Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, my family spent part of each summer at a little cabin called the izbushka. The cabin was part of Russian Village, (also known as Churaevka) a small community of Russian expatriates in Connecticut.This illustration by Feodor Rojankovsky (from Goldilocks) gives the feel of the izbushka. Rojankovsky was also a visitor to the village, although I never met him.
Maybe because of those early experiences at Churaevka I have always loved Russian illustration, light and dark.
Last year I designed a new line of fabric for In the Beginning called Kalinka; the fabric is out now. Kalinka is the name of a Russian song and it means little snowfall. I’ve also read that it refers to a sour red berry. The fabric is for winter so it includes snowflakes, a lot of white (and red berries) . Here is the main panel:In the designs I referred back to Russian folk tales like the Firebird and Kolobok, the story of a small bun that doesn’t want to be eaten. This ceramic fox and bun posed for me.I also looked at the leaves and berries in Russian lacquer ware for inspiration.This is my painting for an all-over fabric design, which I called Kalinka Meadow.Here’s how it looks as fabric with a cranberry colored background:Of course Kalinka needed a Matrushka. Here is my painting, and the resulting fabric with additional border stripes :