Tea with Jeri.

I first came across the work of Jeri Landers when I saw her fabric designs several years ago. This lead me to her website and later her blog at Hopalong Hollow Gazette.Over the years we have become better acquainted but distance has not allowed us to meet, however let that not be an obstacle. Today we are taking tea together and invite you to join us, so pull up a chair and prepare to be charmed by this amazingly creative lady.

How do you take your tea and in what kind of cup do you like it served?

My tea of choice is Red Rose, a simple black tea. Since 1969 they have placed a small porcelain figurine inside the tea box, some are quite sweet, and I like the tradition. I take mine strong and very sweet, please. I love this tea cup, because it is covered in acorns.

If you could choose anyone, past, present or future, who would be joining us for tea?

Our tea party would include the writer James Herriot, (he would delight us with his marvelous animal tales), Anton Pieck, Dutch Illustrator and master of meticulous detail and perfect perspective... (Perspective is my nemesis; maybe he could give me a few tips). And last but not least, the beloved Beatrix Potter. How she would delight in the fact that her "little books for small hands" are still in print, over 100 years later! But, I would actually love to talk to her about her sheep, because I have sheep as well... in fact, one of them is named Beatrix.

Will you tell us a little about your background in art and design?

My only formal art training was an oil painting course, straight out of High School. I learned 2 things: Oil paints are very expensive and I do not like using them. We were required to turn in 3 canvases at the end of the class and I turned in 3 eggs. Really, I did. I painted miniature gardens upon the surface of blown out eggs using model car paints. My teacher was impressed and I passed the class. Aside from that, trial and error have been my constant guides. I probably do everything the wrong way, but it seems to work out for me.
Growing up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado was perfect for an animal and nature lover and I spent many years creating realistic wildlife art, until I discovered Traditional Folk art, and taught myself German and Swiss style Scherenschnitte and Early American - Painted Papercutting

This was a complete flip from realism, with a naive look and a folky feel. Over the years, I’ve utilized watercolor and papercutting for the basis of much of my work, including a line of greeting cards and lithographs. I also “grow” papercut gardens.

My art is an odd combination of folkart, realism and illustration. A few years ago, influenced by my love of beautiful storybooks, I wrote and illustrated a book about a character on one of my greeting cards, a rabbit named Hopalong Jack. During the year it took to illustrate the book, I wrote 8 additional stories and Hopalong Hollow was born. Nowadays, I spend most of my art-life working on these books, which is pure joy!

Where are you based and does it influence your work?

Twenty-one years ago, we bought a 40 acre homestead with a rundown century old farmhouse in East Tennessee. My husband and I have spent years bringing it back to life. We’ve filled the property with cottage gardens and all creatures great and small, everything from donkeys to peacocks. It is here that I get my inspiration, my models and my stories. It is the world of Hopalong Hollow.

What have you been doing/working on today?

I am finishing up a book illustration, here-

I hope that you have brought along something wonderful to show us, what is it?

We started with tea, so I guess we should end with another cup poured from the acorn pot. This is one of the latest illustrations I have completed for new book. Thank you so much for inviting me!

Thanks for coming all this way and for sharing your world with us. I hope it won't be too long before you visit again. Your work is a delight. I especially love your paper cuttings.


  1. Oh my goodness! Gorgeous artwork - Jeri's warm color palettes and soft, cozy detail remind me of Michael Hague's. Your papercutting is breathtaking.

    So nice to "meet" you, Jeri, over a cup of tea with Valerie. Now I just need to go out and get some of your books and find that amazing Red Rose tea - a porcelain figure inside...and acorns? Really?? So quaint!

    Thank you, Valerie! You always host such lovely tea interviews. :)

  2. First of all, I must say,what a beautiful papercut house and garden! So pretty! Love love love! And it was lovely to meet Jeri with the acorn cup and learn about Red Rose tea with the porcelain figures inside - I have never heard of it before. Interesting to learn about Jeri's background - I think most of us end up being self taught through trial and error, don't we:)
    Thank you Valerie! :)

  3. Thank you, Valerie and Jerie, for this delightful teatime, it did me a world of good! And thank you, Valerie, for introducing Jerie and her artwork into my life, I am smitten. And reading that Jerie lives in East Tennessee made my heart jump more than a little. I love Tennessee, can't wait to return there and explore more of that beautiful State and be amongst its wonderful people.

    A wonderful weekend to both of you,

  4. Thank you, Valerie and Jerie, for this delightful teatime, it did me a world of good! And thank you, Valerie, for introducing Jerie and her artwork into my life, I am smitten. And reading that Jerie lives in East Tennessee made my heart jump more than a little. I love Tennessee, can't wait to return there and explore more of that beautiful State and be amongst its wonderful people.

    A wonderful weekend to both of you,

  5. Two of my favourite bloggers - Jeri your story is so interesting, thanks Val. The next best thing to actually meeting up! Have a lovely weekend. Lesley x

  6. Love the cutouts on the book plate! Love that inspiration comes from your world around you...nice having tea with you!

  7. Valerie, it's been great to share some tea with you and Jeri Lander, and to learn so much about her background and current beautiful painting.

    As someone who grew up in Virginia, but moved to NYC after university, I am intrigued to learn much more aob about Jeri's life in Tennessee.

    Jeri has definitley found a very personal style.


  8. These are wonderful. WOW! I also loved James Herriot's wonderful writing. He's been an influence in my life since way back.

    I loved this blog entry--loved every picture, every word.

  9. Thank you Valerie for this delightful tea with you and Jeri. I've been following Jeri for a couple of years now and love her finely detailed work. I have two of her sweet books that I enjoy reading and looking at her wonderful artwork. You can't see everything in one viewing.

    FlowerLady Lorraine

  10. I just adore you, Jeri, and I am actually RELIEVED to learn that you have done things YOUR WAY, and even though you may have done things "...the wrong way", you do what works best for you. That is what I am discovering, at my age, as I illustrate. I will not DIVULGE what I have done "wrong", but the results seem to work for my little audience of admirers!

    Thank you for this wonderful tea chat as I sit in my writing studio this cold, midwest morning. It feels good to know I am in good company of artists that do what works best for them! Anita

  11. These are exquisite Valerie and I can see why they appeal to you as your work is so similar. I am now going over to her site to look at more, so thanks for introducing her to your readers.

  12. Hello,
    I came over to visit from Hopalong Hollow a day late for tea..I tried my first cup of Red Rose at a friend's house yesterday, imagine now reading about it here...
    Lovely visit,
    Mama Bear

  13. Thank you ladies for such a delightful visit. Red Rose tea you say,I shall try some indeed !
    I have been following Jeri for awhile and love her work,life style and those amazing friends she lives among.
    Valerie you are a charming hostess.

  14. What a fascinating interview Valerie, thank you for posting this :)

  15. Jeri is an incredible artist and an incredible lady. I have had the honor and priviledge of meeting her in person, as well as, owning many pieces of her beautiful art.
    Thank you very much for this interview. Delightful!

  16. Jeri is a beautiful lady! I love her artwork and have several pieces. It was such fun to join the tea party!

  17. I feel so fortunate to have found you (thanks to Jeri at Hopalong Hollow). You two are surely birds-of-a-feather.

    I read through and thoroughly enjoyed your last few postings.

    Your work is lovely and it shows us a peek of your spirit and soul.

    Al joys to you,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  18. Good evening Valerie,
    What an enjoyable tea time this was.
    I so enjoyed your conversation with Jeri... Her body of work is as beautiful as she is.. I can't say enough about this woman, who I am proud to call my friend.. She is a treasure.
    Thank you for the wonderful post Valerie, I have admired you artwork for years... You too, are a true inspiration.

  19. Thank you, Jeri, for sharing this
    lovely tea visit with Valerie... I
    so loved the interview and the opportunity to have others discover
    the consumate artist and gracious
    lady you are. If what you achieved
    was the "wrong way", then to err is
    divine.... This blog post is delicious....
    Our Mary

  20. Thank you ladies for making time for this tea party. It is so nice to welcome friends old and new.

    I would especially like to welcome new visitors and friends of Jeri - Lorraine, Anita, Mama Bear, Amy, Michelle, Sharon, Penny and Mary. I hope I have not left anyone out.

    I think art college gives people an environment in which to flourish, a protected and encouraging place. Just as flowers sometimes thrive in a hot house, so too others grow and blossom on their own. Self taught artists are no less gifted than those who have had a specialised environment and Jeri is a great example of this.

  21. Valerie, you do put on a splendid Tea! Please pass the scones?

  22. hi valerie! i have come to your tea party through jeri's blog. i must share with you that i had the extreme pleasure of meeting this beautiful lady last december in franklin, tn. she was manning her booth at the dickens christmas festival, surrounded by her books , paper cutouts and prints of her artwork...she is just as delightful and friendly as one must imagine her to be, after viewing her detailed and fantastical illustrations....she was even dressed in period costume that she had handmade for the festival...her attention to detail is something i am constantly inspired and mesmerized by....i consider myself so very lucky to have met her!

  23. I found you through Jeri's blog. What amazing pictures! I love the paper tree, such intricate work and such clean lines. How very beautiful!

  24. Oh how lovely to see you visit today! Thank you so much for stopping by and yet again, I am able to enjoy your tea-time with Jeri, a kind friend and favorite blogging buddy!

    We too are having a blustery cold February, but around April, we should be experiencing some warmth!

    Happy day! Anita

  25. Dear Valerie - what a lovely post and interview with Jeri...I so admire her work and also yours. Both of you have such talent. Thanks for sharing. God Bless.

  26. I love this! Thank you for having such a wonderful guest. Whimsical, unique, original, fascinating. Great interview.

    1. So charming to sit quietly with an ear on your tea time with Jerry. Fun post with lovely content!

  27. Valerie, I wanted to thank you so much for having me over for tea. And a special thanks to all the kind folk who visited and left such nice comments!

  28. Val - you are a genius! To invite a friend to tea on your blog is a lovely idea! And to share Jeri's work with us is the cherry on top!
    .... and tea from an acorn teapot - right up your alley, isn't it.....?
    Thanks so much for inviting us to join you and Jeri.
    SOooooooo yummy...


  29. how wonderful that you have done an interview with Jeri. I so enjoy her many arts as well as knowing her through blogging.

  30. I enjoy viewing the illustrations. Such a wonderful use of color and technique.