About Karly Fae
Something to write home about, Marlyand My Maryland
Right now, I'm working on a new line of prints with the theme "Maryland, my Maryland". For better or worse Baltimorians like to both regale in pride and deride our hometown. It is a land of many names: Merryland, Murderland, Charm City, Harm City, Smalltimore, Baltamour, Birdland, the City That Reads, The City That Bleeds, the list goes on and on... I have designed a few prints around my hometown pride and will be rolling them out as the ink dries! First up are these awesome cards designed around the MD state flag. I'm kind of gushing with pride about them. Next up will be a full scale version of the MD flag and some variations on it (particularly the home town brews Vs. a non-alcoholic rendition).
Did you know that the North American Vexillological Association (a.k.a. official flag gurus of North America) conducted a survey in 2001 of the 72 Canadian provincial, U.S. state, and U.S. territory flags; and it ranked Maryland's flag as 4th best in design quality!?
These cards are an ode to my love of Maryland’s sensibly designed flag and an undeniable love for picking and eating crabs (only Maryland blue crabs of course). I’ve carved a crab figure to emulate the red and white, "Crosslands", section of the flag. On the other side is the traditional golden yellow and black, "Calvert coat of arms" / check pattern. The end result is a reversible card, with each side equally handsome as the front or back. At first glance it looks just like the MD flag and usually only after closer inspection do most realize the true blooded passion for crabs has shone through in the Crosslands section of the flag. Kraft paper was used for the card and envelope material since it is often used at crab feasts to cover the tables before dumping a pile of steaming blue crabs covered in Old Bay seasoning on top. Man, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
The design for this MD themed print was conceived while sitting, with the dog, in the park next to the Washington Monument (in Baltimore) and was printed in my basement studio during the storm of Hurricane Sandy. True story, folks!
Since graduation the Hudson River, particularly life in the small town of Cornwall-on-Hudson, has proven to be my greatest source of inspiration. This is a selection of drawings drawn by my experiences along the river. I should also like to note that the River was what brought me back to drawing again after graduation when there was a year long lull in art making.
Prints, stamps, and carved blocks (to be printed) inspired by the great Hudson River and life along the river.
"The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give any brother."
Chief Seattle - 1855
After taking a summer off in 2009 to live in the the Hudson Valley, primarily in Cornwall-on-Hudson, I embarked on a year plus long photography project documenting the seasons turning on the Hudson River returning monthly to observe the changes over the course of the year. The project was to culminate with a book to be published in 2011, however it was cancelled. A smaller book, called Proud Mary was my anthem and Thoreau my homeboy, was published in 2009 of a shorter time period of photos.
Windhorse Prayer Flags
These flags were made with blood, sweat, tears, frustrations, and very good intentions.
There were hand torn from yards of muslin and hand dyed in buckets in the basement -and may or may not have contributed to the staining of my mother's clothes dryer. Meanwhile the Windhorse was hand drawn and hand carved, and the laundered flags were ironed. Then the stamp was printed by hand on each flag. Lastly they were sewn by hand and strung. This long handmade process makes each flag unique.
The Windhorse is a symbol of an uplifting life force or energy of basic goodness or buddhanature and wakefulness. Printed on fluttering flags it carries our wishes with the speed of wind and the strength of a horse. On the back of the Windhorse are three wish fulfilling jewels of enlightenment bringing peace, wealth, and harmony. I drew the Windhorse in the style of a Dala Horse, which is a Scandinavian stylized horse usually in carved wooden toy form- a joyful symbol of some of my own Nordic roots.
These flags should be hung outside so that the wind and natural elements will spread your good thoughts, fortunes, and prayers. Ideally they are hung on a windy day, but any day is a good day as long as it done with a clear and open heart. The natural elements will eventually take their toll on the flags and this is to reminds us of the impermanence of life. You can replace them with new ones and burn the old ones or let nature run its full course.
Peace, love and learning patience!
The last of their kind
The last of their kind, these unicorns walk among us. Everyone has their own myth that follows them. Our stories, our myths may live on but we are no less susceptible to the effects of time and age. Even stones weathers to sand.
I used to work for the gallery / artist space / theater Load of Fun. During my time there I became the archivist and documenter for the graffiti alley in the rear of the building. I was its cheerleader, encouraging people to come and paint while the owner of the building, Sherwin Mark, fought the good fight with the city creating a legal spot for graffiti in Baltimore. The alley's safe haven status allowed artist to come out of retirement and paint for the first time in years without the risk of jeopardizing their families and lives. It was amazing seeing the correlation between the rise in amount and quality of art in the alley and the decrease in illicit activities that used to happen in the alley. During some of the alley's low points I was driven to add my own art in an effort to spur on other artist to return to the alley's walls. The graffiti alley has garnered a fair amount of press and I would like to clarify publicly that I was its documenter for a long time and help spur things along at the very beginning BUT now the alley runs on its own feet and the graffiti artist are the ones who really make it shine and that without the enormous help and generosity of Sherwin Mark none of it would have ever happened. Thank you Sherwin.
After a few good years of tracking the alley and documenting its evolution (sometimes on a nearly daily basis) my life doesn't allow me to visit nearly as often, but I do like to pass through when I can.
A few samplings of press for the alley:
City Paper Best Of Award:
City Paper, Baltimore Aerial Festival held in the alley
There Were Ten Tigers blog:
Karly Fae's Curated Collection
This artist has not yet created a curated collection.