Ghoulicious Ghoultide!...

We just returned from a whirlwind road trip to the Ghoultide Gathering and back! As usual, the weekend festivities flew by faster than I could keep up. The Friday night early buy was a frenzied blur of collectors eager to snatch something special for themselves or on the hunt for others. We barely had time to sneak in a quick snack and get changed in between setting up and opening time! Hence, I was unable to make the rounds to the other buildings and tents to document ALL the spooky delights (OH and how I wish had had time!!) You'll have to peruse the web and haunt the other Ghoul artist photo postings for more peeks at this unique event. Luckily, we snapped some images in the Cady Inn where we exhibited this year. So, I will share with you what we were able to capture in less than 24 hours! Many many thanks to ALL the determined collectors willing to brave the windy chill and intermittent rain drops in the air. The weather conditions were far from favorable, but so so many of you did not let that stand in your way, and we (speaking for all the artists) are humbled by your loyalty and love for what we, as folk artists do. :) And, another HUGE thanks goes out to Scott Smith and the Rawsons for putting on another fabulous event! Enjoy the photos....and I hope to see you next year under the warm rays of the sun ~ we are due!


Ahh, that's me all set up, stockings and boots on, hat affixed and ready for the Early Buy Friday night affair...


Halloween vignette of just an assortment of some of the one of a kind Halloween folk art characters I offered at this show....


A sweet mouse on a ball character rests atop an old Halloween tambourine that mom purchased from Mark Craven (for me!)... This mouse was one of the first to fly out of the house!


Remember the black & white vase JP candidly captured me painting a couple weeks ago? Well, here it is in it's ghostly entirety with a cat and spider companion.... All found homes and rather quickly at that....


Just a few moments for a couple more peek-a-boo photos..... I love the one I captured of JP below.....


There's my man looking quite smashing behind my pair of pumpkin girls, featured in Celebrate Halloween Magazine! It was bitter-sweet to say good bye to those cuties, but I still have my cute husband :)


EEk, another mouse made it to Ghoultide, but didn't make the ride back home with us!... Guess I'll have to make more of these little characters to go with their black cat "friends"...


A quick jaunt outside in the chilling air beckoned the festive sounds from the folky Appleseed Collective!... What fun......


Vergie Lightfoot and Scott Smith, were caught arm and arm at the gazebo for the group photo! I feel like I have gone back in time....


Speaking of Scott, the line of anxious collectors continued to build at the stone house that he, Paul Gordon and Sheila Bentley were exhibiting in...


Sweeping by is Michael Corelis, Lori Ann's husband with a crow on his top hat! And off in the distance is the Cady Inn which housed  the displays of both me and 7 other Halloween artists.


More folks line up at the Cady Inn situated on the charming grounds of Mill Race Village.


Doll artist, Allen W. Cunningham patiently awaits the show to begin in his old-fashioned Halloween attire.....


A peek at some of Allen's Halloween delights....

Nicol Sayre and fun-loving husband Phil know how to dress for the occasion in their Victorian Halloween steam punk style......


Just a glimpse at some of the sweet creations dangling nearby, created by Jerry & Darla Arnold...


I catch Katherine Webber adding the final touches to her spooky display before the clock struck 6pm!...


And, look! There's Kristen Beason's glowing face, peering through a tree of her haunted delights.....


Determined collectors on a mission are first to arrive at my display for first dibs at what I had to offer Friday night! (Thank you all for your determination despite several hours of chilly air outdoors...)


More Halloween fans arrive to meet the characters that I have made for them!


A decision is made and I reach to collect a piece chosen for adoption. Below, a basket of Thank-You goodies for my patrons awaits their choosing.....


Collectors continue to eye the selections of one of kind delights at hand...


Saturday morning rolled in, and it was time to open again for round two. The crowds were amazing! The flow of attendees was certainly non-stop for many hours despite the windy cool weather. Like I said, it was a whirlwind weekend of Halloween galore, and I feel certain we will be back. Thank you again for joining us either in person or in spirit :)

~ Johanna

Caught, Orange & Black-Handed!...

This afternoon, as I was intensely painting away, JP snuck in and started snapping candid photos of me at work! EEK! No chance for hair & make-up, and where was wardrobe when I needed them?!  Yes, he caught me orange & black-handed, working on the last few pieces in preparation for my two Halloween shows. My long work table is a happy Halloween disaster of characters waiting for a final touch here or perhaps a pair of arms there. Luckily, I have another bin of completed goodies, all ready to go. Just wish I was!.... You're probably asking, why I would even have time to post this. And well, when 9pm rolled around, my right hand was sending me less and less subtle messages to call it a night! Anyway, here's the proof that I am truly busy at work, getting ready for Halloween. We (that's JP and I, along with all the Halloween characters I am bringing to life...) hope to see YOU at the Ghoultide Gathering and/or the Halloween Trunk Show.......

~ Johanna


* Yes, looks I needed to change out my paint water, but who has time!


* A growing crowd of owls, jack-o'-lanterns, bats, black cats, crows, ghosts, a moon and a mouse, are almost officially done. I must say that they look more dapper than I....


* It's a funny feeling to be surrounded by all these spooky-sweet faces staring back at me!


* I take a quick moment to look up as I paint a ghostly black and white base chamber vase...

PS:  If you would like occasional updates regarding my folk art, events and news, please Join My Mailing List and look for the simple email address form at the bottom of my Folk Art Originals page.

You can also catch up with me on Facebook. Choose the "LIKE" button at my Johanna Parker Design page in order to see my news.

And don't forget to sign up for my Halloween Horn Giveaway too! Details are listed below...... Time is a'tickin!

Faces of the Ghoultide Gathering....

What a fun surprise! I have the pleasure of being featured as one of the many faces of the Ghoultide Gathering in two different national magazines this fall. The art of each and every artist that exhibits at this fabulous show is truly wonderful, so I am honored that my folk art characters have been chosen to help represent a gathering of talent beyond imagination!


At last year's Ghoultide Gathering, photographer Brad Ziegler from Midwest Living Magazine made the rounds to each artist's table, just hours before the doors opened to the public. He snapped an assortment of images from each artist as we anticipated the show to commence. As quickly as he appeared, he vanished as the frenzy of collectors took center stage. So, almost a year later it is such a delight to see that a sampling of his photos did indeed make the pages of this October's Midwest Living! Turn to page 69 and look for the page titled "Discoveries ~ A few of our Favorite Midwest Finds." An original standing owl sculpture of mine perches at the top right corner of the page, and as I recall, he was one of the first pieces to fly off the shelf! For those of you in the midwest, you should be able to spot this magazine on the stands, and for all others, you can order a copy from Midwest Living.


And have you heard of A Primitive Place Magazine? It's a treasure for those of you looking for your primitive fix! This past spring, this year's artists of a Ghoultide Gathering were asked to submit images of their Halloween folk art, nestled in primitive-style settings, all for a possible feature. This was an easy task for me as a I have amassed a small library of images that I have snapped in the surroundings of my mother's colonial style home. She has an ever-growing collection of my Halloween folk art, so luckily I was able to resort to the photos that I have taken in her primitive home over the years. Fortunately, the candy container witch I made for mom several years ago is included in their Fall 2011 issue! Alongside this sweet piece in the magazine is a fun assortment of my black cats and owls that I photographed at mom's Halloween Collectors Event. To see it all and the wonderful work of several other of my Halloween artist friends, please order you copy HERE!

The 5th Annual Ghoultide Gathering promises to delight your senses and transport you to a place of whimsy and imagination. If you love the happy spirit of Halloween, you must join us!


See you there, or beware..... :)
~ Johanna

Sneak Peek from my Workshop....

With August more than halfway behind me, and September looming, I have been spending long hours in the workshop preparing my collection of Halloween originals for this fall. I have one batch of characters almost complete, but many pieces still yearn for a set of wire arms, wings and the like along with a trim or two to be finished and ready for adoption. It's certainly a process that tends to take me longer with each year ~ I know, it should be the other way around!... So, I have another batch underway, and I spent most of my day sculpting candy containers and other characters that came to mind. As 9pm rolled in, I decided to scrape the crusty papier mache flakes off of my fingers and snap a few teaser images of what I have in store.... Many of these guys are still works in progress, so use your imagination :)

(PS ~ just peeked at my post again, and ALL these pictures look like they are on fire!  Hot orange saturation galore :) That's what I get for taking my shots at night and working on the graphics with tired eyes....)


* A black & white owl sports my new illustrated hat and awaits a vintage bow tie, perhaps....


* Peek-a-boo!... says the egg cup character peering through a pair of black cats...


* A funky cocoa powder tin holds a series of paintbrushes ready for action...


* Eek! Cover your eyes ~ these guys are still in the nude.....


* A surprised jack-o'-lantern lets out a little shriek! Perhaps she's a wee bit scared of the mouse sneaking up behind her....


*Another jack-o'-lantern is topped by a wee little bat, awaiting a set of whimsy wings... That's a whole process in itself ~ cutting the wire, forming, shaping & curling the tiny wings, a little glue here and a little glue there, drilling some holes more glue, and voila!....
It all takes patience, and I'm honestly not a very patient person!!


* A little box of handmade collars made from vintage crepe papers offers me options when the time comes to dress each character. The papier mache cup is decorated in handpainted autumn leaves and will serve as the base for another JOL character....


* In the works is this owl, obviously in need of eyes and more finishing touches... He sits atop a recycled container that once housed some yum yum yum gelato.... I feel a chocolate craving coming on!....


* Black kitties in the foreground look to be howling at the ghost figures in the back...


* Another peek at some of the Halloween characters that have been watching me work!

Did I get you in the mood for Halloween?  Are you intrigued, and would you like to see more?  Well, I will be revealing all of these fun characters at my 2 Halloween Events this year, and of course you will have the opportunity to adopt one or a few for yourself!


The 5th Annual Ghoultide Gathering
The 6th Annual Halloween Trunk Show

And if you are unable to attend, I do hope to host a Web Sale in October if all goes as planned. So, Join My Mailing List for all the details....

Happy Haunting,
~ Johanna

A True Halloween Artist Spectacular!...

With August just around the corner, visions of fall and Halloween are haunting our minds! This year's dazzling ad for the 5th Annual Ghoultide Gathering is now being revealed as it hits the stands soon in the fall issue of Art Doll Quarterly Magazine. Perhaps a peek may just entice you to join us on the last day of September and the first day of October in Northville, Michigan for this spooktacular event! I promise that you will be mesmerized by the whimsical displays and works of collectible Halloween art that will be offered by 30 nationally known artisans. There's nothing quite like it, so please join us!

And can you spot my winged contribution to page one of this lovely ad spread?....

Page 2 reveals a fun array of one of a kind jack-o'-lanterns, witches, a skelly & rabbit, an ogre, a devil and a spooky frog! Halloween has no limits, and continues to tease our imaginations. The intriguing subject matter, hand-crafted spirit and attention to detail truly make this an event all of its own.


Please visit The Ghoultide Gathering online for a peek at ALL of the participating artisans who will be sharing their wares with you!

Here's hoping these fanciful images of Halloween will haunt you into joining us!

See you there!
~ Johanna

Back from the Ghoultide Gathering!...

We pulled into our driveway at about midnight last night after 2 long days of driving back from Northville, Michigan ~ the charming site of the Ghoultide Gathering. Luckily, the road home was an event-less stretch where the main challenge was to just keep those eyes open and alert! The road going, on the other hand, was a different story as our truck broke down in Nebraska. AAA came to the rescue, and after a few hours of slight mental meltdown, and the AC compressor plucked from the engine, we were mobile again. I was already overly tired from preparing for the show amidst the construction zone we've been living with here at home. So, you could have called it the icing on the cake, but it wasn't very sweet! Luckily however, we arrived in plenty of time to set up for our show, connect and reconnect with fellow artists and get a teeny bit of sleep before the doors opened to the Halloween fans. After our long journey, it was a pleasure just to reach our destination with time to spare. Seeing all our friends, both artists and collectors was truly the icing on the cake, and of course it all flew by so very fast that I keep replaying it in my mind as to remember all the fun we had.

We snapped as many photos as time would allow, but I always wish I had more to share. My photos below feature the fellow artists that I exhibited with in the historic church at Mill Race Village. I captured most of the displays that surrounded my table, but did not have a chance to lug my tripod over to the other 2 buildings before the show opened. Luckily, many other images are popping up in blogland, so hop around for more perspectives as I know they are out there! Let's get started......

* That's me, the morning of the Ghoultide Gathering looking rather sleepy. Now you know why!..... I look forward to catching up on my zzzzzzzzz's, maybe in mid December! haha......

* Luckily, the Friday before the show was a beautiful day which allowed for an easy set-up. JP snapped this photo while the various artists inside the Church at Mill Race Village set up their individual tables. Unfortunately, the weather was less agreeable on Saturday morning, so we are grateful to all the loyal and determined collectors for getting up early in their layers and rain gear to stand in a chilly, wet mist.

* JP set up our tripod on the church balcony and captured this photo right before the doors opened.

* And here's a glimpse of the frenzy after the show began..... You can see me and JP at the back right, looking up at the camera :)

* A view from my table looking out. I brought along my 2 portfolio books for folks to skim through....

* Going back in time just a tad stands JP ready to meet and greet our collector friends.

* The talented William Bezek won best display! Congrats Will, it was sensational!

* And Nicol Sayre and her lovelies won one of the runner up prizes, and it's no surprise! (Laurie Hardin won the other 2nd place price, but regretfully, I have no images from the cozy room she, Scott Smith and Pam Gracia shared)

* Maria Barton of the Star Rug Company had a table full of delights right across from us! It was fun getting to know her :)

* This is only half of the wonderful witches and ghouls that Sheila Bentley of Primdolly Designs brought with her to Ghoultide this year! We were side by side, and it was fun to chat in person, finally, and see all the amazing characters she creates.

* The intricacy and vintage appeal of Darla & Jerry Arnold's spun cotton figures were just marvelous...

* Lori Ann Corelis had a yummy-colored harvest display of her endearing mohair animals all dressed for the Halloween season....

* Vaughn & Stephanie Rawson, the talented duo that make up the Whimsical Whittler had a display full of enchanting creations....

* A glimpse at some of the wonderful creations from Paul Gordon certainly made us smile and set the festive mood!

* A burst of color from Irene Gates and her whimsical collages greeted visitors upon entering the church...

* Aaron Lowe had a table full of colorful and imaginative felted designs that kept catching my eye...

* And one more peek at Mill Race Village from the day leading up to the big event. Fingers are crossed that next year brings sun and clear skies all weekend!

Again, I just wanted to give a big thanks to Scott Smith & Stephanie & Vaughn Rawson for organizing such a stellar show! The caliber of work represented was phenomenal, and I was honored to be a part of the artists exhibiting. It was a joy to reconnect with many artists and finally meet others! We shared lots of laughs and stories, and all in just a few day's time. If only we could slow down the clock and have even more opportunities to chat and ponder all the amazing talent that we are each gifted with...... You all are such an inspiration....... And speaking of inspiration, I truly cherish all the collectors who stopped by and shared your sweet compliments. Whether you adopted an original or not, I appreciate your thoughts as you inspire me to continue dreaming and creating what I do. It was wonderful to see you and meet you!

~ Johanna

A Ghoultide Tease...

Well, I spent half of yesterday photographing my originals for this Saturday's Ghoultide Gathering! It's always helpful for me to document what I have created. I find it quite fascinating to compare my work from year to year in order to see just how much I have progressed. The funny thing is, with all the practice I have accumulated over the years, one would assume that I would be speedy fast at creating my one of a kinds by now. Ha! However, on the contrary, I keep raising the bar it seems. So, my creative process from start to finish tends to only lengthen with time! (Darn, I'm thinking....No wonder I cannot keep up with all of those special orders) Anyway, while I was photographing each piece, I pulled out my macro lens and took some fun close-ups. You'll have to use your imagination to fill in the blanks, or better yet, attend the show! For now, here is teaser featuring just a handful of the Halloween collectible originals I have created for this very special event. I hope to see you there! And let me tell you ~ my Halloween papier mache characters are anxious to meet you and perhaps just hop into your shopping bag to be swept off to your home :)

~ Johanna

* Just one of the several owl-themed originals I sculpted for this event....

* This sweet little bat kettle cup turns out to be "JP's Pick!" He begged me to keep it, but this bat was created for the Ghoultide Gathering. So, I said I'd make him a similar one, someday... hehe....

* I had fun posing various pieces together, and I really loved how this scene turned out. It reminds me of Little Miss Muffet... They are sold separately, but I think they look pretty sweet together :)

* Looking up at "Wicked Wanda"..... the one of a kind witch candy container...

* Of course, I had to sneak in one of my signature black cats!

* A sweet jack-o'-lantern candy container offers a charming smile!

* For all you dog lovers, this guy turned out pretty neat! But, you'll have to see him in person to get the full perspective on "Spooky Sparky" ~ a double vase/candy container with secret chamber below.... Shhh, it's a secret!

* Whimsical candy corn carrots decorate this black Halloween bunny's kettle cup...

* A pair of spooky skellies seem to scare each-other's socks off! BOO!

* And a sweet witch bust finds me feeling bewitched.....

© 2010 Johanna Parker Design *All photos are the property of Johanna Parker and may not be used without permission

Ghoultide Gathering, here I come!

Wow, it has been a whirlwind month to say the least! The end of September is nearing, and so I am on my last final stretch to complete this year's collection of Halloween originals. 2010 will be my first time to exhibit at the acclaimed Ghoultide Gathering on October 2nd, and I am looking forward to this magical experience! Between now and then, expect to hear very little from me as I work work work to complete all the goodies I have in store! In the meantime, you can read a short Q & A about me and my folk art. Hop on over to the Ghoultide Gathering's Blog and click on my witch to read more!
Enjoy, and I look forward to seeing many of you on October 2nd!

~ Johanna


My Studio in Print...

Well, it was certainly a thrill to turn to page 101 of the current Fall issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios Magazine today! Before my eyes, a list of my fellow Halloween artist friends rolls out, and many pages beyond reveal the studio spaces of these talented folks. I am honored to be included in the mix, and am so very pleased to see an extensive article focused on the artists of the Ghoultide Gathering event this October! A lucky 8 of us Ghoultide Gathering artists including myself, Sheila Bentley, William Bezek, Lori Ann Corelis, Vergie Lightfoot, Ed Pribyl, Debra Schoch and show promoter extraordinaire, Scott Smith are featured as artists that celebrate Halloween all year round! What fun it is to share my studio space with others and enjoy a glimpse into the spaces of my fellow artists. Many thanks to Cloth Paper Scissors Studios Magazine for spreading the word about the growing fascination and excitement for Halloween folk art. Please pick up your copy today and ENJOY! See you at Ghoultide on October 2nd!

* Here's a peek at my feature on page 117.....

* We had the opportunity to take our own photos for this issue. Of course, only a few were chosen. But, below you can peek at the additional images I captured for this fun submission. I feel very fortunate to have been included!

* Here's my main studio space with drafting table and loads of eye candy to keep the ideas and inspiration flowing.....

* We were asked to include images of our art, so I took a few vignettes. Pictured here is a one of a kind witch kettle cup that I kept for myself last year....

* Another angle of my drafting table where I illustrate and sketch....

* Another close up for an original... This time, it's an one of a kind black cat candy container of mine sitting amongst a few illustrations in the works. And yes, that's my Emmy award off in the distance ~ a reminder from my previous life as an art director in TV news graphics....

* This is my basement workspace where I craft.... It can get pretty messy in here!

* And of course, I cannot go around the house taking photos and not include Mr. Jack. He loves to have his picture taken :)

* © 2010 Johanna Parker Design *All photos are the property of Johanna Parker and may not be used without permission

See you at the Ghoultide Gathering!

So, the news has been out for a month, but I realized that I had not made it official here... I am truly honored to be a part of this year's 4th Annual Halloween Artist Spectacular Ghoultide Gathering! What a treat it will be to exhibit my original Halloween creations at this acclaimed event. You can visit Ghoultides's Website for a peek at the participating artists!


This very special event takes place in Northville, Michigan on October 2nd. Ghoultide Gathering is a juried show that strives to offer collectors the highest quality Halloween art in an unexpected variety of styles and mediums. I hear it's magical, the setting is charming and historic, the artists are amazing and the collectors are passionate.

I suggest you take a peek for yourself! Scott Smith, co-founder of the Ghoultide Gathering composed this short clip which offers a glimpse into last year's event. So, enjoy, mark you calendars and please join us this fall! I look forward to meeting you there :) Expect to be enchanted...........

And with this news, some of you may be wondering about my event schedule. Well, we decided to go east this year instead of west, meaning that I will not be participating in the Halloween & Vine for the first time in 6 years! It was a difficult decision to make as I love seeing Petaluma and reconnecting with my west coast collector and artist friends, but sometimes it's good to mix things up a bit, see new sites, meet new people and try something different. Perhaps some of my cherished collectors will get the itch to check out Ghoultide too! I hope so, as I would love to see your smiling faces once again.....

~ Johanna