Finding Vintage Romance in Today's Independent Art

Folks well-familiar with this blog know I'm a big fan of art. Whether it's framed prints from the 30s in the Maxfield Parrish style, thrift store paintings where good intentions may outweigh skill, or talented artists and photographers working today to express themselves creatively. In fact, I fear my love of art is rapidly starting to exceed my wall space!

Like decorating, taste in art is incredibly subjective, of course. One man's prized collection can easily be another man's creative nightmare. But I thought you all might like to see just a few of the artists and photographers working today whose creative ideas I respect and enjoy. For a lover of things vintage and Victorian, I feel they echo that sense of romance, adventure, mystery and story-telling.

I just thought it might be fun to give them some props today!

Like British artist, Michael Thomas here...

He's a book jacket illustrator out of England and his work becomes cover art, notecards and prints. I have three of his original paintings, and have been absolutely wowed by his skill, as well as how effectively he has embraced the Pre-Raphaelite style for his subject matter and composition. His works are largely acryllic on board. The piece here is Rapunzel, and as I understand it, she is intended to be used in cards and as an illustration within a fairy tale edition.

This one below is called Pices...

I'm not actually a Pices, but I loved the delicate figure and her almost Rosetti-styled face.

The last of his works which I own is what he refers to as his Art Nouveau angel...

This, the artist indicated, was one of the more decorative pieces he'd done. The elaborate background detailing does remind me of some Burne-Jones pieces, while the figure complements the Pices painting well. I have these on either side of my Victorian pocket doors.

You can check out more of Michael Thomas' work-- I believe he currently has prints available of Pices and the art nouveau angel-- in his Ebay store Fresco Art by clicking here.

Another artist currently doing work which reflects his love of Pre-Raphaelite art is American artist Patrick Lynch out of Kentucky.

I met Patrick online a few years ago due to a mutual appreciation of the Pre-Raphaelites. Patrick balances his art career along with a full-time job-- no easy task-- but has been passionate about his painting for decades. His work uses paint as well as colored pencils to create the vivid shades you see above-- a feat made more remarkable as the artist works to find the right balance in spite of being color-blind.

His paintings typically incorporate Victorian or medieval-Gothic styled ladies with wistful expressions. Imagery tends to emphasize his love of the gramophone, river scenes, and statuary. The painting below is one of my personal favorites in Patrick's online gallery. It's called First Night of Autumn. The hats are based on the work of one of his friends, a Kentucky hat designer.

You can check out more of Patrick's work at his site The Lost and Beautiful Past.

My most recent art purchase was from a shop at Etsy, called Audrey Eclectic. Artist Heather Van Winkle uses the "whimsy folk art" style to create pretty, quirky portraits with a gentle storybook feel. Using mixed media collage, large eyed lasses stare demurely at the viewer, infused with layered details that sneak up a bit of the viewer the more he or she looks. What I appreciated in particular was her work involves more than pretty images of old-fashioned girls, but little tales to support each one.

This is "Elerey," a "Hallowed Hall girl"-- one of three sister portraits, each with a fun little history to accompany her. You can read about them on Heather's blog. Elerey was a toy maker-- and her creations tended to demonstrate some very mysterious and unusual behavior! I liked her Wednesday Addams style.

Another interesting feature is, Heather's work is done on scrap wood, cleaned up and repurposed. Talk about your trash to treasure!

In terms of less Gothic, more Shabby Chic art, I also became taken with an artist named Carole DeWald. She sells on Ebay, in her shop Carole's Cottage, and does still life floral work which puts a particular emphasis on roses, hydrangeas and lilacs. This particular painting is in my dining room.

Another Ebay artist of the genre is Mary Ann Mayer. Her lilac painting-- with its impressionist feel-- made an impression on me. I love that it looks like it has some real age to it.

While we were discussing artists, I'd also wanted to draw your attention to two photographers that capture the natural world in remarkable ways. It's patience and perseverance that make their work so awe-inspiring-- waiting for that perfect glow of a sunset, capturing the right angle of a Western mesa, or sitting in a boat on a Norwegian lake for the just-right shot of the Aurora Borealis.

If you're a fan of nature photography, I think you'll really enjoy the work here.

Rodney Lough is an American photographer whose work my friend Scoobie is addicted to. His love of nature shines through with every photograph, and honestly, once you've seen Rodney's treatment of a particular area, it never seems the same again. He makes our world truly magical. Check out his site, TheLoughRoad, and I believe you'll see what I mean.

Photographer Thomas Laupstad is a fellow I met online through blogging, and like Rodney Lough, he captures his own country-- Norway-- with a keen eye, a love of color and a lot of waiting around for the perfect moment. You can see Thomas' work on his blog here.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this little dip into the world of independent art today. I know there are a lot of talented people out there, but I thought it would be nice to discuss just a few whose work has become a part of my life.

  • If you missed Treasure Box Wednesday, where the mantle gets a new look, I get a few thrifted goodies and you all get some vintage tunes, click here.
  • If you missed last Sunday's post on Giggles over Wiggling, Jiggling Jell-O recipes, click here.

And I hope to see you again soon! Thanks for your visit.


Bird said...

I love Elerey! What a lovely idiosyncratic style the artist has, it's beautifully done.

Carrie said...

Thanks for introducing these wonderful artists. The colors and subjects are very appealing.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Bird- Oh, thanks!-- I literally just received Elerey and am so pleased. I keep staring and finding other little details secreted in it.

Carrie- I'm so glad you enjoyed it. These folks do know how to create rich color.

Carrie said...

Jenn, I do not know if you’ve been nominated for the Brilliante Weblog award, but your blog has been most inspiring to me, and I would like to pass it on to you at this time. Please see my post for information on the award.
Carrie - Oak Rise Cottage

Da Old Man said...

Jenn, you never cease to amaze me with your knowledge. While my tastes run more to dogs playing poker and velvet Elvises (Elvi?) I enjoy looking at art, and have even (yikes!) gone to a museum or two. Thank you for this great post.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Carrie- That's very kind of you-- there's simply nothing like knowing you've inspired somebody. Thanks again. :)

DaOldMan- I don't know how much of it is knowledge and how much is just stuff rattling around pushing out other information. :) A good velvet Elvis is hard to find these days, you know. Your collection may be highly sought after. :)

RecycleCindy said...

As always, an enjoyable journey through your vintage finds. I love the artwork and your commentaries of each piece.

Jenn Thorson said...

Cindy- Oh, thank you! Many of them were artists well overdue that I share with you all.

Heather said...

I'm so glad Elerey arrived safe and sound (I worry about my girls when they're out traveling!) and Im so glad she's found a good home with you. Thank you for such sweet comments about my art! I appreciate it very much!~

Jenn Thorson said...

Heather- I can imagine you might-- it's probably a bit hard to let them go off into the world sometimes. :) And you're very welcome. Elerey makes me smile when I see her.

Rosemary said...

Hi Jenn,
I always learn so much from your blog.
I love the Hallowed Hall Girl!!
Hope you had a nice weekend.
Have a great week. I'm busy as usual.

Jenn Thorson said...

Ah, Rosemary- You're a delight! :) Thanks for visiting-- I know you've been just crushed with stuff. Happy glitter pasting!

Nikki said...

Thank you so much for turning me onto Audrey Eclectic. Such talent!

I recently made my first Etsy purchase from
and I'm just so smitten with it!

Jenn Thorson said...

Nikki- Certainly! She a lot of fun. I think if she decides to do more portraits in the style of the Hallowed Hall girls she's going to be swamped with buyers, particularly as Halloween approaches.

Interestin Etsy shop in TheBlackApple. She has a bit of that storybook feel to her stuff as well.

Claire said...

Catching up on your posts via the feed and Elerey jumped out at me, she is excellent.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Claire- Thank you, I'm really happy with Elerey, too! I think Heather is very clever in the way she's done these. Thanks for visiting! :)