Our dear friend Weaver of Grass has suggested this meme so here is my contribution. So many people are inspirational, my family, my fellow bloggers, artists, craftsmen, writers, musicians, not to mention places, nature, etc. I had great difficulty in concentrating on one theme but in the end I narrowed it down to the work of one man, Robin Tanner 1904-1988.
Ever since I first learnt about Robin Tanner and saw his work, I have been drawn back again and again into his quiet, intense and artistic world, he is a constant source of inspiration to me. An artist driven by a deep appreciation of nature who had a complete disregard of commerce.
Robin was an educator and an expert illustrator and etcher; inspired by the natural world he created work of such exquisite beauty that they can move me to tears. He in turn was inspired by other inspirational artists notably Samuel Palmer and William Morris.
His etchings started as drawings, closely observed from nature. Every tiny centimeter of the surface was covered by the tiniest of details, giving the final work great intensity and magic, he had the ability to contain a whole world in a few inches, often viewed from a mouse’s perspective.
Together with his wife Heather, they created a masterpiece called “Woodland Plants” which they embarked upon in 1940, it was to take another four decades before it finally appeared in print in 1981. He said of this work “it proved the greatest solace… to explore with my pencil the gentle intricacies of twayblade, the subtle forms of wild columbine and martagon lily, and all the patterned veinings and flower symmetry and infinite variety of textures in the generally unnoticed, the self-effacing plants, like sanicle and dog’s mercury, cow wheat and enchanter’s nightshade, spurge laurel and moschatel.”
I managed to find a copy of his autobiography, “Double Harness” which I can wholeheartedly recommend; it is both an excellent read and is illustrated with many of his extraordinary inspirational, lyrical works.
My name is Valerie Greeley. I am an artist, surface pattern/textile designer and illustrator. I have a special interest in the book arts including illustration, bookbinding, printmaking and artist books. I also have an interest in quilting, nature and bumblebees.