Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Friday, March 16, 2012



"Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle" 
So said Michelangelo to the Pope as he was working on that pesky little Sistine  Chapel. Now, I  Guess when it comes to art, Michelangelo would know a
 thing or two about perfection.
 I know nothing about perfection.. but I am rather fond of trifles.
 Trifles make up my work.
 I believe no detail is too small, too unimportant  or inconsequential , but that the greatest amount of care  be taken to create it with intimate delicacy upon my paper.
Are we talking about perfection here? Most certainly not, for in my storybook art, I actually like things to be a bit Skewed, off balance,
 crooked and slightly quirky.  But, we ARE talking about Trifles, those little things that mean a lot.
SUCH AS......

 the worn and seasoned steps leading out of the kitchen and into the garden,

Or a battered old blue cupboard that has been in the bear family for generations,
  patterns on a favorite green bowl,
chipped, cracked and aged crocks,
and the calico pattern on a tiny mouses frock,

  the trifle of delicate lace upon a mother bears mop cap,
 in a place
where walls are of cracked plaster and patterned rugs cover a worn wooden floor.
 Mere trifles, but they create a picture, a mood, a home, a story.

I have always believed that you can tell as much or more, with pictures, as with words.

  I spend an average of  80 hours painting a full page illustration.  It's not that I am slow, just meticulous.... and  enamored with trifles.
I appreciate many different styles of art in story books.. from the simple lines of  Ernest Shepard's,Winnie the Pooh. to the magnificent realism of N.C. Wyeth. But I have to  admit that my favorite illustrators seem to have had the same penchant for the tiny, trivial, tittles and bits that I do: Jill Barclem, who created small books  of little mice in their abodes, filled to the brim with every imaginable thing and Jan Brett, who's attention to detail in her illustration is superb.  But my very favorite is the Dutch artist Anton Pieck, to whom, in my eyes, there is no comparison when it comes to trifles.

I truly admire artists who are able to express much with few lines, but I that is just not my way...

  For  I am now, and will forever be....

.... a slave to TRIFLES.

  So tell me, what are YOUR trifles?

Whether  it's the care you take in your garden, your needlework, photography, cooking, home decor or writing... many of you are also in love with TRIFLES...
 Of that I am sure.


  1. I've just spent some time surfing and wishing I could step right into Anton Pieck's world, Jeri! He seems as contemporary as you and Jan Brett do--or perhaps timeless is the feeling I get from your varying worlds.

  2. Oh, I love to see your new posts. Coffee in hand and off I go to Hopalong Hollow Gazette to be once again totally amazed with the beauty and detail of your work. Have a wonderful day, Jeri. Deb

  3. I so enjoy looking at your work. It is absolutely beautiful. As a early childhood teacher and "the keeper of the library", I find the illustrations in a book are most often more important to the story than the words. I have never had a child say "I can't hear the words" , but how often is storytime interrupted with, "I can't see the pictures". It is the illustrations that send a child on the path to being a life long reader. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talents. Hugs! Bonnie

  4. Oh my dear friend,

    How true. I am not one for details in my illustrations...sorry to say! Wonky and weird is my style, but in my essays and French grammar I am addicted to trifles and perfection. What a lovely thing to vary in our visions and skills, for the world itself is full of diversity!


  5. ... "and to thine own self be true"

    ... Your work shows your honesty, care and love for what you do and what you place in your paintings.. You make me happy!

  6. Dear Jeri ~ I LOVE your style, I could spend hours looking at all of the details, they are wonderful. There is so much going on in every painting that you could not possibly take it all in one sitting. Your work shows JOY, PEACE and LOVE.

    Happy Spring to you dear heart,


  7. Hi Jeri
    I am again in total awe of your beautiful work.. This is one of the things I love most about your illustrations... The total attention to very little detail. A tiny crack in a crock, so many things to catch the eye...
    It is quite apparent to me the amount of hours and days you put into one page alone.. This is what makes your work stand out from so many... Thank you Jeri for being so kind to share... I could sit here for what seems like forever and view.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend..
    I hope your weather is good.. Storms here today...
    With great admiration and friendship

  8. How lovely! Thank you for dropping by my blog, and what a marvellous place you have made here, a treasure trove of trifles as it were, the sort of place where one loves to linger and revel in the details. Simply beautiful.
    Your new follower,

  9. Dearest Jeri,

    How fun would that be if we had a fairy party and we actually dressed up EXACTLY how you described on my comment page. Oh dearest, how I love to play and dress up. A thousand braids...OH YES!!!! WITH GOLD RIBBON intertwined in each braid. Glass slippers and HARP MUSIC...oh dear, this is fun. AND OF COURSE, animals all around us. Hmmmmm....sounds like eternal paradise to me. Peace and love to you, Anita

  10. Absolutely awe-inspiring Jeri!
    Your talent is right alongside the other masters you mention...
    Have a beautiful Sunday,
    - Irina

  11. I love your words:
    I believe no detail is too small, too unimportant or inconsequential , but that the greatest amount of care be taken to create it with intimate delicacy upon my paper.

    this is so true of your work. I love that you shared the close up images... i got to take in the wonder and beauty of your art through your eyes.

    your steps and lace and eggs and and are fabulous.

    lovely sunday to you~

  12. Jeri it's such a treat to see your artwork develop from pencil through paint to completion - and I love all those interesting details that make the whole tale. Lesley x

  13. Thank you for leaving such an encouraging note for me... I am so happy you enjoyed viewing Duffy.. Or as Anita calls him, Duffy Do Right... haaa... Yes, your are right.. In my heart I am a country girl. I simply love farms...
    Enjoy your week Jeri... Pardon me now, I must sit back and re visit your post here.

  14. Thank You Jeri to show us your Art, your talent is great. Nothing can be completely perfect, but you are very near perfection. I like to see how you work. I like Anton Pieck's Art also, it is fantastic ! And the poetry of Severine Pinaux also.

    Nice week Jeri, Spring is arriving...Showers are welcome now because weather was too dry and hot for March in France.

    Nathanaëlle x

  15. Dear Jeri, This is why we are all so patient, waiting with bated breath, for your book to come when it is time...and not one minute sooner:)
    You are indeed a meticulous artist...and I, too, love Jan Barklem. I told my mother, my decorating style is "Mouse Attic"...and showed her the pictures from The Secret Staircase...my favorite! She saw the connection. So I guess I trifle over my "displays" around the house, setting each little thing in its perfect place, angled just so...

    It was so nice to have you come for a visit. We are a breath away from self-publishing...the pdf files have been sent for the first two Eliza books and one mouse making kit instruction book. In just a few weeks we should have them. Exciting days here!

    What are the dates for the main street festival here in April...I should know this, but havent seen dates posted yet...

    Love and hugs,

  16. I agree, trifles are important and not to be trifled with!

    Your obsession with details are what makes your art special.

  17. I am truly fascinated by your delightful talent,you are blessed.
    I'm a new follower,hope ypu'll join me too!
    Amy Jo

  18. i just love every trifling detail and would be happy to be an ant crawling through such a wonderland!!

  19. Hi Jeri
    How are you today? elbow deep in paint? Thank you so much for taking a stroll down the avenue with Bebe, and I am so happy you are receiving so much joy with little Jemima.. This make for a happy heart... Thank you so much.
    Have a great Sunday,

  20. You know how much I adore your art. I love getting lost in the details, the charm and the magic of everything you do! Looking forward to your new book and new pieces.

  21. Oh how I adore your TRIFLES!!!
    Jeri, this was a most delightful post!!
    Each painting presents a story indeed!!!

    The illustrators that are your favs are more interesting,

    in my opinion, then TV!! WIDE SMILE!!

    And you my Dear are most definitely in their league!!!

    BLessings and Hugs, Linnie


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