Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My favorite etsy artists, HarrietsImagination

Tanya Mayers is the artist behind HarrietsImagination on etsy. She's from a small town near Manchester, England, and she works with digital collage, and notes in her profile that much of her inspiration comes from her sister's doll collection and from books that she read as a child. You can see that childlike point of view throughout her work, that perspective of the world as an unknown and magical, but not always comforting, place.
I don't really know much about digital collage, but I know that her work is stunning. This image of Sleeping Beauty, for example, with its gothic theme of the mottled night sky and the blood red pop of the roses, "slumbers forever more." It has a dark innocence that's so charming. and the image itself is quite striking.

Much like the hang dog faces of Lord and Lady Bassett, turned out in all of their Victorian finery. As you may have noticed from previous posts, I love artworks that humanize animals. Maybe it was being raised with animals and having so many that I have loved so dearly, but something about it appeals to me. It's a bit surreal--Lord and Lady Bassett with their human hands and hats and canes--and very sweet. Quite a fashionable couple. I wonder how the horses that pull their carriage are dressed?

The personification of animals is a theme that Tanya continues in Too Many Cooks, this time mixed with a sort of Fifties housewife in a kitchen kitsch. The combined elements are strange but appealing, much like the plots of most fairy tales. Honestly, my favorite detail from Too Many Cooks is the pair of black and white striped tights. What other kind of legwear would a tiger tabby cat wear whilst baking a cake?

Ah, but not all fairy tales are completely sweetness and light. Likewise, not all of Tanya's creations are safely adorable. Take the Headless Prom Queen. . . well, needless to say, her prom pictures will be discussed for years to come. She does still look lovely, even in her rather unfortunate condition. There's no explanation as to how she became headless, anymore than there's an explanation of why a cat is wearing an apron and baking a cake. That's part of what makes it so surreal and provocative. Again, look at the colors, the feminine yellow dress with the shock of the red tights. If you didn't know the title of this work and just happened across it, The Headless Prom Queen might remind you of Medusa, or even a modernized Marie Antoinette.

It's the light, feminine subject matters and sense of style and detail, mixed with the macabre or surreal that makes her work so captivating. In addition, I get a sense of Victorian art mixed with a bit of anime. She's also an extremely nice person.
Please, stop by her shop and have a look. Be on the lookout for spiders and ghosts. Oh, and if The Headless Prom Queen asks for a dance, that is entirely up to you.
Her sister shop, HarrietsArt:


  1. What a great post,you write so well.
    I'm digging this artist too,I enjoy surreal and off kilter stuff.love Lord and Lady Bassett.
    Off to add her to my faves.


  2. Thanks, velvet, what a lovely compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  3. thanks so much for this wonderful piece
    its beautiful,
    Kind Regards Tanya x

  4. Another great article! Some sweet/bizarre stuff featured here. Right up my alley!