J’adore Nathalie Lété!

 

 

Oh, so charming, beautiful, enchanting, distinctive — Nathalie Lété’s art! I was attracted to her unique style upon first seeing her decorated plates at Anthropologie.

 

 

 

 

As you probably know, I’m a ceramics freak, and loved her flowers, birds, and folkloric motifs before I actually knew who she was. Until I did a little research, I HAD NO IDEA her designs were everywhere, and I mean on everything from clothing, rugs, fabrics, children’s toys, greeting cards, postcards, and lampshades, to jewelry, linens, totes, and in children’s, graphic, and coloring books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s a global brand extraordinaire with huge markets not only in Europe, but also in Japan and Australia. Mixing various media and techniques, she is that rare artist whose work has enormous commercial appeal. She’s worked very hard to establish herself in a highly competitive field.

 

 

 

Nathalie is a Paris native, the only child of a German mother and Chinese father. She credits her mother with reading extensively to her as she grew up, claiming that the themes she loved from childhood — flowers, animals, textile patterns, fairy tales, toys, folk art — are what continue to inspire her work today. She loved the children’s book illustrations she saw and spent lots of alone time drawing and living in her imagined world.

 

 

She spent her holidays with her grandmother in Bavaria, where she enjoyed exploring the forest (her favorite fairy tale is “Little Red Riding Hood”). Even now, when she is in nature, she recalls those good feelings and tries to convey them in her art.

 

 

 

She also credits her father with influencing her artistic sensibility. Though he was often absent because of work, she remembers her home being filled with lots of silk paintings.

 

 

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rachel grant’s world of serene beauty

 

It’s really pure and simple. Rachel Grant’s art gets me where I live. She seems to know I’d love nothing better than to curl up in one of her paintings, sip a warm cuppa and nibble on a piece of cake while gazing out the window.

 

 

Rachel lives and works in an old Victorian terraced house in “The Potteries” — a creative county in North Staffordshire, England. This area became the center of ceramic production in the 17th century, with hundreds of companies producing everything from tableware to decorative pieces to industrial items. If you’re familiar with Wedgwood, Spode, Royal Doulton, Beswick, Emma Bridgewater — just to name a few, or if ‘Stoke-on-Trent’ rings a bell, then you know about the rich ceramics history of the region.

What a perfect setting for an artist!

 

 

 

It is this love of history, time-worn surfaces, and the consistency of the natural world around them that inspires and informs my work . . . I am always busy collecting and studying vintage ephemera, patterns, objects and images in order to interweave historical references with current and upcoming trends in a wide range of markets.

 

 

 

 

The preponderance of ceramic objects in Rachel’s paintings sets my little china-loving heart aflutter. 🙂 Jugs, teapots, mugs, vases — all appear in her cozy interiors, while her many window views feature quaint street scenes or seaside landscapes.

 

 

 

 

 

What I also noticed in her pictures is how perfectly she captures daylight in England. If you’ve ever visited, you know what I mean — whether sunny or overcast, there’s a certain quality to the light when you’re outdoors — different from being in the U.S.

 

Rachel works with mixed media (gouache, acrylic, collage), assembling various elements digitally to create “detailed, textural compositions that convey a sense of warm nostalgia, whilst retaining a fresh, contemporary feel.”

 

 

Whatever the subject, her overall aim is to create “an atmosphere of peace and harmony . . . quiet and still moments in an otherwise chaotic world.”

Precisely what we all need. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel’s clients include Abrams Noterie, Amber Lotus Publishing, The Boston Globe, Canns Down Press, Pier 1 Imports, Design House Greetings, Martha Stewart Living, Peter Pauper Press, Simple Things Magazine, Taproot Magazine and many, many more.

 

For Amber Lotus Publishing, Rachel designed this beautiful “Birds in a Book,”

 

and this fabulous 2020 wall calendar:

 

 

Rachel is a self described “home bird,” and when she’s not working on her art, likes to garden, bake bread, knit, sew, and watch dystopian films while snuggled under crochet blankets. There is always music in the background while she’s working.

 

 

 

She would like nothing more than to someday live in an old cottage by the sea, embracing a quiet, slow-paced, peaceful life. Her illustrations offer a glimpse of this dream.

 

 

 

Enjoy this video “Blurb Book” to see even more (love her botanicals and fun surface designs!). Just fabulous.

 

 

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Do visit Rachel’s Official Website, her Instagram, and FB Page.

You can purchase original pieces, prints, and blank journals at Rachel’s Etsy Shop, and her images are also available for license and commission for publication, editorial, surface pattern, and more. The Blank Card Company sells her art cards.

 

 

 


Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

claire fletcher: stepping back in time

 

This is probably the first Claire Fletcher painting I ran into several years ago and I’ve been in love with her work ever since.

As usual, I was probably searching for bears and this piece caught my eye because it contains a real bear as well as a teddy. There was much “ooohing and ahhhhhing” in the Alphabet Soup kitchen, so naturally I had to find out more.

Here’s a picture of Claire. Don’t you love her braids?

 

 

She lives in Hastings, a seaside town/fishing port on the southern coast of England. It looks like she collects vintage toys and ephemera. My kind of person!

This is the bio from her website:

 

Whether it’s her acrylic or watercolor paintings, illustration work, or pen-and-ink drawings, I like them all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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dee nickerson’s lovely world

 

I like imagining the little stories depicted in Dee Nickerson’s paintings. These ladies seem so content sitting outdoors with their warm beverages, newspaper, knitting, and kitties. And look at those wonderful blue booties and floral print skirts!

Don’t you feel calmer and more relaxed just looking at them?

 

 

 

Dee is yet another of my favorite UK artists whose work is steeped in the English countryside. She was born into a Norfolk farming family and grew up in a rural environment, so it’s no surprise her pictures often show humans interacting with nature and animals in various seasonal settings.

 

 

 

 

She began making and studying art and art history from an early age, and won national school painting competitions. She later attended Great Yarmouth College of Art and Design, and then worked for Liberty retail, where she indulged her love of fashion, textile history, and design.

 

 

 

 

She’s been a full-time painter since the early 90’s and has exhibited widely in her native Suffolk and across the UK. Her hugely popular line of Green Pebble greeting cards has made her work visible to an even wider audience.

 

 

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a breath of fresh air: illustrator and ceramicist polly fern

 

On any given day, you’re likely to find British illustrator and ceramicist Polly Fern in her studio happily painting with her canaries Olive and Morris nearby.

 

 

 

 

Her birdie friends appear in her work, along with other domestic animals, garden flora, and winsome figures from halcyon days, who seem to thrive on the simple, everyday pleasures of rural life.

 

 

Polly grew up in the Norfolk countryside, but now lives in Norwich City, which is the most complete medieval city in the United Kingdom. She earned her BA in First Class Illustration in 2015 from Norwich University of the Arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her charming folkloric style is detailed and delicate, inspired by history, local places and childhood stories. Her ceramic vases and platters, which are modern takes on traditional shapes, are all handmade and bisque fired. Her vessels are dipped in a tin glaze before the designs are painted on with oxides and pigments.

I hand paint all of my decoration. I paper-cut a lot of my illustrations and then use the paper resist technique on raw ceramic, painting upon them with slip and peeling away the paper, then working back into the resist shapes with glazes and oxide details. It’s quite a labour-intensive process; with each piece I make taking a lot of time. But the process is important to my work and I wouldn’t enjoy it as much if it were straightforward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polly likes browsing antique shops and museums, wandering around market towns, and discovering gardens and buildings with a rich history of craft. Some of her ceramic pieces do look like things you’d find in a museum, and it’s fun to study the scenes she’s painted to ponder the stories taking place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her clients include Marks & Spencer, the MET Museum (NYC), Osaji, Pavilion Books, CARAMEL London, Home and Antiques Magazine, and Little Thing magazine. She’s also designed a line of products for Tonkachi Japan, which includes tumblers, handkerchiefs, notebooks, and iPhone cases. Her work has been displayed in various world-renowned international galleries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to her illustration work, Polly enjoys cooking and dressmaking, and hopes to someday design fabrics and create children’s books. She’d also love to have her own aviary. Her favorite foods include chocolate, figs, and pasta.

 

 

 

 

Find out more at Polly’s Official Website, Instagram, and Facebook Page. You can purchase prints, greeting cards, brooches, ceramic pieces, and other goodies at her online shop.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy this short video of Polly painting dogs with canaries Olive and Morris singing in the background:

 

 


Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.