Living in a small town makes being an artist isolating at best. Unless you paint the provencial items that are considered "acceptable"....and that list is frustratingly small, you are really out of luck. When your tastes range to the "fantastical", it can be a little, well, even more daunting.
Recently, upon hearing of a "fantastic" art show of the "out of town" variety, I couldn't pass it up. What a great excuse to not only get out of town, but to see some really great art! So, one fairly mundane roadtrip - which did involve the police - both very kind, but of the sort of meeting that left no evidence, a couple of tornadoes, and - and one long night and a longer day, and Andie and I land in KCMO. Brilliant time and we didn't even land on any witches.
Let me start by saying that in my isolation at home, Spectrum Books are my one of the rare art joys I have, so to actually get to land in the middle of the Spectrum LIVE show, well, it made this old gal's day. It was amazing - coloring outside the lines, over the lines, with pallettes rich in colors that you'd never see in Dorothy's Kansas and creepy, crawly, crazy things that made you look, look away and look again! All beautiful. I was in full geek mode too sadly - I couldn't say a word without looking like a total idiot, but I still was so overjoyed to be there. So happy to get to actually GO to an ART event after 11 years of just doing "mom" stuff, that words fail me, yet again and the dork factor just keeps rising.
I hope that Andie will look around these shows and decide she wants to work on her own art (REALLY WORK) - when you see some of the best artists alive all around you, is beyond humbling, but also SO inspiring!
Another one of the many reasons for going to the Spectrum FA LIVE show was to see the work of Virginie Ropars from Brittany/France. Virginie is spectacularly talented and amazingly creative and a delightful lady with the most delightfully fantastic red hair. She was practically sold out by early the very first (preview) day, but we managed to score some prints of her awsome work and to be very generously gifted with a set of wonderful postcards by the artist herself (she's so nice) - and don't anyone ever expect to see one of these babies in the mail. MINE. Grrrrr!!! I'm keeping them all for my scrapbook.
But while we were there we ran across so many other artists that it was just mindblowing. Mr. Charles Vess, who is such a delightful fellow. Every bit the artist (from his flowing hair to the earring) but so gentle and generous with his time. He was gracious enough to illustrate a quick pic and sign a book for Andie - which she had already finished before we even left MO.
Then there are the Shiflett Bros. from the Lone Star State :) - amazing and always amusing and their "dimensional" comic book characters are great - always unexpected and just great.
Scott Quick - so very witty and so gracious, talented and he just seems to be the most exceptionally nice fellow, my daughter Andie spent most of the trip home with her nose in his Camden Bottoms' Book, traveling in the imaginary world in nothing but her own bath towel and laughing and snorting for most of the trip, both real and imagained - until the tornado, but that's another story. Scott does the most amazing hand lettering and linework - we had a laugh about the tools of the trade back in the day (ruling pen, french curves, lettraset, lettering guides, t squares, compasses), but he and I both admitted we still have them tucked away for safekeeping. His are probably still getting a lot of use because he is wonderful at hand drawing unlike mine which are in the flat files.....somewhere.
Mr. Jean Baptist Monge, the wonderful Canadian artist and his beautiful wife - I was probably just an idiot because I loved hearing them talk and he was drawing too, so I could have spent the entire day right there! His world is inhabited by beautiful fairies, dragons and strange little dwarves or gnomes or I'm not exactly sure what their lineage or genealogy is, but they were wonderfully rendered in both line and color and always with a twinkle in their eye - I'm so wishing that JBM would illustrate a lovely faery tale princess story or three or four because his work is SO transporting. JBM said his favorite subject was animals, but I'm so glad that he also does the fantastical, because it has a sweetness that makes you want more and our wonderful print with the dour bulldog and his fae companion is a hilarious juxtaposition of reality and fantasy.
Andie (and me too) loved the work of Annie Stegg - she's such a sweet, southern belle and her work reflects that with the sweet portraits she does. That doesn't begin to do her work justice though - you just have to see it - needless to say, we picked up a couple of prints and I am so in LOVE with another one of her portraits from the Thumbellina series, that I would in all honesty, really love to own it, but the print will be lovely too. lol
Well, I could just go on and on and on. All the artists were so talented and having such a good time - the awards show venue was to die for...Downtown KC MO - at the Midland Theatre. It was perfect.