Val Russell likes to be different -- especially when it comes to her art. "It's cute and creepy," she said.
Russell creates cards and pottery with her quirky drawings for her business Psychic Paper. "Before it turned into a business, it's something I enjoyed doing for myself but wouldn't make the time to do it," she said.
Russell draws inspiration from nature. She grew up in St. Johnsbury and was always out in the woods. "I just think its fascinating -- it's vast," she said. Her style is consistent but she's always finding new inspiration. From paper to now pottery -- Russell turned her love of thrift store shopping into her latest venture. She noticed a lot of castaway dishes... and where some saw junk, she found a new canvas. "The shelves are always full of plates and mugs people don't want so I think decorating them is a way to get them back into use," she said.
She's fascinated by anatomy and bone structure in people and animals. Some might be creeped out, but Russell takes the macabre and injects humor. "I'm putting human qualities on these animals. Some of the owls I'll make really awkward and pudgy," she said.
She studied studio art and painting at the University of Vermont but landed a job outside of art. She always kept drawing in her sketchbook. Three months in between jobs, Russell decided to be bold and turn her passion into a business. "When you have something you love and you're putting it out there it's a little nerve wracking, you don't know if people are going to like it," she said.
But people are digging her work -- Russell says sales continue to pick up each week on the online craft site Etsy.
Creepy yet cute -- Made in Vermont art that is drawing people in.
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:32 AM EST2013-12-12 05:32:39 GMT
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward. The Seneca Mountain project calls for 20 turbines on ridge lines inMore >>
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:37 PM EST2013-12-12 04:37:09 GMT
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel. Authorities say it happened Wednesday morning at a farm on Shoreham Depot Road in Shoreham. They say anMore >>
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:34 PM EST2013-12-12 04:34:11 GMT
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child. MoreMore >>
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:54 PM EST2013-12-11 23:54:10 GMT
Two men are behind bars after a burglary in St. Albans. Police arrested James Perron, 27, of St. Albans, and Eric Walsh, 34, Tuesday for allegedly stealing a safe containing $15,000 in cash. It happenedMore >>
Two men are behind bars in connection with a burglary in St. Albans.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-12 00:53:13 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
Authorities say allegations of a sexual assault in Plattsburgh led to a brawl. Now, some fraternity brothers are facing charges and more could be coming.More >>