Wednesday 22 July 2020

Little Message from Pip.....

  Thank you for visiting my Curious Pip blog. 

  When I started my business back in 2011 I wrote almost daily accounts of my doll making progress and documented things that inspired me.

  Here you will find some old archived posts (I have had a bit of a tidy up and deleted a lot) I did think about deleting the whole blog but in some ways it's a nice reminder of my earlier pieces and a documented account of how my creations have evolved since I started. 

  For my latest work and ramblings you can follow me on Instagram or visit my website (which is how you may have got here in the first place)

  Pip x

Sunday 8 April 2018

Sweet Jean.....

Textile Jean Harlow by Curious Pip.

Jean Harlow has always been among my favourite Pip subjects - I've been a fan since I was about 15. Whenever I watch one of her classic movies or spend time reading about her short but fascinating life, she pulls me in with a desperate urge to bring her to life once more.

I've always been fascinated with the real Jean Harlow - I love her onscreen characters, but she really was a far, far cry from all the man-eating Bombshells she became so famous for. Underneath all her gorgeously crafted brassy, sex symbols was a shy, down to earth home girl, who, in my mind, was sadly manipulated both emotionally and financially by her family and the studio. 

There's a lot of information out there on the Internet about Jean's life and career, as well as some fantastic books - books that finally do Jean Harlow justice by portraying her sweet, warm and very generous nature. I feel so happy that over the years the real Jean has now overshadowed a lot of the sensationalised rubbish written about her in previous decades. 

These two latest textile pieces are inspired by the Jean I've always been fascinated with, the Jean who loved her pets, enjoyed a weekend of golf and who was utterly devoted to her beau William Powell.

Pip x

Sunday 1 April 2018

The Countess Prints....

Shoe Hat....gouache and ink

Since creating The Countess in the Autumn of last year I've found it very difficult to let her go. She evolved and captivated me to the point where I just didn't want to draw anything else.
In my first little series of illustrations our slinky ghoul wore a gown a little paler in colour and travelled everywhere with her beautiful pink spider Salvador. This second collection sees our raven haired siren visit a large and beautiful department store - the sort you'd see only in gorgeous old movies (think Park Avenue Sydney's Salon in The Women 1939) Her pink gown has evolved into shocking Schiaparelli pink and her pet spider is hiding at home (in some cold, yet beautifully furnished castle somewhere) 

10 x 8 prints

The Countess is all the classic glamour ghouls that have so inspired me through the years: Carroll Borland as Luna, Carolyn Jones as Morticia, Maila Nurmi as Vampira and Gloria Holden as Dracula's Daughter, to name a few. In the same vein as 2016's Autumn character (Agnes the Witch) I have toned her down a little by giving her an element of sugar/sweet - think Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha in Bewitched. I've also taken huge inspiration from my favourite movie The Women 1939 and the scenes involving the perfume counter, the fashion parade and the various beauty salon treatments. 

I especially love my decision to turn her gown into a shocking pink Elsa Schiaparelli shade.The work of Schiaparelli has always been of huge inspiration to me and I feel certain The Countess would be mesmerised by the quirky and surreal fashions of this exciting designer. Elsa Schiaparelli made shocking pink her signature colour in the late 1930's creating gowns, capes and shoes in this daring and beautiful flash of colour. She described 'Hot Pink' as "Life giving, like all the light and the birds and the fish in the world put together, a colour of China and Peru but not of the West"

I am so happy with everyone's response to the countess and am thrilled the first limited amount of prints sold out! Don't worry if you didn't get the one you wanted as these prints will be a permanent item in my Etsy Shop - why not just collect them all! I will also soon be adding a few to the collection that are not already listed.

***Remember, I don't write a blog so much these days so if you want to see my latest dolls it's always best to follow me on Instagram which I use as my main platform to showcase and announce listings of my dolls***


Pip x

Sunday 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas One and All.......

I've been illustrating this slinky glamour ghoul, in her Schiaparelli pink gown, on and off throughout 2017 - she's become quite a pal. I see no reason to forsake her at Christmas, or indeed, as we head into 2018 - she's fast becoming my fashion icon!

She is inspired by all the glamour vamps of the 1930's 40's,50's and 60's so, think, Gale Sondergaard, Maila Nurmi, Carolyn Jones or Carroll Borland, throw in some high glamour from the likes of Elsa Schiaparelli and voila! you have The Countess!

I love her bare bones tree and ghosty tree decorations. This painting is a huge homage to the fabulous American cartoonist and his creation of The Addams Family. His wonderful, macabre illustrations of the Addams Family troupe appeared in The New Yorker regularly from the late 1930's to the mid 1980's. Seriously, do some research they're witty, deadly, but oh so funny.

May I take this opportunity, on this short but sweet little post, to wish my friends and followers who celebrate Christmas to have a wonderful festive time and I look forward to sharing with you my inspirations, work and witterings in 2018.

Pip x

Thursday 23 November 2017

Flutter, flutter little bat, how I wonder where you're at....

"Bat Girl"

This dazzling handmade Bat Girl has just fluttered into my Shop. Act fast as I have a feeling she won't be lurking for long.

I shall be a rather sad to say goodbye to my little friend. Having spent many hours creating this eye-catching little character I felt in a constant bubble of 1920s costume parties. She has the look of a dazzling flapper about her in her black lace and sparkling sequins. I've not used a machine at all, preferring more and more these days to work free hand. I enjoy the slow, calming sense that hand stitching gives me. If you witness every tiny stitch in a piece, you get much more of a thrill at the end.

Pip x

Thursday 24 August 2017

Farewell Summer.....

Tutti Frutti Carmen Pins

Little hand drawn tags which went out with each Tutti Frutti wall hanger or pin

Sad to be saying farewell to the characters that filled my Summer, Botanical Percy with her dainty pipe and colourful Carmen in her Tutti Frutti hat. Alas, I am now sketching ideas for a new original Pip character which will keep me company as the new school year starts. I love it when the weather turns chilly and the dark nights creep in  - which, if I haven't told you before is my favourite time of year. As soon as I've had a little Summer trip and the school holidays are drawing to a close I really feel myself start to yearn for that familiar sense of the coming of Autumn - you start to notice the leaves falling and the spiders start their epic web making in your garden. 

Saying farewell to my last Percy doll

I shipped out my last Percy doll today and am putting the finishing touches to the last of my pre order Carmens. But If you are still longing for a bit of bohemian, sun soaked, carefree Percy the prints and mini prints are all up in my Etsy shop.

Tutti Frutti wall hanger

Pip x

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