Snug­gleUp in Style

Stay warm and cozy this fall with strik­ing, original art-in­spired blan­kets.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Extra - BY ANNE BRINK PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY HILLERY SPROATT

Au­tumn

is a great time to en­joy warm, cozy com­fort, whether you’re in­doors or out­side. Look­ing to stay snug and toasty in beauty and style this sea­son? Try these stun­ning, unique fine-art blan­kets from Hillery Sproatt.

Hillery is a fine artist whose process be­gins with mak­ing paint­ings on pa­per, which she then trans­lates into tex­tiles. Her or­ganic shapes, whim­si­cal land­scapes and child­like crea­tures make evoca­tive con­nec­tions be­tween home and na­ture. Her in­tu­itive paint­ing process lends it­self to the dis­cov­ery of beau­ti­ful patches of densely knit pat­tern and ab­stract marks, and the re­sult­ing art-in­spired blan­kets are de­signed to in­spire sweet dreams.

AL­WAYS AN ARTIST

“I al­ways made lit­tle draw­ings, dolls and books,” she says. “Mak­ing things never felt like a choice as much as it felt like some­thing I was called to do, even when I was a small girl.”

Her mother, fiber artist and cloth­ing de­signer De­bra Weiss, fu­eled her love for pat­tern and tex­tiles early on. “A ca­reer in art al­ways felt nat­u­ral. My mom is an artist, so I grew up with a sense of pride in us­ing my hands. My creative ef­forts were met with en­cour­age­ment, and I was taught there was value in hand­made ob­jects at a very young age.” She ex­plains that her mother’s “home stu­dio is full of hand-pieced quilts, stitched blan­kets and cut­ting room scraps. I of­ten swoon over the Ja­panese fab­rics she sources when de­sign­ing for her cloth­ing line Rebe by De­bra Weiss.”

Hillery says her artis­tic process is very in­tu­itive. “When paint­ing, draw­ing or work­ing in the ce­ram­ics stu­dio, I value be­ing able to play with­out lim­i­ta­tions. I ex­pe­ri­ence great joy when al­low­ing my­self the spa­cious­ness to sim­ply re­spond to marks, col­ors and shapes with­out know­ing ex­actly what they are.”

IN­SPI­RA­TION EV­ERY­WHERE

“I draw in­spi­ra­tion from nearly every­thing I take in, places I’ve vis­ited, con­ver­sa­tions I’ve had, books I’m read­ing or a flower by the side of the road,” Hillery says. “All these things find their way into my work. At the mo­ment, I find my­self in­spired by count­less self-taught artists, chil­dren’s draw­ings, Paul Klee, Pi­casso, Matisse, as well as Scan­di­na­vian, Ja­panese and East­ern Euro­pean de­sign.”

In ad­di­tion, she loves found and col­lected vin­tage ob­jects, fur­ni­ture and tex­tiles, find­ing they are rich with his­tory and charm. Hillery likes a mix of new and old things. She also loves cot­tages and dreams of hav­ing her own one day: a place that would be “peace­ful, re­laxed, cozy, full of vin­tage charm and built-in char­ac­ter … a place to col­lect your thoughts and gather with your fam­ily … where you can re­con­nect with na­ture and find in­spi­ra­tion and joy.” The per­fect place to en­joy Hillery’s art and wrap up com­fort­ably in one of her charm­ing blan­kets.

BEAU­TI­FUL BLAN­KETS

Some cus­tomers frame Hillery’s original paint­ings and live with them on the wall, while oth­ers pur­chase her knit blan­kets to snug­gle up with. “The blan­kets are a more af­ford­able way to live with the art­work,” she says. They are beau­ti­ful draped on a bed or sofa, and can be ma­chine washed and dried, mak­ing them com­pletely func­tional for ev­ery­day use. “We have count­less blan­kets around our home,” Hillery adds, “and each is well used and loved. Even our dog, Mali, has her own blan­ket.”

Her ad­vice about adding art to your home dé­cor? “A home should serve us in our daily lives,” Hillery be­lieves. “Lis­ten to your­self when dec­o­rat­ing your home. Be pa­tient, visit flea mar­kets and an­tiques stores, keep your eyes peeled when you travel, and re­main pas­sion­ate and fo­cused on pur­chas­ing things that bring you joy. Think about how func­tion­al­ity in­forms beauty. I be­lieve this is a recipe for beau­ti­ful liv­ing.”

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