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.rojankovsky goldilocksThis 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.

Yuri Vasnetsov

Yuri Vasnetsov

Vasilisa by Ivan Bilibin

Vasilisa by Ivan Bilibin

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:itb kalinka panelIn 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.kolobokPaschkis kalinka foxI also looked at the leaves and berries in Russian lacquer ware for inspiration.Russian lacquerwareThis is my painting for an all-over fabric design, which I called Kalinka Meadow.Paschkis kalinka meadowHere’s how it looks as fabric with a cranberry colored background:itb kalinka meadowOf course Kalinka needed a Matrushka. Here is my painting, and the resulting fabric with additional border stripes :

Paschkis matrushka bluePaschkis matrushkaIn Kalinka I barely dipped my toe into the rich river of Russian stories and imagery. I want to go back and paint more.

rojankovsky goodbye


p.s. If you would like to buy this fabric, you can go to Gathering Fabric, Pacific Fabric, your local shop or buy it on line at Hancock’s of Paducah.






7 responses to “Kalinka

  1. cbonnell@cox.net


  2. My favorite collection to date Julie. It’s is absolutely delightful.

  3. Beautiful. I love folk stories, and your art evokes them so completely.

  4. Beautiful post and fabric, Julie!

  5. I love the fox’s pretty green jacket and fat bushy tail. Congrats!

  6. So beautiful! Thank you for posting – and for your lovely work.

  7. No wonder my Russian husband & Slovak friends were drawn to your fabrics — love reading about your childhood and obviously the influences on your art and textile designs. thank you for sharing as usual

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