Today we begin in the wilds of New England with a visit to Gary Lippincott's studio. Gary is an award-winning artist who specializes in fantasy paintings, book jacket art, and illustrations for such wonderful children's books as The Prince and the Pauper (with Marianna Mayer), On the Frontier with Mr. Audubon (with Barbara Brenner), The Bookstore Mouse (with Peggy Christian), Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher (with Bruce Colville), and, my favorite, Come to the Fairies' Ball (with Jane Yolen). His work has been exhibited extensively, and is collected internationally. He's the author of The Fantasy Illustrator's Technique Book, an in-depth manual for art students and aspiring illustrators; and he has taught Fantasy Art and Imaginative Drawing at the Worcester Art Museum. When he's not painting, he can usually be found playing piano, practicing magic, or searching for gnomes and fairies in the woods.
About the workspace pictured here, he says: "I am located in the deep, dark woods of central Massachusetts. I am a bit of a hermit and find my location very suitable for my work. My studio is located over a two-car garage a mere fifty feet from my house. Sometimes I can go for days without having to drive a car. My backyard is at the edge of conservation land which is wooded and goes on forever. Whenever I have to leave home (the occasional appearance at conventions, lectures, or book-signings), I always feel great when it's time to return...."
Two of Gary's gorgeous book illustrations are below, titled "Faith and Fairies" and "Fairy Reel" respectively...
...and you'll find many more amazing paintings and drawings over on the Gary A. Lippincott website.
The next desktop belongs to Guy Veryzer, who lives and works in New York City. Guy is a ceramicist, collage artist, photographer, photo researcher, poet, playwright, actor, and probably twenty other things that I've forgotten about besides. He brings magic to everything he touches, creating wonders large and small in a wide variety of mediums.
The tidy, organized desk pictured above sits in Guy's apartment in mid-town Manhattan, where, like so many New Yorkers, he's skilled at making optimum use of a limited amount of space. Below, in another view of the same desk, you can see some of his lovely collages on the wall, and a doll by Wendy Froud (one of his oldest friends) sitting in the corner.
"This is how the desk sometimes is," he says...
"...and this (below) is how it usually is."
"My desk is a Flying Dutchman desk; it moves about mysteriously, as does everything in my apartment in an effort to make space and storage for all my arts. At the moment, as I am in the midst of a vast wave of organizing, I have two desks one for tax prep and papers, one for collages, my plan is for them to merge as the tide of papers etc. subsides."
On the left: Guy at work in his ceramics studio, where he creates mythical plates, figures, vessels, candlesticks and lamps that are utterly captivating. "I am an archaeologist of the imagination," he says in describing the inspiration behind his work. "I excavate undiscovered objects in the hidden sites and tombs buried in my unconscious. These painted objects: plates, bowls and candle vessels, seem to be reminiscent of the ancient civilizations of the Greeks and Minoans, but, as Brian Froud once mused looking at the collection of work: 'Perhaps your civilization preceded the others and they were influenced by your civilization....'
"When one looks at the painted decoration and sculpted figures adorning the objects from this imaginary civilization, they seem to unlock the mystery of a narrative tale. The animals are joyful and innocent. Smiles on the faces of the beings are pure, but perhaps, a little too knowing. In this world, creatures live in a mystical harmony: angels exchange secrets with mermaids, geo-centric faced beings mingle with fear figures, and fear figures worry beside playful winged horses and dragons. This is a magical place that may still exist somewhere."
A few of these mythical beasties are below, and there are more on Guy's ceramics website.
Next, we travel to the workspace of Natalia Pierandrei, a talented young illustrator in Italy. "Starting with my earliest memories, I have always had a passion for drawing," she says. "Fed on a diet of cult TV, fairy tales, and comic books, I inexorably followed the path of imaginative art. Stories feed the soul; I am an avid reader and I strongly think the illustrator is a storyteller who can create images and worlds made of magic, mystery, love, romance, tragedy...possibilities are limitless. My working technique includes mainly markers, pencils and watercolours with a painting style that often mixes all these techniques together."
Above: "Here is a close-up of my desk."
Above: "I enjoy having things around that inspire and motivate me."
Above: "An old chest of drawers bought at a flea market. I use it to store drawing tools, papers, fabric, frames...anything!"
And here's one final photo, of Nati at her drawing board, followed by two examples of her charming and distinctive art:
Our last desk today belongs to Michelle Izzard, an artist in Kent, England. "I work in watercolours and inks," she says, "sometimes in acrylics and oils. I also make cushions and bags sometimes, if I fancy a change from painting. I love all things to do with magic, nature, and things that are a little bit odd and curious...."
"I work in our conservatory at home which has recently become my art room. I'm so thankful for it, since before that I was an 'art nomad' and moved around our kitchen table, packing everything away when meals and other things had to be done out there."
The handsome fellow in Michelle's studio below is Toby, one of her three rescue dogs. "He was brought over from Ireland," she says, "and barely made it."
Michelle's gently magical painting "The Twisted Tree" is below, and you can visit the Little Wren blog to see more of her work. "I've just been asked by a local tea house to hang my pictures on their wall in a few weeks time," she says, "so I'm hoping this will be the beginnings of selling my work, perhaps eventually leaving my day job altogether. (One can dream!!!)"
All readers of this blog are welcome to contribute to the "On Your Desk" series. You'll find more information (and the address where you should send your photo) in the first post of the series.