Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hoot Hoot for April!...

Owls for Halloween are always a HOOT, so why not get a head start this spring! After all, the birds are chirping and the feathers are now a'flutter as we look outdoors. What a treat it would be to spot an owl, so I decided to make my own since it's often a rare gift to see one. This particular owl is decorated with a series of intricate moons and a tiny mouse marks his front! He's up for bids on eBay through Easter weekend with an auction ending on Tuesday evening at 7pm PST. You can enjoy a fun variety of photos and a full description of this collectible egg cup character of mine by visiting his eBay Auction Link! Many thanks for your interest and your generous bids if you feel so inclined. I appreciate your support.

Thank you,
~ Johanna

* Stylized wings of wire certainly bring a touch of magic and whimsy to this striking character!...

* 'Lil mouse peers into the Mr. Moon's eyes with wonder and intrigue....

* Another crescent moon decorates his back, while two full moon faces bring smiles and laughs to each side...


Images & Designs, © 2011 Johanna Parker Design. Photos may not be used without permission.

Monday, April 11, 2011

In the Rough...

Although this is a bit exposing, I thought I would offer you a sneak peek at what I have been working on. Time certainly likes to tick away, and before I know it, the fall season will be here! This happens every year! So, I am starting to chip away at this year's collection of Halloween originals. I will cart some of these characters off to one of the 2 Halloween Events that I will exhibit in this year, while others will be offered throughout the year via online web sales, eBay and more. At the moment, most of these guys are in the rough. It takes layer upon layer for me to attain the desired look and smoothness when working my papier mache. So, if they look a wee bit bumpy, well eventually they will all be smooth to the touch. If only I could snap my fingers and they would all be complete! (still working on that!)

For now, enjoy the peek!
~ Johanna

* I am really enjoying the ghosts this year! These whimsical characters will be a fun addition to my Halloween line......

* More ghosts, some owls, cats and jacks, are all at various stages of drying and completion....

* A cat egg cup cries out for arms and a few coats of paint to bring him to life!

* Ouch! Looks like I am poking this poor hoot-hoot's eye out, but really I'm just smoothing the papier mache.....

Maybe you'll spot one of these characters all decked out in his or her finery, later this year, or perhaps sooner if I decide to part with a few here and there......

Thanks for stopping by!

PS... Did you know that Johanna Parker Design now has a Fan Page on Facebook?
Please join me there for news, photos and fun! Make sure to click the LIKE button once you are there to stay in touch! Thank you......

Photos & Folk Art Designs, © 2011 Johanna Parker Design, LLC. Images may not be used without permission.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Meeting Artist, Gary Baseman...

I think the stars aligned on Monday morning as I checked my in-box for new emails. I noticed a reminder that I had missed before from the Colorado chapter of the AIGA. It was an invitation to attend world-famous Artist, Gary Baseman's lecture at the Denver Art Museum. Oh MY, I thought to myself! I hopped over to his Facebook page and noticed that he had posted a note to his fans about the event that night. I added my own comment via my JPD profile about hoping to attend. Soon, the two of us we were chatting about Halloween art, and I realized this was a unique opportunity, not to be missed...... So, JP and I attended and really enjoyed his colorful presentation. Soon, we became more aware of the hidden meanings and lessons he paints through his amusing imagery, and how insightful that was! The next evening we had the opportunity to meet Gary for drinks downtown. Gary, myself and an intimate group of artists shared our thoughts on art, and I enjoyed flipping through Gary's current sketchbook! What a treat! I even brought along a few Halloween kettle cups of mine for him to see, and he said they were "so cool" ! :)

* There's me with Gary, and I'm holding his limited edition "Toby" doll, the keeper of his dirty secrets! Toby often appears in Gary's fine art... And by the way, Toby gets around way more than the garden gnome in the movie Amelie!

Now, let's rewind a wee bit, back ten years or so when I was deep into my corporate TV news-graphics job. I had just won an Emmy Award for my animations. But, despite all the hype and glam that goes along with acquiring my own golden-winged statue, I was feeling creatively deprived. Since I was the station's Art Director, I convinced the higher-ups to pay for an annual membership to the Art Director's Club of Denver, and with that came the unique chance to see Gary Baseman's lecture down town. His whimsical art had intrigued me ever since the day I first spotted his work in Communication Arts Magazine. This guy was painting with no limits, quirky characters and animals with a mischievous innocence that captured my imagination, AND he was making a living at doing it! OH how I yearned to allow my creative spirit to sail. Who knows really why or what inspired me to finally follow my heart, but perhaps Gary's passion and ability to translate his wildly imaginative world onto canvas helped me to step out and express myself through my papier mache and paints. It was just a couple years after I saw that first lecture that I took my own leap of faith. Of course, Gary is certainly more on the wild side with the images and symbolism that he allows to channel through him, but I just love his style. He blurs the line between toy culture and fine art, and his work has a vintage appeal that captures my eye. At first glance there is a sense of innocence and novelty that intrigues me. Upon further inspection however, I often find myself scratching my head and giggling a bit!


This time Gary came to town, that personal urge for me to let my artistic self free had been replaced with a calming sense of gratitude and excitement to be chatting with a fellow creative that has followed his artist passions as well. He has two more Emmys than myself (heheh, oh well! :), he's traveled the world sharing his art and has worked for Disney just to name a few accolades... Fortunately, I can name a few for myself now, and it is so satisfying to reap the rewards of years of hard work and dedication to the craft of being an artist. We are both spreading smiles and laughter through our art, and what a joy that is! In all, it was a pleasure to meet the man behind the "pervasive art" as he calls it, and I want to thank him for inspiring me along the way.


* For those of us that joined Gary for drinks, he gifted each one of us a collectible handkerchief, featuring his latest "Ghost Girl" from his Walking through Walls series. This altered photo comes from his massive vintage collection of people and children wearing costumes and masks. You can see Jack is certainly sniffing it out!

* And clearly, we both have a passion for black cats.....

* And Halloween.....

* And we've all seen this in the board game section of the stores, right?!

To see LOTS more of Gary's work, go to for a visual treat.
Or Google him! He's out there...... :)

All images of Gary's work featured in this post have been used with permission by the artist ~ © Gary Baseman

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Owlfred is Sweet...

I just received another fun sample from this year's collection of Halloween reproductions from my Bethany Lowe Designs product line. Introducing, "Sweet Owlfred!" He is a 10" tall hollow owl with a removable hat which doubles as a lid! I have found a couple of fun uses for him already, but he could certainly be filled with treats as well! Take a peek, and see what you think. I initially created this piece as a solid character and just indicated where the hole in his head (ouch!) would go. The hat was created separately, and Bethany Lowe Designs worked their magic. Now, you can stash whatever you like inside! I believe Sweet Owlfred will be available in early summer, so make sure and ask your favorite vendors to order him now before he's sold out! Enjoy this sneak peek...

~ Johanna

* What a strikingly sweet character to add to your Halloween festivities this fall!

* Not only is he cute, but he's handy too! Allow him to be the keeper of those old crusty paint brushes that you just can't quite part with. He will certainly dress them up....

* Or, give Owlfred a place to perch and display a fun arrangement of spooky stars or another eye-catching array of Halloween decorations.... dried roses, gnarled branches or perhaps raven's feathers come to mind..... Or for something on the sweeter side, Halloween lollipops and licorice sticks would be quite a sprawling treat!

* Sweet Owlfred says, "see you soon!"

Designs & Photography © 2010-2011 Johanna Parker Design, LLC
Images may not be used without permission