Hopalong Hollow....

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

Monday, December 1, 2014

WHEW! bring out the Holly and the Ivy, the needle and thread

What a year! I don't know how many events we participated in but it was A LOT, and we are happy to be done with the shows and festivals. Aside from a few local book signings, our season is over and we are free to breathe a sigh of relief and spend the next 4 months doing as we wish.  HURRAH!  Out come the needles, twist, paints, pencils and brushes; it's time to start creating STUFF!
  I will be pouring over the online catalogs to replenish my supplies of Mohair, wool roving, glass eyes and armatures to create the many characters that inhabit "the Hollow". 
My creatures are to be Christened :
     There was a fabulous artist at the show in PA. who created the most  realistic rabbits out of mohair and felting, her characters had a marvelous look that was all her own. That's  important  in any artistic endeavor. It's great to be inspired by
other artists, but in the end, one needs to create their own style, hopefully a distinctive style that will stand out in the crowd on it's own merit.
This is especially true of sculpted critters, because their are so many wonderful doll and bear artists. Therefore, I have been practicing on my animal heads until I have them looking as I think they should.
              I have this  pile of Head blanks I had sewn from ordinary wool fabrics and  plush felt.
These, I am using to build upon with Wool roving, embroidery thread and mohair.

 My goal is to accomplish the same feat I aim for in my illustration; that is, a blending of realism with  whimsical anthropomorphic fantasy. You know, Hopalong Hollow-ish?
  It will require a good deal of  trial and error, I am still new at this.
Lopsided faces, perhaps... but then, few of us have a perfect face, right?
When I painted the 400 rabbits in my first book, I somehow managed to give each individual bunny a unique look... or maybe I just couldn't replicate the same rabbit over and over again?

Getting those eyes on straight can be a real pain sometimes.
I am getting a chuckle with this little bear and his extremely long nose; needs some long fur surrounding his muzzle, I'll add that as I go.
So far, I like him, he has personality.
Below is my first squirrel, so it will require a lot more practice, looks a little messy right now.
I am using my own storybooks for reference pictures,
and I know that little squirrelys have tiny hump noses, large black eyes with a heavy lid and small ears with a pointed tip.
Hmmm, looks more like a chipmunk? Well, he/she won't look a bit like a chipmunk when I give her/him a long bushy tail!

Practice make perfect... or perfectly imperfect.
I predict this little Bushybottom will be an aggressive collector of acorns.
Are these boys or girls? I don't know until I try a variety of hats upon those noggins, then I will know for sure.

 This is a lot of fun and a natural progression for me in my art life, for I dearly love animals. That is why I paint them, write stories about them and have a farm full of all creatures great and small. What a fun journey to begin adding to the population of Hopalong Hollow with fat and fuzzy and feathered creatures!
In addition to this project, I have a few more on the burner, including my own punch needle kits and the beginning illustrations for my 4th book. I will update as things progress. So happy to be back to the blog world. Now, time to visit all of you whose posts  I have missed out on for weeks! See you soon my friends, fondly from the Hollow, Jeri


  1. It is so good to see a post from you. Your creations are amazing! I look forward to seeing more. Have a great week!

  2. Holy-Canoli !!!! These are WONDERFUL!!!!
    ( You are going to have to build an addition on to your house for your expanding population of CUTENESS)!!!!!!
    Glad your back !!
    Hugs and warmth, love Linnie

  3. Bonjour,

    Quel talent vous avez !... Je me réjouis de vous lire et d'admirer vos oeuvres. J'ai fait également un petit retour en arrière, car je me suis rendue compte que j'avais manqué de fabuleux billets.
    Votre univers est sincèrement fantastique. Je vous souhaite plein de bonnes choses et de belles fêtes à venir.

    Gros bisous ♡

  4. Jeri, you are most talented artist I have ever seen. Your abilities astound me. I bow at your feet... and absolutely love the dear creatures you are creating!!!!!!! xo

  5. Holy Canoli is right!!!! Linnie hit it right on the button...
    Oh Jeri, you never fail to amaze me... I love what you have created here.. Your squirrel is really adorable.. Well they ALL are..
    Let me see, do I have it right, you have needle felted the faces? They are beyond cute!

    Thank you so much for coming by for a visit, and leaving such a kind note.. Yes, it is a
    very ancient art-form .. Roman and. Greek... You are so right.. I really enjoy this art form, and look forward to my Angels every year...

    I am so happy you have some time off... You deserve it. Time for some hot soup and Tea.
    love and blessings,
    Just sent you an email. Supplies

  6. Thanks for the lovely comment Jeri. I have just been admiring your wonderful creatures. I can't wait to see them in all their finery.
    I don't know how you find the time, what with the farm and everything else. I am squirreling time away from teaching for this drawing project and it is only a few moments here and there.

  7. GOOD GLORY Jeri Landers....you have a secret chamber of rabbit heads and squirrel parts, but this is not of the macabre sort but of WHIMSY and fascinating talent! I don't know...I just don't know how you and Miss Penny and many others do this...I tried fashioning a doll the other day only to give up and return to my computer to write, which really, I'm better at (and yet I have a long way to go!) - LOVE LOVE LOVE YA WOMAN! Your world, I want to visit you and just watch how in the Sam Hill you do this....

  8. Jeri,
    When I read that you were going to York, PA....I searched the web to see what shows might be there....I had hoped to attend and chat with you as you were not too very far from our farm. Alas, I could not find it...and your website calendar did not have it either. So....I did not have the chance to meet you in person. I would have liked that. We have much in common....our love of critters...furred and feathered!! Your felted heads are wonderful. Each one already has its own personality. I can hardly wait to see the finished critter!! Have a wonderful season off from the show circuit....and keep creating!

  9. Jeri, I add my kudos to everyone else's! Your creatures are truly amazing! I have a stash of wool roving that I've left sitting in a drawer. I think I shall attempt something simple today and go from there!

  10. Oh my gosh Jeri ~ Is there anything you can't do? Your critters are absolutely adorable. You are such an inspiration to me.

    May your holidays be filled with lots of love, joy and peace ~ FlowerLady

  11. I love your books and I'm now in awe of your furry critters! Thank you for showing us what you are up to. I really look forward to reading your blog.

  12. I love your books and am amazed by your ability to bring all the critters to life on paper and with wool/felt ect. Your home is truly magical. I am looking forward to seeing more of your furry little friends! Have a wonderful and blessed day!

  13. These heads are just wonderful. What to you may seem to be imperfect gives each and every one it's unique personality. The character of the creature is only shown in what is different (and sometimes a little bit off) about that particular one. Artists will tell you that the perfect face while it may be beautiful is also very boring.

    As others have commented I just don't see how you have time to do all the things that you do. Maybe you somehow manage to create an extra 6 hours in every day?

  14. Jeri - it is nice to be inspired by other artists and you always inspire me. Love your critters and am looking forward to seeing them finished and Christened! Hugs.

  15. I am totally LOVING your growing pile of sculpted critters Jeri, fabulous seeing them coming to life from out of your imagination. Your punch needle kits sound most intriguing, can't wait to see! Happy Holidays. Rae.

  16. Such a beautiful collection of critters you are creating! I too, would love to see more about your punch needle kits. Have a lovely evening. ♥

  17. I'd love to be there in your studio ,creating a few critters of my own. You continually inspire me with your creations!

    I just put away your There is a Season print with it's lovely autumnal colors so I could decorate for the holidays and will look forward to the new year when it will once again remind me that springtime and lambie pies and flowers are something to look forward to!

  18. SON DIVINOS!!!

  19. Yipppeeeee! So glad you are back! I loooooooooooooove these!!!! You know I'm going to have to have one to add to my collection of your work. I had to chuckle though about all those heads lying around. Could be a little disturbing. hee,hee,hee. You amaze me with all your many talents. Hugs to you dear friend! :)

  20. oh my goodness, they are all so charming. really a gorgeous style of your own!
    how fun to think of you in the hollow making magical creatures. i also live in a hollow.....
    sending you a warm December hug.

  21. Oh my! What wonderful creatures you are being to life! I can't wait to see how they are when all finished.

    Your home looks very lovely. I appreciated the tour you gave of the log cabins and think you did well in decorating your home in that style.

    Lily, WA, USA

  22. Squirrels and bunnies and bears, oh my! I'm excited. Can't wait to see these darlings progress!


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