Thursday, June 6, 2013

Annie Stegg's Thumbelina Collection

Thumbelina in the Marsh (from the Thumbelina Collection) by Annie Stegg
 If you love fairy tale illustrations and haven't heard of Annie Stegg, do yourself a favor and go look her up right now. [Her blog and gallery are HERE and HERE - you're welcome. :) ]

Ms. Stegg's work is inspired by folklore, mythology and nature so it was only a matter of time before she illustrated a fairy tale and right now she's currently hard at work on a "Thumbelina Collection". I don't think I could have chosen a better tale for her to focus on.
The Toad in progress (Thumbelina Collection) by Annie Stegg
(If it's been a while since you read HCA's story of the thumb sized girl born in a flower, it's worth brushing up on HERE [link goes to the tale overview at Wikipedia] and be sure not to miss SurLaLune's wonderful annotations [and lots more] on the tale HERE.)

Faerie Queen (Thumbelina Collection) by Annie Stegg
 Though the "Thumbelina Collection" apparently began as a project for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2* Ms. Stegg has been  adding to the series since the event ended (on May 19, 2013) and boy are we glad about that.

On Tuesday June 4, she posted a sneak peek of another piece, "The Duchess of Oak Nut" (shown below) and announced she'd be working on "The Duke" next.

Could this hail a book in the making?! *closes eyes tight and wishes very hard*
The Duchess of Oak Nut - in progress (Thumbelina Collection) by Annie Stegg

Justin Gerard at Muddy Colors got a pre-Spectrum look at the collection a few weeks ago, with bonus interview to boot. Ms. Stegg  discusses her love of Hans Christian Andersen's tale and how it represents, for her, a special childlike wonder people, far too often, lose.

From all I've seen in response to Ms. Stegg's work (on blogs, Tumblrs, Pinterest boards etc) it's clear that one of the special things about her art is that it helps bring that sense of wonder back. ("There's magic in that there paint brush!")

Here's an excerpt from the Muddy Colors interview:
JG: So speaking of your work, you are currently working on a series of paintings based on Hans Christian Anderson's Thumbelina fairy tale. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Thumbelina in the Marsh - sketch & final (Thumbelina Collection) by Annie Stegg

AS: I have wanted to do a series on this fairy tale for a while now. The reason I like Thumbelina has largely to do with the magic and mystery of childhood.
When we are young, the world is so big and magical and I think you lose some of that when you grow up. I like to imagine a place where everything is still a little unknown, and there is so much left to discover. Stories like Thumbelina help you to see your own commonplace world with fresh eyes and you can begin to appreciate just how amazing the world really is again.  It's like being a child again in many ways, and capturing that sense of wonder about the world around us.
The Swallow (Thumbelina Collection - framed) by Annie Stegg

You can read the whole interview HERE and see different views of the various works shown in this post (Psst! Check out The Swallow full size - the colors & details are stunning) and, of course, even more wonderful artwork too.

While Ms. Stegg's pieces reminds me of the work of beloved fairy tale and fantasy artist Kinuko Y. Craft, and, like Ms. Craft's work, shows the influence of Roccoco painters, it is most definitely her own. It's no wonder she's quickly becoming a favorite fantasy artist all over the world. 

You can follow Annie Stegg on Twitter HERE, where she posts regular artwork updates or on Facebook HERE where she does the same. Her official - and gorgeous! - gallery is HERE.
[Hidden Fairy Tale Bonus: If you check the video promotion for guest artists featured on Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 link you'll catch a glimpse of Charles Vess' Little Red Riding Hood.]
The Toad (Thumbelina Collection) by Annie Stegg

 * Spectrum Fantastic Art Live is a three-day celebration of the art and artists that bring to life the fantastic worlds of (our) favorite science fiction, fantasy, and horror books, movies, and comics. SFAL allows fans and artists to mingle, shop, learn and be inspired through exhibits of original works of art, panel discussions and workshops hosted by some of the most notable members of this artistic community. They can get their personal portfolios critiqued by leading industry Art Directors and revel in the vast creative energy that permeates every facet of the experience. (Their) goal is to honor our industry, celebrate the creators and mentor new talent. (from the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live website)

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