New in the Portfolio

I just finished adding my most recent painting to my portfolio! I wanted to capture the magic of Spring in the woods. It is just starting to warm up over here, and everything is brighter. I hope you will go take a look at my new painting in my portfolio!