Monday, December 23, 2013

Collector Spotlight ~ Martha in So Cal...

I am excited to share with you another delightful Collector Spotlight feature! This is my first Christmas-themed series where we all have the pleasure of stepping inside the home of a gracious collector during the holiday season. It is with joy that I introduce to you my dear friend Martha from So Cal! We connected almost 7 years ago via our passion for folk art. Her curiosity and admiration for my creations blossomed into an affection for collecting my original art. With Martha's passion for celebrating the various seasons of the year, she has inspired me along the way to explore and create new characters and works of art that symbolize the holidays and traditions that we both cherish. I am honored that she has chosen to open her home and share a delightful peek from within! It is always a treat to see my art pieces arranged and well-loved in a thoughtful home. I imagine these vignettes will inspire many more folks to create holiday nooks and table-scapes with their favorite things, to share amongst family and friends. So, let's begin with a little Artist & Collector Q&A along with a captivating collection of Martha's photos...


* Pictured above is a sweet photo of Martha and her hubby, stealing a kiss near the Christmas tree!

J: How did you learn about my folk art?

Martha: I was sitting at my dining room table on my computer.  I have always loved decorating, for all seasons and holidays.  I was web surfing (this was before Etsy, Pinterest, etc) and I think I typed in Halloween folk art and found you!  I'm trying to remember if you were having a web sale at the time, or not but I know that I bought my first piece then!  I think that was 2006???

J: I do love how the web can really connect us all so instantaneously! I am grateful that you found me via a basic search, and we became fast friends through our common love for folk art! 


* I love this wall nook that Martha has donned with some of her Johanna Parker Design snowmen! A whimsical pedestal sconce is the perfect spot for one of my limited edition shelf sitters that she acquired in person at our open house. The sweet medley of snowmen below are all original creations, and look quite content to be sharing the shelf!


* A newly adopted piece to her Christmas collection this year is "Holiday Hareiette!" Pinecones, sprigs and poinsettias offer just the right setting for this one of a kind holiday rabbit...


* Taking a closer peek at her nook of Johanna Parker Design original snowmen reveals all smiles and delight! The egg cup and ornament ball characters look to be older pieces, and the larger guys are candy containers with removable heads that likely date back a few years too.


* What a festive vignette this is with the "Happy Holidays" sign and the jolly snowman character ball original in the foreground. He looks to be singing a Christmas song! Martha nestles him in a bed of greenery and red berries which makes him pop!

J: How long have you been collecting my originals?

Martha: I think my first originals are from 2006, or 2007 at the latest.  I remember I sent you an email and you were so kind and happy that I loved your work!

J: My goodness! Where does the time go?.... It's hard to imagine that you first reached out to me almost 7 years ago! So, I was curious, and I did a little digging in my archived email. Here's what I found from you:

"Hi Johanna,
Love your creations and would like to be notified when you have more items to sell.  In your article in B H and G I loved the owl on the top shelf.  I'd love to have something similar.
Hope you can add me to your email list!

And here was my response....

"Hi Martha!
You've been added to the mailing list, and thank you for your interest in my folk art!  :)  I hope to have at least one more web sale before Halloween and also post some of the magazine pieces on eBay, so you'll get a heads-up!.... Glad you like the owl.....That reminds me that I need to make a few more owlish creatures!.....  
I'll be in touch,
~ Johanna"


* Fast forward several years, and now Martha has a small family of JPD holiday Hoot-Hoots! This trio of my festive original owls, were collected over a span of time, and look lovely together. It is to the credit of many collectors, including Martha that help direct me in creating the particular characters that I make. Owls in particular have been and continue to be a popular request, and thanks to Martha and others, I have made and sold a menagerie of them. The owl she referred to in her initial email was a standing, perched owl for Halloween, and now she has her very own Christmas rendition...


* Another sweet trio of JPD originals ~ this time a gathering of folk art cats each offer a sweet smile for the season!

J: What is it about my creations that capture your imagination?

Martha: I just remember loving the feeling I felt when I saw them.  From the expressions on their faces to the current, yet retro feel.  The colors are always beautiful and I love the warmth they exude.  It's as if you can feel all the time and love that you put into them!!  I just love the holidays/seasons and each character that you paint, whether Halloween, Christmas, Spring, Vday, they all bring your whimsy to that season!  And they just bring me joy and make me smile!  :)

J: I love that my art can create such a warm feeling and generate smiles, year after year! It brings me joy to know that more and more joy abounds via the sharing of my art with others. And, thank you for appreciating the care and attention that goes into each piece :)


* Here's a wide, including the cat trio and some of their wintery friends ~ all JPD originals... Martha displays them using painted boxes of varying heights, which is a great way to add interest and create a more pleasing group. The poinsettias add a soft backdrop and tie the collection together.


* Here we have another trio of snowmen originals that Martha has collected from me over the years. There is something innocent about each one, and I enjoy revisiting my characters via these photos in Martha's home...


* Again, Martha adds more interest to her holiday displays by varying the heights of her art pieces. A stylized ladder serves as the perfect shelf to single out each piece!


* And she tops off that unique shelf with a collection of primitive birdhouse chapels that serve as an exhibit for a pair of snowmen ornaments. The dangling snowman above is an original ornament bell from my 2013 collection, and the juggler below is a current Johanna Parker reproduction piece, offered via Bethany Lowe Designs.

J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?

Martha: I have never had the pleasure of going to the Halloween and Vine or Ghoultide.  But I have gone to your place twice and bought plenty at your holiday open house!  I have had amazing luck with the Collector Catch!  I think I have a Johanna Sixth Sense and get an impulse to check your website! HAHA.....lucky me!  I have gotten one piece from your lucky list.  I have found some originals as they pop up on Ebay every now and then.  And, I am pretty quick and usually grab one at each websale! Loved it when I got my new Mac!

J: You do have quick fingers when it comes to the web sales, and it does help to have a fast connection! I think those that have a growing affinity for my one of a kind pieces have learned to be snappy when I host a web sale. Pieces often sell quickly, and on my end, there is a frenzy as I sift through my inbox. Of course, face to face sales are always the best, and it's a fun way for me to meet the collectors and vice versa. It has been a pleasure to see you more than once at our Holiday Open House, and I appreciate the extra journey you make to come out to see us!


* Above, a medley of Johanna Parker Design originals bring holiday cheer to a sideboard. Some of these faces have made an appearance in other nooks around Martha's house, and it's fun to see how she playfully rearranges them according to her mood... In this photo, I spy a Christmas ghost and mouse bell ornament below that wintery flocked tree! All characters in this festive scene are one of kind Johanna Parker Design originals...

J: Do you have a favorite piece in your collection?

Martha: Hmmm.....gosh I love them all!  Of my Halloween, it might be my beautiful Cat Candy container, the one that's black and white with the crescent moon with mouse.  Is her name Dolly Crescent??  But from my Christmas I think it's hard cuz they are all out and I don't want to hurt feelings!  The ornament bells are FAB!  Love my 1st reindeer and Elf you did.....Love my Joy snowman ball, Tippy Tophat, Ronald Ruby and of course Snow Joe Oreo!!!  Love Swirly Santa....ok I really do love them all!

J: I know, I know... It've very difficult to pick a favorite, and I agree, we don't want to hurt any of their feelings! I have a sense that they all feel well-loved in your home... We will have to post a pic of "Dolly Crescent" when I share your Halloween collection here on my blog this coming Fall, 2014!


* Above are some of Martha's original Johanna Parker Design ornament bells! I have been making these for several years, and they are always a popular pick amongst collectors. I am truly lucky to make as many as 10 each year. I only got to 6 original bells for 2013. Included on her feather tree are a few sweet ornaments from fellow folk artist, Flora Thompson!


* And, yes, after Martha suggested I make a reindeer, I indeed did! I think she snagged one of my first reindeer egg cup characters at our Holiday Open House in 2011! Here he is, complete with mittens!


* And upon another suggestion to make elves, I followed suit and created 3 original elves this year. Martha adopted "Joyful Jelfrey"pictured above! She has him nestled in a bed of holly and surrounded by shimmery patinated mirrored relics...


* And here is "Snow Joe Oreo" ~ another one of a kind snowman candy container, this time in a black and cream motif! He happily greets both family and guests when they visit the powder room :)


* If you are wondering who is "Swirly Santa," well he is the whimsical sitter pictured above. He gets his name from all the black and silver swirl patterns that I painted on his body and hat! He proudly takes a seat at the kitchen table, atop a crate. Again, Martha works her magic by accessorizing her collectibles with other found objects, greenery and holiday pieces that work well to create a memorable scene for the senses!

J: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?

Martha: Loved that I had said reindeer at some point and you did!  Love that I said elves, as I know others did too, and you did!  And that I got the first ones of those!!!  Hmmmm.....I would love a Christmas Skunk!  They were my fav animals growing up and I think the black and white would be cute!  Also a huge chipmunk the stripes!  Oh, and foxes are awesome too!

J: Ahh, thanks for the suggestions! I can certainly imagine that both a Christmas skunk and chipmunk and even a fox character would add more holiday fun and variety to the mix!


* Here is another view of Martha's original Christmas owls....


* I love the simplicity of this snowy vignette, featuring my reproduction snowmen. The sweet green feather tree softly accents the mosaic mirror, and all the primitive snowmen characters add that special touch of winter spirit! The bits of snow around the base really complete the scene, adding texture and softness!


* At last for the Christmas imagery, I am including a series of Martha's sideboard where you can see the various groups of her Johanna Parker Design originals. The holiday red hues really pop and express "Good Cheer" indeed!


* Beyond Christmas, Martha is also sharing a few photos of her all-season Johanna Parker Design originals! In the mix, sits a small black cat bust in soft green hues with vintage button. This little guy happily lives under a decorative green dome shared with floral delights and candle accents...


* Over the summer, Martha collected 2 unique flower keepers from my Flower Power collection of originals. Above, a poppy-painted bird accompanies a small nest, filled with spotted eggs...


* And my sweet ruddy-haired girl now wears a bouquet of dried posies... Both of these unique flower keepers serve as floral vases as well as decorations.


* And after winter's chill subsides, the sights of scents of spring will be upon us. Pictured above is an original Johanna Parker Design cat ball character for spring, settled amongst a lovely bouquet of blooms...

* And, spring wouldn't be quite complete without the hope of a blue bird. Here Martha invites that spirit of hope via this special standing bird characters, one of which I created a few years back. Sheltered under a lovely white bouquet, he brings delight to the table, year after year!

J: Many thanks once again to Martha for inviting us in to delight in her collections and share the wonderment of the season through her thoughtful arrangements!  Martha enjoys sharing her collections with both family and friends. At times, she even carts them off to community church functions, decorating tables and delighting attendees with her artful arrangements. As an artist, I am thrilled to see that my work is in good hands! And, I enjoy knowing that the joy in my art can reach so many! I look forward to sharing with you Martha's collection of happy-spirited Halloween folk art this coming Fall, 2014. Stay tuned! In the meantime, I invite you to celebrate the seasons by collecting your favorite folk art, igniting a spirit of whimsy and imagination...

I hope you enjoyed Martha's photos! You can share your thoughts here in the comments portion of this post. Just click the "comments" link below to leave a message for both of us! THANK YOU!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & Happy Collecting too!

Best Wishes,
~ Johanna

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Barb T said...

Wow, what an amazing post and collection! Thank you both for sharing this with us. It's so cheerful and happy :o)

Barb T

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, Merry Christmas everyone! This Spotlight story really made me smile. I am in awe of all the holiday art pieces and how the bring warmth to the home. What a wonderful pairing. I hope to start collecting one day, and thank you for the inspiration.

Thank you,
MaryAnne Williams

Elma said...

Sigh..... she has the most beautiful collection!! She has so many!! I love them all and they are displayed so nicely!! I also see she has a couple of sitters :) Thanks for sharing. I am going back to take another peek!!

Martha said...

Thank you Barb, MaryAnne and Elma!!! I'm glad I shared if you all enjoyed seeing them!!! Johanna is so talented.....always look forward to unwrapping each one to put out! Merry Christmas!!!

Leanne E said...

Wow-- what an inspiration!! I love the idea of a Christmas fox...

Johanna Parker said...

A Christmas Fox would be wonderful :)

Thank you all for your kind words, and I am pleased to be able to share so many special photos from Martha's home... It's a treat!

Merry Christmas!
~ Johanna

Carol said...

I loved looking at all the photos in Martha's home! She has a wonderful Christmas art collection, and I appreciate the peek inside!

Merry Christmas,

Kingfisher Farm said...

Beautiful collection, artfully displayed with love!