Saturday, July 21, 2012

Melissa Sue Stanley: Superlative Soft Sculpture pluS other Splendid thingS

I've wanted to write about Melissa Sue Stanley's art work for a while and now I finally have a moment to do so as the baby has gone on a nap inducing walk with his 'da-doo', exhausted after finally cracking the complicated maneuver known as 'walking' (he's only 10 months old! ! ! *brag*).

It's a beautiful day, I'm listening to Bob Dylan, I have a flapjack and a cup of tea, let us begin:

Melissa Sue Stanley

Melissa Sue Stanley is a Chicago based artist who I've internet-known for a long time now.

Sometimes you feel a sort of connection to other internet denizens and Melissa is one of those people to me. I hope I will know her for a long time. Her work never ceases to impress me because, as well as being a masterful watercolour/graphite artist, she is equally as capable in a completely different area: soft felt sculpture and the Japanese art of 'amigurumi' (knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures).

Personally I think that Melissa has TRANSCENDED traditional amigurumi, creating perfect and unique creatures that are a far cry from the pages of knitted cupcakes and cutesy balls with eyes you get if you type 'amigurumi' into Google images...

Compare those with her sophisticated and intricately designed monsters which just ooze character and emotion (never thought I would ever write that about wool):

Small beardy with world weary eyelids
Alert cat cow
Melancholy Monsters: Sad blue wiggly legs
Melancholy Monsters: Sad blue-er wiggly legs
This one is now mine!! I love him so, and he has a little birdy friend!
Feast your eyes on her soft sculpture. My mind boggles when thinking about how she puts this stuff together, I literally have no idea how she does it!

 Baba Yaga and the chicken shacks
What is this beast? I have no idea!
And her latest incredible creation, displayed at the OhNo!Doom gallery in Chicago, Queen Mab from Romeo and Juliet -

"O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep..."

Melissa runs a successful Etsy shop for her creatures (this one seems to be having a slight hiatus) and art and you should follow her blog and flickr for regular posts filled with paintings and creatures in progress as well as her finished pieces. Also see her tumblr.

Here are some of her paintings and sketches:

She offers portrait commissions and it's not difficult to see why:


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