Watercolor, colored pencil, and collage, 2013
Happy long weekend, everyone. It’s the first Sunday of the month, so I have a newly-graduated illustration student visiting 7-Imp today. Her name is Phoebe Wahl, and I’m so pleased she’s here this morning, sharing her artwork, because I really like it. Since it’s a long weekend, I might just hear the sound of cyber-crickets here today at 7-Imp, but I hope some of you are around. Phoebe’s artwork is a treat.
As you’ll read below, Phoebe likes to work primarily with watercolor and collage, making (for a reason I love, which she explains below) very textured works you want to reach out and touch. Her stylized, richly patterned illustrations make me feel … I dunno. The word cozy comes to mind. Phoebe’s here to tell us a bit more about herself and then showcase some art, and I thank her again for visiting.
Phoebe: I am Phoebe Wahl. I graduated this spring from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. I am originally from the Northwest coast of Washington state and am moving to Portland, Oregon, this Fall. My connection to the Pacific Northwest plays a big role in my work. While I was living in Providence during college, my homesickness definitely manifested itself through what I was making. I found myself constantly drawn to painting blue islands and evergreen trees.
So much of my work is about the idea of home. Of comforting spaces. Spaces of nostalgia and sanctuary. Quiet moments between people and nature or parents and children or lovers.
Textures and patterns are important to me. I work in watercolor and gouache, usually combined with collage and colored pencil. I collect lots of oversized quilting books or books about fabric that I cut from. I also make a lot of three-dimensional soft sculptures of animals and people, using thrifted and recycled fabrics and wool felt. Both in my two-dimensional and three-dimensional work, heavy handedness is important to me, touched-ness. I think as we move further into the digital age, the relationships we have with hand-made things are growing increasingly important.
I have so many ideas for projects I want to make that I sometimes think I need a few more lifetimes to complete them all. I want to do children’s books, and I would love to get more into animation. I want to make giant wearable puppets and incorporate them into a theater production I stage and design. I want to do textile design and learn how to quilt.
I want to make objects and art that people feel connected to, as if they had seen it before in their childhood or a dream.
Watercolor and collage, 2012
(based on the book by Johanna Spyri)
Watercolor, gouache, collage, and altered book, 2013
(Click to enlarge)
Watercolor, gouache, and collage, 2013
(Click to enlarge)
Watercolor and collage, 2013
(Watercolor and collage, 2012
(Click to enlarge)
All images are used with permission of Phoebe Wahl.
Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.
We need to try hard to find some good news this week, huh? Even if it’s just the little things.
1) I started my piano lessons! I like my teacher. I’m learning a lot.
Part of my homework is to listen to this below. I LOVE THIS HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT.
p.s. As of this week, I can plunk out a simple version of that! I’m telling you, in no time at all I’ll be joining Rufus on tour. See?
(No, no. I know. That is, quite possibly, the lamest Photoshopping job ever.)
2) The first couple weeks of school were rough for my second grader. I think she’s finally turned a corner, though. That’s the kick. (Wearing a cardigan daily to school, which makes her think of mama, helps. She squeezes the corner of said cardigan when she feels like she’d rather be home. I’ll just have to wash that cardigan a LOT.)
4) Yesterday, my good friend and her husband visited. This friend was my high school drama and English lit teacher, and I realized how nervous I’ll be when she reads our book (come April of next year).
I’ll be nervous in an excited and humbled and honored-that-she’s-reading-it kind of way.
Also, I was able to give this friend some stacks of children’s books for another of her former students, who is teaching here for the Peace Corps. This is a school that really needs books, so this handing-off-of-books is just a good thing to have happen.
5) My vinyl copy of Sam Phillips’ kickin’ new CD arrived this week. Sam took old vinyl covers and re-purposed them with her funky collage art, as shown in the video below, and I ordered one.
See the art at second 00:24? That’s the one Sam sent me!
6) Our cat, Pumpkinfacehead, had a birthday this week. Our friends who gave us this kitten sent this old photo they found of him when he was but a wee kitten:
What are YOUR kicks this week?