Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Botanical Percy.......


This little character started in 2015 when I was creating a happy little trio of seafarers. She began as a seaside adventurer, writing novellas, drinking hard liquor and carrying on a wild affair with a fiercely handsome fisherman called Xavier - much to the annoyance of a jealous mermaid named Pearl.

Persephone has an edge - which is what I love about her - but she's also very feminine and sensitive. She's very bohemian and I would imagine her house is full of beautiful Persian rugs, trinkets from around the world and of course lots of leafy plants.

Since that crazy whirlwind of a romance two years ago, pipe puffing Persephone (or Percy for short) ran away from her hearts desire (Xavier) and created a haven for herself in her botanical garden and tropical greenhouse where she now writes and paints about butterflies and cactus.

Lots of people and characters have inspired Percy along the way including model and muse Renee Perle  Polish opera singer and garden enthusiast Ganna Walska Surrealist artist Nusch Eluard, and even Eva Green's portrayal as Miss Peregrine in the 2016 movie by Tim Burton.

During the course of the Summer I have created 4 Percy dolls along with a series of illustrations. I will be listing the prints in my shop on August 16th as well as a little series of postcards which will come a little later. There is still one Percy left in the shop and the last one will come mid August. I hope you've fallen for Percy as much as I have, I shall feel very sad to leave her behind but very much hope she'll spring up again next Summer.

The Shell Garden.......Gouache and Watercolour 

Botanical Lounging.....Gouache and Watercolour 

How does your garden grow?

Textile Percy made with new and vintage fabrics....

Waiting.....Gouache and watercolour..

Ink and Gouache on Pastel paper...

Gouache and watercolour

postcard illustrations....Gouache and watercolour.

Beautiful Percy heads to town.....

Mini Tags.......Ink and Crayon on brown card...

Greenhouse and Coffee....Gouache and watercolour....

Pip x

Friday, 12 May 2017

Bringing Up Baby.....

Katherine Hepburn and Baby. This is my absolute favourite costume in the movie. Gold lame gown with floating veil.

  April and May has been consumed with leopard print!

  I have absolutely adored spending the last month and a half immersing myself in one of my very  favourite screwball comedies. No matter how many times I watch this charming classic I always laugh.

  Made in 1938 "Bringing up Baby" is the epitome of the classic 30's screwball comedy.

A rather shy and goofy palaeontologist (played to perfection by Cary Grant) finds himself in a number of predicaments involving a scatterbrained heiress (Katherine Hepburn) and a leopard named Baby!

This little collection of prints and textile pieces has been created whilst re watching the movie on repeat. It has therefore all been made with a heavy dose of giggling. Hope you like each piece.

The illustrated art prints can be purchased in my Etsy shop as individual prints or as a set of three.

Textile wall hanging pieces

  Each of the prints has an added famous caption from the movie.....

8"x 8" illustrated art print. Originally painted in gouache.

8"x 8" illustrated art print. Originally painted in gouache.

8"x 8" illustrated art print. Originally painted in gouache.

Pip x

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Illustrated Map of Iceland....

  I'm so delighted that people are really enjoying my new print An Illustrated Map of Iceland now listed in my Etsy Shop I was so inspired by my recent long weekend in Reykjavik that I couldn't wait to paint this fun and colourful little map pin pointing a few of the pleasures of this glorious country. We managed to pack a fair bit in during our 3 day trip as we'd researched our trips and restaurants we wanted to eat in before we even got on the plane!

  Ever since I was a teenager I've wanted to visit Iceland and now that I've dipped my toe into experiencing it's capital of cool I long to go back, hire a car and drive around the whole country on a 2-3 week trip. I longed to go but now I just long to go back!

Illustrated Map of Iceland ....Originally painted in gouache on heavy watercolour paper. Printed on Epson Matte.

 *** Please note the map is an artistic impression of the country but not to be taken literally***

Pip x

Friday, 23 December 2016

Happy Christmas to one and all.....

"Season's Greetings from the Thin Man and family"

  Thank you to everyone of you that has supported me and my work this year. I am truly grateful that I can indulge in my passions and call it my job! All your comments, purchases and well wishes fill me with so much joy, I can't wait to share with you all my ideas and carefully thought out characters in 2017.

  Very Best Wishes, whether you celebrate Christmas or not and a Happy New Year to all!

Pip x

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Christmas Cards!

Now, I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Christmas, but the witty repartee of Mr and Mrs Charles (aka Nick and Nora, aka Myrna Loy and William Powell) see me through the festivities with a huge dose of cocktails, glamorous ensembles and er.....sleuthing.

This will be the third year that I have taken my favourite onscreen character, Nora Charles and lent her festive spirit to my yearly Christmas card designs.

4 Festive cards inspired by the sophisticated first two Thin Man movies.

There are six Thin Man movies all in all but it's the first two that have always been my favourite, The Thin Man 1934 (set around Christmas Eve) and After the Thin Man 1936 (set around New Years Eve) Each movie sees our delightful and glamorous married couple solving murder mysteries, swigging lots of cocktails and bantering with one another and their little dog Asta.

I have taken Nora's New Years Eve outfit from After the Thin Man 1936 and added a candy cane party hat.

This year I have added Nick Charles into the mix and also added a bonus New Year card. All the outfits that you see in the illustrations are taken from the two movies and designed to perfection but the legendary Dolly Tree. As we can never be certain of the colours of the costumes due to the movies being in black and white I've always had a strong vision in my mind of what I think the colours were. For example, Nora's stripped cocktail dress has to be red right? and her beautiful Christmas shopping suit has to dark, dark green? These are just the way I have imagined them through the years but I have seen a few colourised images that suggest the candy cane cocktail dress may have been green! (No!)

My absolute favourite lounge pyjamas seen in any 1930s movie

....."Only I've been Christmas shopping"

That famous candy cane cocktail dress!

This years designs are now in my shop. I have also put together a little set featuring illustrations from previous years (PLEASE NOTE these are printed on different paper stock)

Throughout all of my Thin Man designs I always feature the Christmas wreath, lots of cocktails and of course Asta their funny little wire fox terrier.

Merry Christmas
Pip x

Friday, 30 September 2016

Halloween Mini Prints.....

Agnes the Witch  Dark brown gouache and a sepia pitt pen

  With my absolute favourite time of year just around the corner, I get all excited for dark chilly nights, falling leaves and the smell of bonfires. I've always been Ms Autumn/Winter so relish that special time when the children go back to school after the Summer and I can start working on my Halloween offerings.

  Another batch of Halloween mini prints have now been listed in my shop This is my second batch as yesterdays sets sold out before I had chance to write a post!

Agnes the Witch  mini prints by Curious Pip.

Mini prints backed onto beautiful black heavy paper. Perfect for framing.

Agnes the Witch created in dark brown gouache and sepia pitt pen

   This years Halloween character is inspired by Gale Sondergaad, who was the original choice for the  Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. Sadly she turned the role down when it was decided the witch would be 'ugly' rather than glamourous. I think Ms Sondergaard and her agents felt it would damage her image as she usually played slinky villains! 

Gale Sondergaard in a screen test for the Wizard of Oz 1939

  I have also found inspiration in two old children's classics, The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy and The Little Witch by Anna Elizabeth Bennett. I read both these tales as a child and re reading them again as a adult has given me such pleasure. I absolutely loved both Mildred Hubble and Minikin Snickasnee as a little girl.

  Three wicked sequin doll face decorations where also made - although sadly I'm afraid they flew in the shop and flew straight back out again.

Witchy, witchy! Textile doll face decorations made with 100% wool black felt and hand sewn beads and sequins

"I'll get you my pretty!!!"
  Have a wonderful October and I promise I won't leave it too long before I post again!

Pip x

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Run Away with the Circus!......

Working progress of  Olga the aerial performer extraordinaire!

  Earlier in the year I was asked to contribute to a very exciting dream project. I was asked to join a group of artists for an exciting exhibition with the working title 'Circus Acts' Imagine my absolute delight when the brief informed me that all should be inspired by the circus days of old and that if I could get my hands on a copy of the epic Taschen book "The Circus 1870's - 1950's then do some research and draw inspiration from its hundreds and hundreds of breathtaking photos...

   The mammoth book in question has luckily been on my shelf for a number of years and is regularly poured over for inspiration along with my own fascination with its history.

  I decided to create two dolls for the show, and have been working on them both over the last few months alongside other projects. I started by making lots of sketches (which is what I always do when creating new characters) thinking about the colours of the circus and the era I wanted my dolls to look like they'd stepped from. 

Having choose the late 1920's for my showgirls I decided to dress their hair in little plaited buns - very similar to the boudoir dolls of the era. I also watched and took inspiration from two of director Tod Brownings classics movies - silent thriller "The Show" 1927 and his controversial cult classic "Freaks" 1932

Neptuna! Queen of the mermaids "The Show" 1927

Leila Hyams and Daisy Earles in "Freaks" 1932
Olga Baclanova's opening shot as the "Peacock of the Air" in "Freaks"

The whole dazzling spectacle will include work from printmakers, textile artists, photographers and jewellery designers. For added drama, the exhibition curator Kate Hickson will be turning her Herefordshire home into a magical big top grotto for the whole colourful two day event taking place on the weekend of September the 10th and 11th in Ledbury.

Textile Art, Sideshow Mermaid.

Textile Art, Olga the Aerial Performer.

If you happen to be in the area I shall be there on Sunday and would love you come and say hi! 

Please see here for more details

Olga Baclanova and Harry Earles in "Freaks" 1932

Pip x