Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ellen Giggenbach Christmas Printables

It's been a while since my last post and I even feel naughty doing one now, because there are so many other things that demand my time at the moment. One of my main distractions is Module Two of The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. I recently completed Module One and it was fantastic. I am now in my second week of Module Two and it is soooooo exciting and inspiring! I am horribly behind in my exercises though and am resigned to the fact that I have more to do in a day than a mum can possibly squeeze in, so I cannot give it or Kitty as a Picture nearly as much time as I would like. But that's life. (Mine anyway.)
Despite the tired haze that is my head at the moment, I came out of denial today and realised that Christmas is super close now and I have given it...well..NO thought whatsoever. Thankfully one of my favourite artists, Ellen Giggenbach, has been preparing. She has created these amazing printables that are now available in her Etsy store. I adore!

Printable Christmas Angels by Ellen Giggenbach

Printable Christmas Angels and House Lantern by Ellen Giggenbach

Printable Christmas Angels and House Lantern by Ellen Giggenbach

Printable Christmas House Lantern by Ellen Giggenbach

Christmas printables by Ellen Giggenbach

Ellen was born in Bavaria, Germany, but is now living in Wellington, New Zealand. (Yes kiwi readers, we can proudly claim her as one of ours!)  While many people admire Ellen's work, some don't realise that all of Ellen's work is cleverly crafted with paper. Ellen takes a variety of art papers and gives them colour and texture using vibrant acrylic paint. From these she cuts out graphic shapes that she then assembles into an artwork. Ellen's German heritage adds an element of folk to her work, and she is very much inspired by the 50s, 60s and 'even the 70s!' Visit Ellen's website or blog to see more of her work, and don't forget to go to her Etsy shop to purchase her adorable Christmas printables. What could make a house more joyful in the festive season!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Great House Hunt: Davide Cali & Marc Boutavant

 The Great House Hunt written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Marc Boutavant is one of those magical books that I wish I could have had when I was a child. In fact, it looks and feels very much like it could be a book from my childhood! The hardback binding style, large format, combined with the style and colours of the artwork on the cover definitely gives it a retro flavour.
The Great House Hunt tells the story of the Polka-Dots - a pair of ladybirds seeking a new home. Assisted by the eager Mr. Weevil, the Polka-Dots are certain to find their dream home...or are they?
Follow the trio along the dotted line, through thirty two pages of intricately detailed and atmospheric scenes, each one completely different to the next. Through the use of speech bubbles, readers are entertained by Mr.Weevil's amusing sales pitches and the Polka-Dots' responses to the clever, imaginative, and sometimes hilariously ridiculous options he offers them.


Double page spread from The Great House Hunt

Double page spread from The Great House Hunt

 Double page spread from The Great House Hunt

I love everything Marc Boutavant touches, and there are no disappointments here. The artwork is astoundingly detailed and has a wonderful mix of textures and effects, creating environments that can be pored over for hours. And that is exactly why I wish I had owned this as a child; each scene is utterly captivating and stimulating to a young mind. 

Double page spread from The Great House Hunt 

Double page spread from The Great House Hunt 

Double page spread from The Great House Hunt 

Contemplate the home of an insect, view the world from his eyes, consider the dangers of his environment, and soak up the magic that is The Great House Hunt. It's cute and it's quirky. It's sophisticated in so many ways too. It's an amusing gift for a family who are looking to move house or are jaded by lengthy house-hunting expeditions and tiresome agents! For a child it has longevity, with many subtleties that can be appreciated as the child matures. My three year old loves tracing her finger along the dotted line through the length of the book, and likes to pick out little details that I miss. For artists and art lovers like myself, it is fascinating and beautiful - certainly worthy of a place on the studio bookshelf.

The Great House Hunt Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Marc Boutavant
Published by Gecko Press
ISBN: 978-1-877579-29-5
370 x 255 mm
32 pages, Hardback



Marc Boutavant is the illustrator of the popular Gecko Press book, Around the World with Mouk.

A huge thanks to Gecko Press for providing Kitty as a Picture Illustration & Surface Design Blog with this wonderful book to review!