Thursday, February 5, 2015

featured artist: theater clouds

flight // an unexpected journey

Have you ever experienced that deep-set melancholy that nestles in your being when you witness something beautiful? It's not a truly sad feeling, really, but it isn't quite happy, either. It's just a nebulous feeling of appreciation and wonder when something moves or stuns you. It's a whisper to the soul. It can take your breath away and resurrect old memories. 

That's how I feel about the stars sometimes, when I stare too long at the freckled night sky and get that wandering, longing sweep of emotion. It's how I feel about the Ever After soundtrack, and it's how I feel about this entrancing artwork by Theater Clouds on Etsy

close your eyes and i'll take you to the moon... // endless everchanging clouds
take me where i want to go... // two families // mountains in the sea

Everything you see in these images is paper. The creator, Elly MacKay, delicately paints yupo paper and then cuts and designs intricate layers in a kind of miniature theater. She uses mirrors and tissue paper to achieve the dreamlike horizons and filters, and then she plays with light and perspective to photograph her incredible creations. These little paper 3-D worlds are so entrancing, I could stare at them for hours. They stir the imagination into wild action. It's so hard to pick a favorite, but I can imagine designing a child's nursery around them and creating the perfect space for vivid dreams and adventures.

Other than simply saying that they're amazing (which they are), it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about them that I love so much. Their color palettes are lovely, and the way they softly glow with light is so enveloping. I think the heart of my admiration comes from her ability to capture the essence of childhood daydreams and that irreplaceable kinship between siblings. I love the scenes she creates with little brothers and sisters, experiencing the world the way only little kids can. They're beautiful pictures and they feel real because of that inner spirit.

Feel free to check out her Etsy shop, her blog and her website to see more.

In the last few years she has also illustrated several children's books, including If You Hold a Seed, Shadow Chasers, Fall Leaves (see photos excerpts below), and the upcoming Butterfly Park

You should also definitely take a look at her new edition of the Anne of Green Gables books. I couldn't imagine a better series to apply these magical images to!

anne of green gables series // fall stays // leaves leave

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