Egyptian Inspiration

Bird
Bird | embroidered and hand dyed silk inspired by Egyptian jewelry | copyright Liz Macklin 2011

Shops open in Cairo today. May peace, religious freedom and respect for individual rights prevail in Egypt, in the United States and throughout the world!

Who can resist browsing through galleries with elaborately decorated coffins, mummified ibis, bronze cobras, linen baboons  and gold amulets inlaid with stones in brilliant blues?  Egypt, your antiquities provided inspiration for me time and time again.

I send my gratitude to  the young people standing  guard at the Egyptian Museum. When its website reopens, visit the collection. Until then, take a virtual tour of the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Two of my  favorite books for children include

ABC: Egyptian Art from The Brooklyn Museum by Florence Cassen Mayers, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1988

Aida, the story of an Ethiopian princess who falls in love with an Egyptian warrior, as told in the opera by Giuseppe Verdi, retold by Leontyne Price and illustrated by the award winning artists, Leo and Diane Dillon, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1990

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock | watercolor | copyright Liz Macklin 2005

At my house it’s been the coldest January since 1994. I wake up to the glow of streetlights on what remains of the December snow. Last week I saw a fox run run down the street in the moonlight. Even a sly hunter might find it hard to catch a midnight snack when ice coats the hedges and all the squirrels have hidden in hollow trees.

This month my illustration Hickory Dickory Dock is on display at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.  The exhibit includes work by artists who teach and volunteer with the Arts and Humanities Program at the hospital.

You probably remember the nursery rhyme:

Hicklory dickory dock
the mouse ran up the clock
the clock struck one
the mouse ran down
hickory dickory dock

Jeonju

Entry at Gyeonggijeon
Entrance at Gyeonggijeon | watercolor | 30" by 38" | copyright Liz Macklin 2009

While traveling in Korea, I spent a day exploring the Hanok Village in Jeonju. It was an autumn afternoon and the sky and trees were the colors of painted silks. My daughter and I visited shops brimming with handmade papers, fabrics and ceramics. We wandered through the site of the historic hall at Gyeonggijeon. A scene at the gate inspired this watercolor.

This painting and others will be on display at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. until November 30.

Art and The Reading Connection

Lilies on Blue Cloth | watercolor | copyright Liz Macklin 2009
Lilies on Blue Cloth | watercolor | copyright Liz Macklin 2009

Help bring books to children in housing crisis.

I’ve donated this watercolor to the fall fundraiser for The Reading Connection! The art is ready to hang in your home or office — framed (11″ x 14″)

Everyone is invited. Please tell your friends.

The Art of Reading
Saturday, September 19, 2009

From 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., celebrate with Kids at Pyramid Atlantic. There will be three read-alouds led by celebrity readers (at 2:15, 3:15, and 4:15), each followed by an art project inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

From 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., join the festivities at an Art & Wine Reception. Artists will display their creations and a portion of sales will benefit TRC.

Location: ArtSpring Store, 8519 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD.

The Reading Connection is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children and families by helping them create and sustain literacy-rich environments and motivation for reading. See www.thereadingconnection.org for more information on TRC programs.

Designs in Silk

Blue Silk Batik
Blue Silk Batik | 6″ by 12″

Silk. Soft, luxurious and rich with color. Who would have thought that it all began with a lowly worm? Not just any worm – a caterpillar bent on metamorphosis!

In October I visited Korea. I spent many spare moments scouting museums and local markets looking for beautiful handmade objects. In Jeonju, a town in North Jeolla province, my daughter, acting both as my guide and translator, led me straight to the wedding street! Along this side street shops sold both western and Korean wedding gowns. The traditional Korean garments stole my heart. Long robes in brilliant hues of magenta, yellow or blue hung in the shop windows. Each gown had a high waist tied with ribbons, and the most elaborate boasted a garden of embroidered flowers on bodices and sleeves.

Inspired by the designs, I searched for more information when I returned home.  In my local public library I found Silken Threads: A History of Embroidery in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam, by Young Yang Chung, a reference book with exquisite color photos.

— Edited to remove expired links, March 24, 2016