Fairy Tales, 1: Brother & Sister
On Your Desk

On Your Desk

On your desk-v lee

Our first desk today is located on the other side of my village here in Devon, where Virginia Lee quietly creates an enchanted world full of marvels and magic. Working in a style that is utterly her own, Virginia's art ranges from powerfully emotional to utterly hilarious. She is one of the very best of the new generation of mythic artists, and her work never fails to astonish me.

"Until recently my workspace has always been confined to bedrooms and small office rooms," she says. "Although cosy, this tends to limit the size and scope of what I can produce. Now that I've moved back to my hometown in Devon, I've been allowed to use and spread out in my father's painting studio as a temporary arrangement while he's working abroad. It's a spacious converted stone barn with skylights, and the photo (above) shows one corner of it. As well as being able to work bigger, and to stand at some distance to evaluate the work, I can have several projects on the go without them encroaching on each other. There is also an extensive library of reference books, and the space is very accommodating for the array of different media that I use: pastels, pencils, coloured pencils, acrylic, and water soluable oil paints, to name a few.

"During these winter months, though, I do find the barn a little too chilly to remain stationary in for long; I will often adjourn back to the house to find pockets of warmth to work in. Having had a taste of this luxury style of studio space, I may find it hard to adjust back to economy when I will, inevitably, have to move elsewhere."

Virginia is a painter, a sculptor, and the illustrator of two wonderful children's books: The Frog Bride and Persephone; her work has also appeared in Mermaids, Hobgoblins, and other publications. Two of her pieces, "Moorland Melodies" and "Tides of Emotion," are pictured below...and there are many more wonders to be found over on her blog and website.

By Virginia Lee


Amy Bogard, a professional artist in Cincinnati, Ohio, also works in a studio that tends to get a bit cold during the winter months of the year.  "It's glass on three sides, and unheated," she says, "so I bundle up and pray for sunshine! But I treasure my time in the studio, even when it's cold out there." When she's not in her studio, Amy can be found walking the woods with her dogs, playing Irish music, or exploring the Midwestern river town in which she lives.

"My work consists of all kinds of materials from paints to wax to quilting and embroidery. The first photograph (below) shows my desk (i.e. mission control) , where I draw/paint in my sketchbook, keep track of research for current projects, and prepare wood panels for encaustic paintings.  The second photograph shows the 'wax table' area, where I work with the encaustic paints.  All is looking rather neat currently, as I did a deep studio clean/rearrangement over the holidays, hoping to create a better ventilation set-up for the encaustic table -- and thereby to create more work!"

You can see Amy's art, much of it inspired by the world of nature, over on her  website and blog. It's unusual, beautiful, and fascinating work. (And I particularly like the Daily Dog.)

Bogard desk

Bogard wax table

Our final desks today comes from Michelle, a "writer, knitter, gardener, healer, and radical homemaker" in the Pacific Northwest. She lives in Oregon (midway between Portland and the Coast Range) with her partner, stepchildren, three neurotic cats, and a pile of ornery chickens.

She says, "I have two desks, because half of my creative work is very indoorsy -- writing and knitting -- and half of my creative work is better done outside. Keyboards and yarn tend to function better when not covered in bits of leaves and twigs.

"The first photo (below) is my writing space, and sometimes my knitting space as well -- especially if I am in the process of typing up a pattern. (A confession: My desk isn't always this neat. I just caught it on a good day.) Those are my knitted goddesses there in the background, watching over the candle and a pile of smooth stones from the Oregon Coast. On the left are a couple of my Nature Spirits . . . which I create on the much more chaotic surface in the second photograph, along with the smudge sticks and willow wreaths that I sell in my Etsy shop, Green Fingers."

To see more of Michelle's work, visit her Greenwoman blog, where she explores the process making of magical art, and the art of living a magical life.



More desks to come.


All readers of this blog are welcome to contribute to the "On Your Desk" series. You'll find more information (and the address where you should send your photo) in the first post of the series.


this whole series is so inspiring. i love sharing coffee with these incredible people :)

I love this series too! I love seeing how other people work. Thanks for giving all of us an opportunity to peek into each others' lives.

I've got some more good "On Your Desk" photos coming up tomorrow and next week....

Cool! Makes me want to work. I think one of the founding fathers, maybe Thomas Jefferson, worked standing up at his writing desk. And then there's the treadmill desk. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPjN07JyVjo

I am beginning to believe that all the magic in the world is emanating from Dartmoor. Love you series and your blog. You bring a smile to my face every day.

Virginia's angel literally took my breath away.

Oh goodness. The best part of all was getting to see what Virginia is working on. Virginia is dearly one of my favorite artists, and so polite and kind.

Working in her father's studio, while he is..abroad (i.e. Down in New Zealand crafting wonderful Hobbit movie art!)...reminded me of Theo Black comments about staying there: http://theoblack.livejournal.com/157314.html

I think your above commenter really nailed it about your series. "It makes me want to work". Yes, that. Create, and move, and envision and sculpt. Make a glorious mess of it, and lift something beautiful out of it. I am a middle of the road sort of messy artist. A little of each, tidy and cluttered.

I always admired the really messy ones, the disastrous piles of tables, where, someone would bring up the finished work, like pulling a crystal from the Earth, and wash it clean, and it would be astonishing and surprising more so as where it came from!

Thanks for starting the series again. Here in the states, he has been a long cold winter indeed. I needed the inspiration after the Holidays and blizzards.

The comments to this entry are closed.