Mysterious Rabbits

I have been equally fascinated by and frightened of giant rabbits since I can remember. Not giant rabbits exactly but what appear to be giant rabbits and are in fact people in rabbit costumes. I am not alone in this: I have a Pinterest board devoted to photos, mainly from the 1950’s and 1960’s of children accompanied by gigantic and often misshapen rabbits. I don’t have a clear memory of actually having had to sit upon the lap of one of these creatures yet this vague fear persists.

I do however remember that as a child my large italian family would spend Easter together at our house in Wildwood NJ . One Easter in particular when I was quite small, my cousin Cindy received a gigantic stuffed rabbit from the Easter Bunny that I remember as being at least as tall as we were. I was jealous of course, having not received one myself, but also reluctant to pass by her room on my way to the stairs for fear I would see its large, lifeless eyes peering out at me from the darkness.

This portrait is my homage to that fear of vague danger lurking in the dark. Even though he is shown emerging from the shadows, his gift of a single egg convinces me that there is nothing to be afraid of after all. Prints are available at www.curiousportraits.com

Some terrifying rabbits from my childhood

Some terrifying rabbits from my childhood

Curious Mood Boards

I have been busy this summer freshening up my Etsy shop Curious Portraits in preparation for the holiday season. I make a habit of reviewing the product shots in the shop from time to time which I find has a similar effect of re-arranging the art on the walls. It makes everything look new! I have been very inspired by the many beautiful Mood Boards I see on Instagram and have discovered how much I love putting together cherished, vintage objects from my collection.  The result of all this is an on-going project of styling some of the items from my shop in with the vintage collectibles. They make a pleasing display and a gentle advertisement all in one!

Animal Portrait Brooches from  www.CuriousPortraits.Etsy.com

Animal Portrait Brooches from www.CuriousPortraits.Etsy.com

This is the latest in the series featuring some of my favorite vintage jewelry arranged with my Animal Portrait Brooches. I often use my own textile designs printed out as the background, this is one of my original damask stripes.

Lisa-Zador-Portrait-Miniatures

I thought that some of my vintage buttons and notions made a pleasing display when arranged with some of my Victorian inspired Portrait Miniatures. (You can read more about the inspiration and making of these here)

I used one of my favorite vintage alarm clocks in this one along with a few writing notions. I thought the soft grey of my Daisy the Squirrel Portrait Miniature complimented the color scheme.

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My dog Bingo also got his paws into it and created this one featuring his own portrait miniature with one of my original dog themed textile designs in the background!

Watership Downton

Even rabbits had a class system it seems, in Edwardian England. Mr. Carson and Mrs. Padmore of Downton Abbey have nothing on this Rabbit Butler and Cook. They are all ready to serve up their own carrot delicacies and spread some good old British cheer!

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Edwardian-Rabbi-Notecards
Edwardian-Rabbit-Brooches-Lisa-Zador

Prints, Note Cards and Brooches are available for purchase in my Etsy shop Curious Portraits.


Two Handsome Men and a Richly Roasted Coffee...

I recently did an illustration for the Rabbit Coffee Roasting Company's premiere coffee label. They just had a very interesting article published about them and their company in Opulence magazine and I thought I would share it. Being such a coffee enthusiast myself I found their story and all  the subtleties of the coffee bean roasting process so fascinating. It was such a pleasure working with Iain Yeakle on this project and I am so pleased with the final product. I am however waiting for a sample bag of these rich, velvety beans to reach find it's way to me...

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Two Handsome men and a richly roasted coffee bean, what more could you ask for?

Two Handsome men and a richly roasted coffee bean, what more could you ask for?

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Pioneering Animal Scientists of the 19th Century

I have long been interested in the place animals have had in the sciences , particularly in the 19th century which was such an exciting time for science with so many diseases being researched, when space travel was just a dream and the idea of spirits and the world behind the veil was at it's height of interest. I thought it was time to honor some of these pioneering animal scientists in a series of portraits. Here are the preliminary sketches for the first few.

Squirrel Chemist sketch

The first one naturally features a squirrel. He is shown mixing a delicate balance of chemicals in pursuit of a cure for rabies, distemper or another of the animal diseases that were once so devastating. 

Fox Spiritualist sketch

The second is of a prominent Fox who was a founding member of the Animal Society of Psychical Research which strove to research spiritualist activities from a scientific point of view. . 

Bear Scientist Portrait sketch

This bear was perhaps the first to study Astronautics and Rocketry. A true advocate of animal space exploration he dreamed of one day landing a bear on the moon.

    

 

 

The fourth in the series so far is one of the first rabbits ever to consider  space travel a possibility. He was also a great experimenter in time travel and teleportation.

Hippity Hop!

The Rabbit Coffee Roasting Co. recently licensed one of my paintings for the launch of its new espresso roast. The packaging is making a most timely debut, with Easter weekend right around the corner. I just love how my Victorian White Rabbit looks on the label!

Hippity Hop

Why is it that rabbits always seem to be in such a hurry? Perhaps they are simply punctual by nature, which in my opinion, is a good thing. This portrait began as any other rabbit you would find in your yard (wearing a suit) but as it progressed I just couldn't keep myself from adding in the pocket watch! It must be the inevitable influence of Alice in Wonderland that I could not resist and I do think it adds to his gentlemanly appearance. He is now available in my Etsy shop Curious Portraits as a print, notecards and as a brooch. Happy Easter!