paper doll

when i moved up to the Hudson Valley from NYC in 2009, i knew exactly 2 people who lived up here, and wondered how i’d ever make new friends since my plan was to become a complete hermit. i also wondered if i’d ever be able to find *my* kind of people… makers, artists, oddballs… i suspected they were up here, but when you live in the woods, how do the introductions get made?

i needn’t have worried. the makers will always find each other. i was selling my handmade clothes at a farmers’ market when the sunny smile of Jenny Lee Fowler appeared before my eyes. she introduced herself and i felt star-struck because i was already a big fan of her work; within minutes we had arranged a trade of one of my dresses for a piece of her artwork, and we’ve been friends ever since…

this is the silhouette portrait she made for me, framed by a crochet doily! isn’t it spectacular? when she works with a live subject she cuts purely by eye; she doesn’t draw them first. this is just so fascinating to me… i love watching her cut out the image of the person sitting before her, with her nimble fingers and tiny sharp scissors. they only take a few minutes, but i know they become treasures for life to all who are portrayed…

the piece above, once unfolded, becomes the piece below:

i could go on and on posting images of my favorite works of hers, but you can just pop over to her shop or photo albums to see more. i just adore her choices of subject matter, usually “reflecting her deep love of folk, flora, and fauna.” and, if you didn’t know, Jenny is also teaching four workshops at the Taproot Gathering next month: Botanical Paper Cutting, Advanced Botanical Paper Cutting, Birch Bark cutting, and Family Paper Cutting. each looks more fun than the next; as usual the desire to take every one almost overrides my excitement for teaching my own!

i think you know, but i’ll remind you once more that registration closes tomorrow (August 15). i just don’t want anyone to miss out!

all images courtesy of Jenny Lee Fowler.



  1. oh brooke, i wish i could gift it to you! you would love it SO much, and all moms deserve a little peaceful creative getaway…

  2. Hi, I am in the UK but I would love to attend such an inspiring gathering if we were on the same continent…I have been popping in on your blog since MMM, but decided to comment today, as your friend’s work is amazing. I love her subjects, they are heartwarming.

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