How else should I begin this faerie tale, but with “once upon a time”? Welcome to the first chapter of Barrow Blog. Consider this the prologue. My name is Colette, and I am the founder of “Fogbarrow,” an artist collective that showcases fairy tales and a romantic, enchanted lifestyle through various art mediums. Our current collection features watercolors, porcelain sculpture, and leather accessories.
I have enjoyed quite a journey before falling down on Fogbarrow’s hearth. Since childhood, I have enjoyed art and nature with equal fervor. If the weather suited, I was climbing crabapple trees, nibbling at flowers, wading through streambeds, and imagining fanciful creatures filling my forests when my back was turned. If the weather sulked, I spent my time with a pencil in hand, writing stories or drawing my magical world. I poured through every book I could get my hands on, and practiced baking sweets as often as my mother would entertain. As an adult, very little has changed. I told myself I would never grow up, and it seems to have come true. In Japan, they refer to this as a “Mori kei” lifestyle, but you may call it what you wish. I am overly romantic, and I live a simple, hobbit life.
I grow herbs in my garden, and I wild-forage mushrooms often. I am learning to identify a variety of types of each, and discovering how to use them for culinary and medicinal purposes. I love to travel. Outside the United States, I have explored Ireland, Canada, Japan, and England. I dream of visiting Finland, Peru, Scotland, and more.
I read a large array of books, from classic Victorian literature to modern faerie tale reimaginings. This can mean a variety of targeted age ranges, because quality stories are timeless, and can age with the reader. I graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology, with a focus on folklore and mythology. I have always believed that stories and religion are some of the most telling aspects of a culture, and these studies are greatly reflected in my work. When I wish to create, I take up a pencil and my watercolors. I paint nature specimens primarily, but I am exploring illustrative pieces as well, since illustration has been my oldest and fondest hobby. To date, I have two illustrated short comics published in the Chattanooga Comix Co-op’s anthologies, and I look forward to many more. I am also currently working on a collection of faerie tales, which will be my first completed prose work.
Of course, I have more hobbies than time allows. I also enjoy knitting, embroidery, sewing, costuming, and felting. I love fiber art, and I’m certain I will continue to explore these mediums as the seasons change. It would be remiss to leave out the fact that I am also an avid gamer—Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Animal Crossing are but a few of my guilty pleasures. Ah, but I think that is enough about me. Now, on to the Barrow.
You’ve come this far, so I hope to think you are a kindred spirit. To me, Fogbarrow was never just a place for me to feature my art—I wanted it to be a resource and community for others who wish to live a faerie tale life. Last fall, Fogbarrow went from a story of one to a team of three. My hope is that through this blog, we can connect and share with kindred spirits more than just our art. The Barrow Blog will explore book recommendations, recipes, foraging finds, art progress, featured faerie tales, and other enchanting topics that we hope will help you discover new ways to enjoy this beautiful world around us. Though I will be primarily managing the blog, our other artists, Melody and Katherine, will also be sharing favorite topics from time to time. We look so forward to meeting all of you here at the Barrow—please consider commenting to introduce yourself, let us know what brought you to our hearth, and what you would like to see here on the blog! Fondest, Colette