Scowl, Annie Stegg Gerard, 2020, oils on wooden panel

You can’t imagine how thrilled I was when Annie Stegg Gerard permitted me to include sweet Scowl (above) in the pages of The Art of Fantasy: A Visual Sourcebook Of All That Is Unreal.

I mean, who wouldn’t be, just look at that face! Swoon!

In the book, the caption for the image reads:

“Annie Stegg Gerard has been painting whimsical illustrations from early childhood and her works encompass a wide variety of mediums, including both two and three-dimensional forms. Specializing in character design and development as well as a masterful atmosphere of enchantment, Annie creates unique images populated with enigmatic figures and lively creatures.

This transportive effect of emotion and imagination is undeniable, such as the dear little Scowl above, eyes gleaming sweetly, a tender paw adorably curled in mid-thought. A viewer can’t help but coo in delight at the thought of those magical toe-beans!”

The Gift, Annie Stegg Gerard


Moonlit March, Annie Stegg Gerard

Her paintings are like a gilded invitation to a secret greenwood garden party, gossamer confections spun from sugar and moonbeams. Every surface shimmers with the beauty of magics most decadent, the kind that offers gleaming jeweled fairytale fruits and secrets sleeping in the shadow of a raven’s wing.  I’m almost tempted to refer to her style as glamorous, yet, that word conjures associations of a distant chilliness and a definite, distinct lack of fun. Maybe even something a bit wicked.

Which couldn’t be further from the truth in the case of this artist’s creations! For all the romantic enchantments and radiant glamour of these scenes, there’s a disarming warmth. The faeries, with their benevolent smiles, wouldn’t dream of causing actual harm, and the woodland creatures, even the mischievous ones, seem more interested in puckish pranks than actual malice.  There’s a sense of merriment in the air, a joyous abandon!

A world that invites exploration without ever truly feeling threatening.

The Serpent, Annie Stegg Gerard


Journey’s End, Annie Stegg Gerard

Even the dragon chasing the thieving band of forest folk, arms loaded with loot and treasures, feels more like a scene from a whimsical ballet than a terrifying encounter. There’s a sense of playfulness, a twinkle in the dragon’s eye that suggests it’s all part of a delightful game.

On Velvet Wings, Annie Stegg Gerard


Changing Tides, Annie Stegg Gerard


Fire Wyrm, Annie Stegg Gerard

There’s a distinct lack of menace in Stegg Gerard’s worlds. Even the fantastical beasts, with their playful expressions and captivating forms, lack the bite of traditional monsters. And the monsters themselves possess a sense of playful theatricality. They’re not mean and nasty, they’re just playing a part! And everyone’s in on the delightful secret. Even the darkness seems like a friend.

Annie’s artistry is a marvel of light and color. There is warmth and sincerity embedded into every brushstroke. The colors themselves sing a comforting melody, a symphony of rose golds, soft blues, and the warm glow of sunshine dappling through leaves.  The beauty here is not cold and sterile but rather a living, breathing entity, one that radiates warmth and invites you to step into the heart of its impish revelry.

Rabbat, Annie Stegg Gerard


Moth Queen, Annie Stegg Gerard

The beauty, too, lies in the sincerity of her subjects, their expressions imbued with a soulful earnestness, holding a quiet wisdom of stories brimming with wild wonder and fierce, beautiful joy.  Their world is a shimmering celebration of the inherent joy in the fantastical, where the mythical and fanciful feel so utterly genuine that you could reach out and touch it, squeeze it in a big velvet-fuzzed, moth-winged hug.

But for all that innocent earnestness, it’s far from simplistic; it’s a captivating tumble of whimsy and earnestness, a world that echoes through and through with the thrum of a tremulous beating heart– making for a beauty that above all, feels real and true.

Find Annie Stegg Gerdard: Website // Instagram and see below for a further gallery of my favorites from this extraordinary artist.

Stolen Harvest, Annie Stegg Gerard


Festival of the Toadstool Dance, Annie Stegg Gerard


Enchantress of Avalon, Annie Stegg Gerard


Wish, Annie Stegg Gerard


Autumn Apprentice, Annie Stegg Gerard


Flortoise, Annie Stegg Gerard


The Cabbat Version 2, Annie Stegg Gerard


I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons, Annie Stegg Gerard


Penelope, Annie Stegg Gerard


Calico Calimander, Annie Stegg Gerard


Lady of the Vanir, Annie Stegg Gerard


The Boggart, Annie Stegg Gerard


The Coveted, Annie Stegg Gerard


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