Yesterday morning, the amazingly gifted Phoebe Wahl welcomed me into her home studio to capture a few snapshots of her work. I am in absolute awe of her talent, and after seeing her work in Taproot, and commissioning her to make a family portrait, I was left wanting more. Actually, I would very much like to live in the world Phoebe creates, where mothers are rosy cheeked, wearing patterned aprons while feeding chickens, babies slung on their back, and fathers have scruffy beards and rough hands from tending the fields and working in their woodshops. Yes, this is my kind of world.
Phoebe has sketchbook upon sketchbook filled with what she calls “scribbles” (and I call “blow your mind art”)! If I had a fraction of her talent, I could pretty much die happy.
I especially love that her work celebrates women, child rearing, family, hearth and home. This is a girl who has her priorities straight (says the mother of two who has been nursing or pregnant for the past 3 years!).
As Phoebe and I chatted, I found myself intrigued by her upbringing- it was clear that her parents placed a high priority on creativity and individuality. One particular line stuck with me- “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing.” It is clear that art runs strong through her veins. We shared our favorite children’s books, and illustrators, a few we had in common, such as Tasha Tudor and Cicely Mary Barker. Mark my words- Phoebe will one day join their ranks. And that is her greatest wish- to create children’s books. We both agreed that no other art form was as formative to us as books- no museum, or great piece of art can compare to the stories we cherished as children.
After studying for several years at RISD, Phoebe traveled abroad for a semester to Scotland, where she studied sustainability, and lived on a tiny island as part of an eco-community. Her stories were fascinating, as were her sketches influenced by that time in her life.
And please don’t even get me started on her figurines. I have always had a thing for miniatures, and tiny little beings. Phoebe’s seem alive, with their rosy cheeks and colorful clothing. The women with the baby in her arms- love. Shhh- don’t tell Phoebe but I slipped that one in my pocket 😉
My only regret was that I didn’t capture a picture of Phoebe smiling- she is utterly charming, and really lights up the room. Anyhow- here she is, in full concentration mode. And her artful apartment- you can feel, from the moment you step through the door, that this is the home of a true artist. Thank you, Phoebe, for inviting me into your world.