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Lyrical Illustrations Adorn Ceramic Dishes With Folk Art-Inspired Stories

Painted Pottery by Christine Sutton

Ordinary plates and bowls are transformed into works of art by Christina Sutton, aka Little Bird Painting. Based in Montana, she uses the beauty of her natural surroundings as inspiration for whimsical illustrations of animals. The imagery is rendered in a charming style reminiscent of traditional printmaking techniques.

From majestic flying owls to fluffy foxes, her art features an array of critters usually framed by a border of flora. While the characters vary in each creation, Sutton's pieces are united by a unique aesthetic and limited color palette of black, yellow, red, and blue. While black serves as the primary color, other hues function as embellishments to the flowers blossoming on the vines. Coupled with the white ceramic, this combination results in plates and bowls that are visually arresting to look at.

Sutton's artistic background is in painting and printmaking. “I began making pottery when a good friend got a kiln, and sort of taught me how to make a pinch pot, and I started making little bowls and haven’t looked back,” Sutton tells My Modern Met. “I really love folk art, and I think I’m inspired by animals and plants in my own environment at home and in the mountains in Montana. I also really enjoy printmaking, and I think a lot of the images on my pottery I have worked out in block printing.”

You can purchase available items via Sutton's website, and keep up to date with her latest work by following the artist's Instagram.

Montana-based artist Christine Sutton, aka Little Bird Painting, decorates ceramics with whimsical paintings.

Painted Pottery by Christine SuttonPainted Pottery by Christine SuttonPainted Pottery by Christine Sutton

Each piece is covered with folk-style renditions of animals like foxes, bison, and cats.

Painted Pottery by Christine SuttonPainted Pottery by Christine Sutton

The limited color palette of black, red, and yellow makes the unique designs pop off the white ceramics.

Painted Pottery by Christine SuttonPainted Pottery by Christine SuttonPainted Pottery by Christine Sutton

They also evoke the style of certain printmaking techniques like woodcuts.

Painted Pottery by Christine SuttonPainted Pottery by Christine SuttonLittle Bird Painting: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Christine Sutton | Little Bird Painting.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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