Sharing Inspiration: Carl Larsson

Carl and Karin Larsson
are high among my favorite artists and great personal inspirations. Long before the latest incarnation of the crafty life, they were living it to the fullest. While Carl's gorgeous paintings brought in the income, Karin not only painted, she was also an amazing textile artist and weaver. Some of her textiles were lightyears ahead of their time. In many ways, their entire lifestyle was incredibly modern - at a time when interior design tended towards the heavily ornate and visually cluttered, the Larsson's home was light and uncluttered. It was charmingly decorated with hand-crafted furnishings and marvelous little details, while retaining a visually clean look.

Reading Larsson's books "A Home" and "A Family" reminds me (now) of reading a wonderful art/craft blog, if that's not too irreverent. Carl's favorite subject for painting was his home and family, pursuing all the sweet activities that we crafty types like - picnics, parties, art activities, playing dress-up. Karin made all her own clothes, and she was also a fashion rebel: one of the pioneers of aesthetic dress. In all the pictures Carl painted of her, she always wears simple, beautiful, flowing dresses, and this at a time when women were expected to be heavily corseted and follow the trends towards ornate clothing.

The Larssons are often credited with being the creators of the Swedish style. I think that all you really have to do to "get that" is to look through a book or two of Larsson's paintings and then visit IKEA.

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