Art by Rebecca Barkley
I would like to share my personal art collection and a bit about each piece. Not my art.. but original work from some of my favourite artists that I have collected. These items, to me, are simply priceless! Forget the celebrity signatures or famous sporting gear, give me an original Froud sketch on a napkin any day.. not that I have one but that would be awesome if I did.
Above is probably the most precious item I own in the whole wide world. Not only is it an original painting of step by step instructions on painting faery hair.. but it was made just for me. By my idol. This is like, the most amazing thing ever. Shirley Barber was the biggest inspiration to me growing up in relation to my faery art. You can view her art here: www.shirleybarbers.com
I met her in 1995 (I was about 11) when she held a writing competition and my friend and I both won prizes. I was so excited to meet her that I wrote a letter and drew some pictures to show her how much I admired her work. I also put my address and phone number on ther hoping to get a letter back (which I most certainly did!) but the last thing I expected was a phone call too! Shirley called my mum and invited us to her place so she could show me her studio – well! I can tell you this was one of the biggest highlights of my life to date! I was very shy in those days, but it was incredible to see where and how she worked, original paintings in progress, all sorts of interesting things around like rocks she’d painted to look like animals. Her husband was very friendly and he gave me all sorts of goodies to take home like calendars and diaries. A dream come true! I wrote to Shirley a few times after that and she’d always reply with one of her beautiful cards. I asked her one day how to draw faery hair, hoping she could explain it to me but instead she hand painted me this.
Selina Fenech is another faery artist who has been a huge influence on my work. I have learned a lot from both of these artists and that’s where my style has developed from. This artwork is one of Selina’s ‘sketch fest’ drawings where she is given a theme and time frame in which to complete her sketch. This little beauty was a steal for only $30 I was stoked to own an original! Selina’s website can be seen here: http://fairiesandfantasy.com/
Earlier I mentioned Shirley had painted rocks in her house. she told me that she used to sell them at markets before her career as an illustrator really took off. One day while I was at a friend’s house I noticed this little guy sitting by the door! I could recognise that bunny from a mile away.. but it couldn’t be, could it? I picked up the rock and turned it over.. sure enough, a bit faded but it was there all right.. Shirley’s signature. It was the real deal. This to me was like, a huge fan of a musician came across a once off, extremely rare demo tape. And their friend owned it. And they didn’t even know who the artist was. Jack pot. Well.. not quite as this had sentimental value to my friend and I had to accept that! But a few years later she was ever so kind as to give me the bunny rock, and I sit it proudly on my shelf as a key piece in my collection!
Last in my collection and the most recent purchase is this curious fellow – a plaster cast of a goblin candle holder by Toby Froud. Toby is a puppeteer but also creates interesting artworks like this one. He is the son of Brian and Wendy Froud – two very talented artists who met on the set of the Dark Crystal. They were the magic behind the film along with Jim Henson, also creating my all time favourite film.. The Labyrinth! So I’m a big fan of this whole family, they share a unique and quirky yet sometimes dark and mysterious style.. oh, and did I mention that Toby is also THE Toby in the Labyrinth? Yeah, that’s right! The little striped baby that gets thrown in the air by David Bowie! You can find all their art collections right here: www.worldoffroud.com
So that’s my collection so far.. I have some prints too and heaps of books but the hand made gems are really something special. I’d love to own a Brian Froud original sketch (I do have his signature!) and one of Wendy Froud’s beautiful dolls!