As a child, I loved picture books and story books. The ones I loved most were those with whimsical and complex illustration that demonstrated a concentrated attention to detail. I loved when the illustrator put things in those pictures for me to notice and find, because I visited them again and again. I still have most of those cherished, well worn books. As a psychologist, I know that for kids, the world they see in a book becomes their world and as an illustrator, I am committed to making that world an intriguing one.
I have created art and illustrated for much of my life and studied art throughout. While completing my Doctorate in psychology, I found my interest in working in illustration was rekindled and since then have pursued opportunities to do so. I find that the flexibility in schedule I have as a private practitioner allows me to successfully pursue both professions, and I enjoy the balance that doing both provides.
About the collages: I create collages using vintage images and other elements that I arrange on hand painted canvases, watercolor paper or in assemblage or shadowbox arrangements. First I arrange painstakingly hand cut images to arrive at the best composition and narrative. Sometimes the images are stained or painted. When I’ve decided on a size, I prepare a background, either painting and staining stretched canvas or using watercolors and ink on watercolor blocks, and work with tissues, handmade papers, fibers and natural items to add texture, depth and interest. Then I glue the images down with archival glue and add further embellishments such as brass charms, watch gears, ribbon, fibers, crystals, feathers, shells and more. With canvases, the back is finished with coordinating paper, fitted with hanging hardware and signed. Works on watercolor paper are matted and signed.
About the stories: For many years I tried to come up with charming and whimsical children’s stories so that I might illustrate them, and hopefully, realize large profits. The stumbling block seemed to be plot – I couldn’t think of any. Great characters materialized and meandered about, doing absolutely nothing. A major departure from my watercolor and inkline paintings, my collage work began to emerge about eight years ago during some big life transitions. Sifting through my (now very large) collection of vintage images, intriguing compositions and scenarios began to emerge. When I started creating these collages, something different began to happen: stories come to me as I work on them, usually beginning with the character’s name and evolving from there. It’s as though their stories really happened, and if they didn’t, they should have. Sometimes the story is assertive enough to influence the artwork and take it in its own direction. While parts of my own life occasionally find their way into the narrative, the characters seem to take shape and tell their own stories. Maddeningly, they do it in their own time – I tend to have completed canvasses glaring at me reproachfully from my bookshelves as I wait for their stories to materialize. Once the story reveals itself, I make good use of Wikipedia and other resources in an effort to get details as accurate as I can manage. At any rate, I am most grateful to my muse, and I try to leave a plate of cookies out for her periodically, both as a token of my gratitude and as a blatant bribe.
Please feel free to contact me via email to commission work, set up a portfolio review, receive samples or inquire about purchasing original works.
Copyright 2017. Winona Cookie Illustration. All Rights Reserved.