The Magpie was very honored to meet artist Nikki McClure at the recent BAM Ignite event at the Bellevue Arts MuseumShe has a stunning exhibit, Nikki McClure: Cutting Her Own Path, on display until February 3 of next year at The Bellevue Arts Musuem, which I highly recommend going to see, if you live in the area. Chances are you've probably seen her incredible cut paper illustration on book and album covers, and my personal favorite, on children's books, which I think showcases her work marvelously. The dramatic contrast of the cut black paper against white or colored backgrounds lend themselves perfectly for children's books, and her work has such a narrative storytelling aspect. 

If you see Nikki McClure's exhibit, you get a chance to see original work and by getting up close, you can see every slice that renders a single piece of paper into a delicate lattice portrait. Admiring that level of handcraft and skill makes me think of jade or bone sculptures, where intricate carvings are made from a single piece of material. And she has a display of her sketchbooks and watercolors, along with a box of used Xacto blades to get a sense of her process and what it takes to inspire and create such beautiful pieces. Also -- put it on your calendar, she's doing a reading at Bellevue Arts Museum on December 8th, from 1-1:30pm! Visit the museum's event page for more details.

If you don't live in the area, fear not! Her books are my Fancy recommendation for the holidays. For the art collector and appreciator, {4} Collect Raindrops is a collection of McClure's work. There are fun books like {3} Things to Make and Do, to inspire the artist in everyone with simple projects. For the family she has several children's books like {2} Mama, Is It Summer Yet, {1} All In a Day, or for the mom to-be, {5} The First 1000 Days. I love giving her books to friends with children because there is always an emphasis on being close with nature and the whole food movement. It introduces simple, healthy habits to children like the benefits of gardening, going to a farmers market and just being hands-on with what goes on their plate. She's also done the cover art for grown-up books like Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed, a collection of essays about the sustainable food movement. 

Art that speaks to body and soul, this is something this Bird can flap her wings about. Nikki McClure's books can be found in bookstores and online, and a quick way to get them is at BuyOlympia.com -- that's where I did a bunch of shopping myself!    

Jaunty Fine Print: Books available in stores, or for purchase on Nikki McClure's website

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