Collector Spotlight: Donna, the Farmer's Wife from Maryland

It is my pleasure to share with you another inspiring Collector Spotlight feature! For the haunting month of October, my collector friend Donna in Maryland has opened her lovely home to us. Her Halloween art collections sprawl throughout her farmhouse, and pair harmoniously with her love for antiques and vintage novelties. Initially, I asked that Donna share 9-15 photos of her collections for this post, and she wowed me with 30! So, we are all in for a real treat! I had the joy of meeting Donna earlier this month at the Halloween Trunk Show here in Denver. Fortunately, her quest from afar, for more Halloween originals was indeed fruitful, and after arranging her new-found treasures with care, she has generously decided to share! I am always tickled to see my creations, happily settled and well-loved in their new homes. Thank you Donna for sharing a glimpse into your art-filled home! I imagine that your love for seasonal folk art will inspire many others to start building special collections of their own. Now, let's get started with a little Q & A and a medley of photos!...


J: How did you learn about my Halloween folk art?

Donna: I found your art looking at pictures of Ghoultide Gathering in 2011. It was love at first sight!

J: Well, I am thrilled that you were perusing photos from the Ghoultide art show and that you spotted my papier mache folk art characters!

* A trio of my Halloween characters: black cat, mouse & raven by Johanna Parker Design share a haunting nook with a Nicol Sayre art doll memory box....

J: How long have you been collecting my originals?

Donna: I bought my first original in 2011 from your Halloween Web Sale, a few weeks after discovering your art.

J: Ahh, yes! I recall you snatching up the jack-o'-lantern egg cup character, pictured below at center on the top shelf! You were so thrilled to capture your first Johanna Parker original, and now he certainly is in good company...

* What a colorful grouping of Johanna Parker Design Halloween folk art characters! It is reminiscent of a spooky carnival and a pleasure to see them all grouped in one place!

J: What is it about my creations that capture your imagination?

Donna: Halloween has always been my favorite Holiday.  I am especially drawn to vintage Halloween items and your originals capture that vintage look.  Just holding one of your originals in my hands is a magical experience for me.  I love how each piece has it's own personality. I love the texture, the artwork and the little embellishments that you add to each piece, such as glitter, bowties, collars and wire.  It all combines to make each piece entrancing and instantly takes me to my "happy place".

J: Thank you for being so observant and appreciating all the little extra details that I add after painting each original piece. It's like the icing on the cake, which takes me to a happy place too!

* Above, my mini bat bust with wire accents and bow tie trims captures some of those fun embellishments that take Donna to her "happy place!" A small Laurie Meseroll primitive painting serves as a sweet backdrop for this Johanna Parker Design bat in the foreground.

* A wider view captures a pair of Nicol Sayre's art dolls, joining the Halloween folk art gathering...

* Another grouping of folk art artifacts includes my striking Halloween owl vase, Johanna Parker Design. You can enjoy the full arrangement below...

* From left to right, cloaked art doll by Nicol Sayre, standing clown button bird by Johanna Parker Design, primitive painting by Laurie Meseroll, owl vase by Johanna Parker Design, ornate clock case with art doll by Nicol Sayre and mohair black cat by Steiff

* Here is a close-up of my clown-style standing button bird. I recently started adding vintage buttons as a fun embellishment to some of my original pieces this year....

J: Where have you had the best luck in acquiring my original pieces; shows, web sales, Collector's Catch, eBay, etc?

Donna: I just attended my first trunk show in Denver, and I lost control of my hands - I bought seven originals!  I was asked numerous times, "How many are you buying?"  LOL  I have an extreme fear of flying, so just showing up was huge for me.  I did not want to waste the opportunity to purchase as many originals as I could, as I may never get my up my nerve to fly again!  I would have to say, your shows are the ultimate buying experience!  I have also had equal success with  Collector's Catch, web sales and eBay.

J: Well, it was quite a treat for me to meet you in person, and I am so honored that you made the journey to collect my art, despite your fear of flying...(I'm not a fan of flying either!) I am happy that your buying experience was fruitful... Your loss of hand control made me laugh out loud!

* Now happily residing in Donna's home, this special witch bust was one of the 7 that she collected earlier this month at Denver's Halloween Trunk Show. "Spookquila Jewel" by Johanna Parker Design

* Donna has an eye for assembling and arranging her antique finds and folk art objects that creates a nostalgic experience and a sense of treasures found!

* An old pewter plate frames a cat ball character that I created earlier this year, again featuring vintage buttons as textural adornments. "Vintage Gerry" by Johanna Parker Design

* A spooky spider bust by Johanna Parker Design also went home with Donna after her trip to Denver! This sweet and rather harmless friend now keeps watch over a "Beloved" Nicol Sayre art doll, eerily laid to rest...

* A black cat kettle cup with illustrated hat, by Johanna Parker Design, makes for an intriguing grouping with other novel, antique finds...

* My Blog Readers may have caught a glimpse of this special piece in the lead-up to this year's Halloween Trunk Show. A few inquired, and well, "Leowl & Lumin-o" now perches in Donna's Maryland farmhouse! Original perching owl by Johanna Parker Design...

J: Do you have a favorite piece in your private collection?

Donna: That is a tough question for me to answer, as I love all my JP originals.  I would have to say that "Morty Moonsquat" is my favorite.  He flew so high, he landed on the moon, quite by accident.  He is a reminder to me to keep myself "grounded".  "Timely Timowlthy" is a very close second.

* At left is "Morty Moonsquat", a special order piece that Donna convinced me that she needed!... According to Donna, I captured him just as she imagined! Yay! And, he pairs nicely with the cat/moon ball character that she collected from me last year... Both Halloween ball characters are by Johanna Parker Design.

* A wider photo of both moon characters reveals a standing bat witch by Nicol Sayre amongst other folk art characters by Johanna Parker Design. A distressed painting by artist, Jennifer Lanne, adds texture and drama to the setting...

* And there's "Timely Timowlthy" my first "Screampunk" piece that I created for a group EHAG Challenge. This whimsical Johanna Parker Design owl, stretched my imagination, and it's a pleasure to see him roosting in his home...

* Pictured above "Timely Timowlthy, are a pair of mohair bears, holding sewing notions in antique tin cups by Letty Worley Brooks

J: Is there anything in particular you suggest I try making in the future?

Donna: I am so happy you asked.  I have several suggestions!  For Halloween I would love to see a zombie or a devil.  For Christmas I think an elf would be delightful.

J: Thanks for the ideas! I have never made any of the 3 you mentioned, but I do have some elves slated for this year's Holiday Open House - well as long as I like how they turn out!

* A closer image of Nicol's bat witch show's her paired with my mini cat bust...

* And, here is another sweet trio of folk art characters. From left to right, a pin cushion mouse by Lori Ann Corelis, a lumina jack-o'-lantern egg cup by Johanna Parker Design, purchased from Frame by Frame, and distressed art doll by Nicol Sayre. Tucked up against a gilded mirror, the viewer can enjoy reflections as well...

* Donna found this early jack-o'-lantern of mine on eBay. He is likely dated 2004 and was created when I was still exploring my technique and deciding IF I wanted to follow along on this folk art path!

* A wonderful standing witch by Nicol Sayre enjoys the company of my leggy spider, by Johanna Parker Design...

* An original owl candy container, again by Johanna Parker Design enjoys the company of a perching bat by Lori Ann Corelis...

* Taking a closer peek at the Johanna Parker Design spider reassures us that he is indeed a friendly fellow... Thank goodness!!!

* A distressed corner cupboard houses three folk art finds. The sweet mohair witch & pumpkin pairing was made by Lori Ann Corelis alongside another owl candy container by Johanna Parker Design. Below, a delicate coffin exposes a sweet Beloved Nicol Sayre doll...

* And, lastly for the Halloween imagery, Donna shared a photo of her table top display, featuring my reproduction candlestick spiders! She explains that she removed the outer two spiders from their candlestick roosts, and they are now hanging from the chandelier above! I love that she is enjoying the versatility of this fun set, and allowing her imagination to play...

* Donna also shared a few other Johanna Parker Design holiday characters! From 2011 & 2012, these two Christmas cross-over pieces bring a hint of Halloween whimsy to her decor. My holiday Bat Sitter and Ghost of Christmas past candy container are both elevated upon pedestals and make us smile!

* Two time-worn books elevate a holly owl kettle cup, appropriately paired with a NOEL egg cup snowman, both by Johanna Parker Design. In the mix are vintage sheep, an old crock and heirloom photos, passed down through the family...

* Two snowmen surround a perching owl, all decked out for the holidays. Again, these originals by Johanna Parker Design partner well together and amidst the antique treasures in Donna's home.

* And, let's not forget about Valentine's Day! During a web sale, Donna snagged this special heart-shaped barn owl piece that I created for the month of love!

* And last but not least, Donna shared a peek at a pair of spring-themed Johanna Parker Design originals. The party-style bird is a much earlier piece that she found on eBay. The white hare kettle cup was included in a collection of originals made for my spring web sale in 2012.

J:  Well, THANK YOU Donna for opening your home and extending an invitation for all of us to marvel at your decor and amazing folk art collections! It is a TREAT for me to share in your enthusiasm for my art, and to better imagine how you enjoy these pieces with each day. I can see why there is a yearning to acquire more than just one, as these collectible characters pair nicely together and group with even more visual impact! Let the collecting begin, or in this case, shall we say, continue... :)

I hope you enjoyed Donna's photos! You can share your thoughts with Donna here in the comments portion of this post. Just click the "comments" link below to leave a message for both me and her!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN & Happy Collecting too!

~ Johanna

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