Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Lady Vanity Takes A Break From Mirroring To Dream Of An Unusual Garden, from my millefleurs series

title: "The Lady Vanity Takes A Break From Mirroring To Dream Of An Unusual Garden"
original 11" x 14" painting (presently available)
© 2019 Lise Winne

I have a lot of catching up to do! I have been painting and uploading a lot of art recently, and this is just one of them. More to come!

This piece is in the millefleurs tradition (and is part of my millefleurs series HERE). Millefleurs is a French word and means "many flowers". Alternatively it can mean a million flowers, but most art cannot hope to have that number of flowers all in one piece! 

Millefleurs works of art became popular during the Renaissance. The most well known are The Lady and the Unicorn series and The Hunt of the Unicorn series.  

Renaissance art is imbued with a lot of symbolism. 

The fact that The Lady Vanity is small relative to the songbirds near her head and the foliage, is intentional, for instance. It is meant to be an allegory of vanity. 

In the usual style of Renaissance art, she is dressed in Renaissance attire, with a cone hat (hennin).

The white bird is a Sapientes Pacis bird, and translates from Latin into Wise Peace bird. They are a species of my own invention, started during this painting from my blue period series. When I draw from my own imagination, such as when I'm gallery sitting and have no materials to reference for a drawing, these kinds of birds keep popping up. I had to decide what they were, and when looking at them, I decided that they had to be related to peace (as they are a bit dove-like, only bigger), and since they were always examining or questioning something in my art creations, I felt they had to be wise too.

Please note: Sapientes is a different word from Serpientes (tongue-in-cheek reference directed at a person who uses allegories and metaphors to hurt others, rather than to help humanity).

Millefleurs represent plenty, freedom from poverty and hunger, and luxury. For me, painting in this style is a backlash and a rebellion against modernist traditions, particularly depicting landscapes, for example, in bright orange and purple, simply rendered broad brush-stroke paintings with boxy buildings and with very little detail or the natural world in them. Why is this the acceptable norm for getting into shows?

If I'm going to bother spending my time making art, I want to either make art with statements and meaning, or art that is lush and full of nature. This piece hopefully has a little of both. 

One reason I like working in the millefleurs tradition is that it affords me "authentic expression". It was the first style of art that brought tears to my eyes (during my first trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art). After that, I wanted to stop pandering to modernist tastes and to try to give something to the world that might last past the present painting traditions.

William Morris who I highly respect (and see quite a bit of in myself), went "the millefleurs way" too in the 1800s, long after the Renaissance. If he can do it, so can I, yes?

It won't get me in the trendiest places, but customers like it, and they help me going in this direction.

If you find you cannot live without this piece (lol), you can contact me by e-mail (sales(att) It has a gold frame. Or you can purchase an archival print, wall hangings, totes, pillows, etc, HERE.

Here are pictures and products (for possibilities). This first is a framed print:

 the framed prints are available here:
go HERE for a framed print
This frame is under the brown category (found in the drop-down). It is #CUL7
and the mat is manor white ... or pick your own frame.
For the depiction on this blog, the print is roughly a 16" x 20" print.

note: the watermark in the right hand corner will not appear in the actual purchased product

This is what it looks like as a canvas print: 

canvas prints available HERE
choose the size. 
Note the size here on this blog is the smallest.
Don't forget to look at it in 3-D to see if you like how everything lines up on the edges.

Other products:

throw pillows HERE
use this color green or another that suits your fancy

large round beach towel: purchase HERE

As a tote bag. Purchase HERE

Thank you, as always, for reading.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

sale and free shipping on Christmas cards and Christmas gifts from my shop

Wreath with Bow greeting card
available for sale in packs of 10 or packs of 25 (pay less per card the more you order)

Yes, you heard it right: 

There are sales on certain days and free shipping on other days in my shop. My shop includes detailed paintings of unicorns, horses, sheep, bunnies, Celtic designs, Renaissance-inspired designs and then some photography like the greeting card above.

So here are the details of the sale:

November 22nd - November 26th
Free Ground Shipping on All U.S. Orders

November 29th
25% Off Tote Bags, Weekender Tote Bags, and Zip Pouches

December 3rd
25% Off Wall Art (Canvas Prints, Framed Prints, Posters, Wood Prints, Metal Prints, Acrylic Prints, and Tapestries)

December 5th
25% Off Home Decor (Throw Pillows, Duvet Covers, Shower Curtains, Bath Towels, Coffee Mugs, and Fleece Blankets)

December 7th
25% Off Phone Cases

Additional Information
All of the promotions begin at 12:00 AM Eastern U.S. time on the listed start date and end at 11:59 PM Eastern U.S. time on the end date. If only one date is listed, then the promotion starts and ends on the same day.

Here are just a few of my paintings and products for the holidays:

Baby Lamb with White Butterflies on a toddler teeshirt

Night Butterfly throw pillow (in green, but you can choose any color for the background)

Butterfly blanket
choose from plush fleece or Sherpa fleece

for the little girl's room:
Unicorn in a Heart throw pillow (choose size you want)

Unicorn Heart with Millefleurs (the design is printed on both sides of the mug)

framed print of Spring Tree with Knotted Roots and Knotted Border

Here's another Celtic design in a very large round beech towel:

Celtic Knot with Bunny beech towel
be sure to scroll through the pictures underneath the main image
Playing Card Symbols throw pillow (choose size you want)
I purchased these for someone, and they were really good quality: clear, on good canvas

Heart in a Snowflake tote bag

Here are more Christmas card designs:

At some point, I'll find some time to show what I have been working on that is new to my studio and new to my on-line store. The last few weeks, I have been focused on local holiday art shows. 

I'm also showing originals at some galleries. In this series (above), the Night Butterfly painting (a 12" x 12" painting) is at the Micropolis Gallery in Gloversville, NY. 

It is rare for these items to go on sale, or to get free shipping, so if you have been thinking about purchasing, this is the time to do it. Happy holidays!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Invitational Exhibit at Micropolis Gallery

So, as you can see, I was invited to show at Micropolis Gallery. The one with the butterfly is a detail of one of my paintings that will be in the show.

The opening is November 2, from 5pm to 7pm. I'll be there, of course.

It is in the town of Gloversville in upstate New York, a place renowned for its glove making back when Americans used to make the attire for the nation. It is also a town that my father and some of his students helped to re-design and revitalize.  

Some other artists I know of are Carol Law Conklin, Cheryl Gutmaker, Linda Hinkle, Lynda Naske, Mary Frances Millet and Judith Plotner. These are all really good artists and will also be at the opening. 

See you there!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Butterfly in the Millefleurs

Butterfly in the Millefleurs 
original 5" x 7" (in a gallery)
as a print, purchase HERE if interested

I have been painting a lot of butterflies as of late. Butterflies are about transformation and a big change. Sometimes they signify hope too. But hope is different from the former two attributes in that it is an emotion with a thought, and perhaps even an idea. In a way, all three parts work in tandem. 

Jung believed in the symbolic relevance of animals, places, and things in dreaming and in inspirational states. I don't check on the symbolism usually until after I finish a piece, though I was aware of what the butterfly meant beforehand (it is because I paint them often). 

Even so, when you dream of white butterflies at night and paint them during the day, something of significance is being churned in your mind. 

In my dreams at night, the white butterflies are clustered on a plant, and there are so many that it is impossible to count them.

In my dream last night, many were both clustered, but even more were flying around the cluster in a big white whir, and I was sitting in the woods, trying to figure out why there were so many, and what was happening to make me dream so much about them. 

During the day however, I paint just one of them, usually in the center of a piece.

White butterflies signify healing, release of one's burdens, absolution, purity and purity of intent, along with transformation.

Purple butterflies signify keeping the faith, confidence, assurance and resolve (also with transformation).

So there are both white butterflies going through my mind, and purple butterflies with a lot of white in them. 

Does the butterfly fit with what I am going through in my life right now? Absolutely. Do I feel confident and full of resolve? Yes. Do I feel unburdened and absolved? Yes, especially in the way of justice and justification. Am I full of hope? Yes.  

So, when you look at a piece, or you are attracted to a piece enough to buy it and put it on your wall, think about whether you can relate to the questions above.

The next two versions are meant to be used as tapestries, but for now they are sold as duvets, totes, pillows, and prints:

 Butterfly Tapestry Design
© 2018
buy products and prints HERE if interested

Butterfly Tapestry Design in Mustard, Red and Green
© 2018
buy products and prints HERE if interested

Until next time ...

Sunday, September 9, 2018

"Bunny Nest with Red Flowers and White Butterflies", new from my studio

"Bunny Nest with Red Flowers and White Butterflies"
© 2018
available for sale as prints or on products through this link
contact me if interested in the original: sales (att)

This is part of a series of bunnies taking naps. 

For this one, I had in mind a child's room. The parents are trying to get their little one off to sleep and point to the bunny on the wall: "See how that bunny is sleeping and smiling because he is having a happy dream?" Hint, hint ...

These parents don't really like the usual decor of bright neon colors that a lot of children's rooms have. They want something more subtle, more in the tradition of the Renaissance, or older English illustrations for children's books. So they pick this piece for their child's room.

Or this piece because it's even more subtle: 

"Bunny Nap with Red Flowers"
© 2018
available for sale as prints or on products through this link

A pillow might send your loved one off to sleep too:

pillows available for sale through this link

Or how about a nice soft blanket to curl up with?:

two types of blankets for sale through this link

or a duvet cover:

duvet cover available through this link

what about a round beach towel that your kid can take into his room fort (or, on second thought, to the beach):
 round towel available for sale through this link

Or this journal to write his dreams in:

notebook available for sale through this link

Baby Onesie:

kid's teeshirt:

an idea for framing:

framed prints available for sale through this link
choose frames with drop-down (including all of the various frame colors)
this one is around 11" x 14" with a MQ9 frame found under silver frames (in drop-down)
and a mat that is arctic white with black core mat (in drop-down)

I tend to think people are attracted to artwork sometimes through the symbolism (subconsciously), and this piece has a lot of positives in that department:

* white bunny: new perceptions and manifestations; signifies something at work for the highest good
* white butterflies: protection, fortune, messages from the spirit world
* vines: continuity, traditions in ones life
* red tulip-like flowers with thorns: true love, eternal love, undying love, yet with a few protective measures
* small yellow flowers: happiness in the small things, friendship
* purple daisies: dignity, pride, success
* bountiful fauna: material well being

Here's another piece along the same lines (with all of the same kinds of products):

"Bunny Nest of Yellow Roses and Blueberries"
available for sale through this link

a lot more art and products for sale via

I'll be back soon enough ...

Saturday, September 8, 2018

My Lilac Morgana Dress from Holy Clothing

The Holy Clothing Company sent me an e-mail nudging me to write a review with a photo, but I don't see an icon for uploading a photo, so I thought I'd put the photo here (if you are a musician like I am, this clothing company might be the perfect place to go to find dresses to perform in).

I also use this dress for country and small town art gallery openings. I suppose I'd wear it to a wedding too, but I haven't been invited to one for awhile. 

The photo was taken today! out in a field (yes the goldenrod is in full bloom and I am holding some of it -- just beautiful here this time of year).

It is a quasi-Renaissance dress (long) with a low neckline, velvet, a satin-type of fabric (probably rayon) and the kind of fabric that we typically associate with rayon, all with beautiful embroidery throughout. I am bending over, and I look kind of short here, but I assure you that I'm tall, 5' 10".

The only thing about this company is that the clothes come smelling heavily of dye, so you have to wash it several times to get it out. Mine came with quite a bit more red in it, but calmed down to a nice lilac color.

I found this company via a lot of my fantasy art friends. It would be perfect for selling art at fantasy art conventions too (just add wings!).

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Blackmore's Night Concert

getting ready for the Blackmores Night concert
in partial Renaissance garb (no vest or skirt because it was a hot humid day)

(more pictures at end of post)

For anyone new to my blog, this blog is primarily about talking about my music and art, and occasionally about my influences, my life experiences and sometimes about my research as well.

For those of you from the survivor community (of which there seems to be an exponential number), part of my life is devoted to art and music which I feel uplifts the spirit, and gives it more meaning.

For me spiritual art, fantasy art, and Renaissance music was part of my life since I was a child, and it is what gets me through my days. There are a lot of places, people and events which helped me to survive terrible odds, and the Renaissance community was one of them. I have performed at a lot of Renaissance faires (the innocent smaller ones with lots of children floating around in fairy costumes, blowing bubbles, riding dragons or big Clydesdales, taking part in magic tricks, while the adults seemed to be drawn to the music of the era, archery, costume exhibits and people-chess) and in my upcoming novel I feature the Renaissance faire in a somewhat similar way the minstrels are featured in the Bergman movie, The Seventh Seal.

When I am taken off course, it is the life I always go back to.

One of the bands who has played a role in my life is Blackmore's Night ... in many, many ways (some of which I will explain here). I dress in Renaissance attire when I see them, to show support, but also to be more true to myself (when I was a little girl, as far back as I can remember in almost all of my floating and flying dreams I was dressed in white Renaissance outfits, and it is the way I wanted to dress and be dressed). I cry because I am so touched and moved when I go to the Cloisters or the tapestry part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I get emotional when I hear Greensleeves or an olde Child Ballad. I have a compulsion to paint unicorns all of the time (the unicorn is a solitary creature who cannot be tamed and is in the habit of fighting for its life and purifying poisons -- fits).

I like cloaks, poet's shirts, flowing outfits (much of which I sew myself), and in a pinch, clothes from Holy Clothing. I like flora and fauna and gypsy caravans. I like stained glass and old stone buildings.

I like being healthy. I am not much of an indulger in modern processed foods and drinks, unless I am on vacation (and even there, I try to find salad joints and Indian restaurants and stay away from booze and caffeine drinks which have more franken-stuff in them than I want to consume -- it's that unicorn in me pointing to poisoned waters no doubt -- LOL).

I prefer reading (actual books) to television.

In contrast, I am not a fan of freeways, malls, dry deserts, polyester outfits, neon, and boxy modern glass-infected architecture. Los Angeles is my least favorite city in the USA ("please let me out!"). Maybe that had to do with my father who was a New Urbanist, but I think it is partly intuitive too: I have a love of the highly decorated and intricate, much of which is lacking in the big cities of the southwest. After all, the natural world is not a factory or loud; it is full of seeds and fruits on lace-like intricate trees with birds singing in them, and it will always juxtapose the boxes and homogenization. It is fine if you want to live in the southwest and I won't be too judgmental about it to the point of obnoxiousness: but for me it feels oppressive. I like moody weather, big trees, meadows, flowers everywhere, or a rolling sea, a little more humidity in the air. It's just my taste.

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot" -- Joni Mitchell

A fulfilled life is a life outside of a box, the intricate world of ideas, compassion, emotions and implementation.

So, I feel like the Blackmores Night die hard fans to be like family. They come marching up the street together (after having met at a local eatery) and I take to my feet in giddy delight to greet them. I have been walking around town beforehand with people stopping me asking me where the Ren-fest is or "What's with the get-up?" I am shy and I like my anonymity on a street (usually). So the fans who go to all of the shows in the northeast are part of not feeling like a freak. I am one of them. Later, when I see costumed maids and faire maidens in the restrooms at intermission, there is a knowing glance and smile between us.

When Candice (the singer and introducer of songs) mentions that her husband (Ritchie, the producer, conductor, melody maker and main musician) does not like boxes, I can immediately relate, on all kinds of levels.

The Seventh Seal is one of my favorite movies, and for lack of a better comparison, they are a kind of a Seventh Seal type of band (modernized somewhat as one might expect). There is a carnival-like atmosphere to their shows, interspersed with powerful and sensitive songs like "World of Stone" (about fighting for causes), "Ghost of a Rose"(one of my favorites) and "Barbara Allen" (beautiful, lilting). At other times, one almost expects jesters and leaping dancers in chiffon-fairy to pop onto the stage at intervals when the band goes from soft to loud (when Candice gets her rauschpfeife and shawm out).

Here are the influences of Ingmar Bergman when working on the Seventh Seal (from Wikipedia):

In his autobiography, The Magic Lantern, Bergman wrote that "Wood Painting gradually became The Seventh Seal, an uneven film which lies close to my heart, because it was made under difficult circumstances in a surge of vitality and delight."[14]...

... Some of the powerful influences on the film were Picasso's picture of the two acrobats, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, Strindberg's dramas Folkungasagan ("The Saga of the Folkung Kings") and The Road to Damascus,[29] the frescoes at Härkeberga church and a painting by Albertus Pictor in Täby church ...

Somehow, I tend to think Blackmore's Night can relate to all of that. 

And if I look within myself, I can relate to it too (Picasso's acrobats and jester paintings are definitely an influence of mine, as I paint and draw jesters religiously, especially on pottery, and Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" is one of my favorite pieces of all time). 

I have been asked "Does Candice ever experience suffering and hardship like the rest of us or is the world just an endless fairy tale?" And my answer to that is that, as in the Seventh Seal, some of us are spared. And that is a good thing. If her life is about joy, this is the type of person who can lead you to joy too (i.e. the path out of darkness and depression). Perhaps her life's purpose is to bring beauty, to help you experience a love of life, a dance in your step, and we need those kinds of people in our world or it would be sore. Again, it's about intricacy and seeds, folks, and the variety, not about placing everyone in the same box you are in.

If you think misery loves company, you won't find much misery in their music.

There isn't a band like Blackmore's Night. They are about exploration and the non-traditional, and there isn't a song they do where they don't make that very clear. Ritchie has his dark melancholy side and it hits the light as soon as Candice puts lyrics to it, dances to it, and sings it. When I am asked to describe their music, I say, "Creative Music." If I am asked to explain more it is usually "Mainly influenced by Renaissance music mixed with folk, classical and rock, nothing defined in a definite way, just masterfully done creativity." The person asking the question usually looks puzzled. I would think that an answer like that would get them to one of their shows to see what it is all about.

As for the other band members, my feeling is that they are the best line-up so far. Lady Lynn (as she is referred to) is the classical opera singer who sings harmonies with Candice Night. The 4 octave range is a nice complement to Candice Night's vocals. The fiddler is one of the best on the circuit and has excellent resonance -- wow! The bassist/complimentary guitarist, Earl Grey, has been with them for quite a long time and knows instinctively how to keep up the pace with Ritchie. David, the pianist, adds humor when he can, and adds coloring to the pieces through synths. 

I feel that I can relate to them on a deeper level too. We perform Renaissance music too (new interpretations), but I like the English composers most (Dowland and Campion) and their often incomprehensible (word salad-y)  lyrics about unrequited love. Our take on Renaissance music, however, is quite a bit more annoying to purists than theirs, because Dowland is seen as a great composer, one of the ones who started the whole counterpoint thing and used it religiously, and which we don't always use, and you can't mess with great composers in their eyes, so while we sold a lot of CDs to Europeans, in the USA we didn't get very far with it for live concerts beyond library concert series. As difficult as it was to be sneered at and rejected by purists, I still have a compulsion to work over Dowland's songs. I think the same kind of rebelliousness lives within their hearts too.

I am part of a family of professional musicians who like to play old instruments including the hammered dulcimer, Celtic harp and lately, the hurdy gurdy. Cello or double bass help to ground it all to the earth, and when needed, provide a drone. So we are committed to Renaissance music. My husband thinks that good traditional music should be played so that it doesn't disappear, that it always should be accessible to new generations. I'm not sure how that fits in with my vision to be creative with old songs, but we get along and we don't butt heads, so there is compatibility with both perspectives, at least as far as the two of us are concerned.

If you are a believer in astrology, I found that everything in my chart was aspected to everything in Candice's chart with many in exact degrees, most of it positively aspected (her chart happens to be on-line somewhere, or once was). Very unusual, in fact so uncommon as to be freakish. Since Ritchie's chart is also aspected to just about everything in Candice's chart too, also in the same kind of once-in-a-lifetime way, I have more than the common amount of aspects with his chart as well. Right now I don't know if we have an unbelievable amount of things in common, but I do know the commonalities we share in music and in being creative people. If astrology has any clout at all, there would practically be lightening bolts of understanding and psychic connection with them. It would be a good test to see if astrology really works on any level. "Like attracts like", but I also know what it is like to be approached when you are a performer, and especially a singer -- you don't need connections forced on you when you are in "work mode", that's for sure, having been in that position myself, so it will happen organically if it is meant to happen at all. 

In the meantime sharing visions with people who are on the same kind of curcuit has been rewarding: Owain Phyfe, Lisa Lynne, Laurie Ann Haus and other "ethereals" and musicians who are part of bringing Renaissance music forward, and fantasy artists Lisa Hunt, Ann Marie Tornabene, Paulina Cassidy, Andrew Gonzalez, Susan Schroder, Suzanne Gyseman, and others who inspire me. And of course there is the Harper and the Minstrel, who from long ago, welcomed us (Spirites Consort) with open arms. They are all kindred spirits and if I died tomorrow, I would be happy to have made only those personal connections.

Profound connections lead to healing and great understanding, all necessary in life, and the connections juxtapose those who would judge you and stick you in roles (the kind of boxes of projected judgments and false imprisonments of narrow minded narcissism). All souls want to be understood and free. All souls want to see someone at intermission who gives that knowing smile. And all souls want to vibrate to a kind of music where it helps them understand more about the world and their place in it. For me, Blackmores Night opens up the gates of awareness in many ways, and I just have to sit in a theater, even in the last aisle if I have to, to have them effect me in that way.

created by Jim Manngard (my picture on a wine bottle). 
Jim is Ritchie Blackmore's assistant and part of the Blackmore's Night sound team

standing outside squinting in the hot sun hours before the concert