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.
Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>