You may already be familiar with Melbourne artist Fleur Harris via her stunning ‘Woodlands’ wallpaper available through Jimmy Cricket. In it, a whimsical menagerie of forest animals (deer, foxes, racoons, squirrels, owls and bunnies) all peer out from behind lush foliage in the design that is now hanging in hundreds of homes across the globe. “Those artworks have very intricate pattern repeats and they took a long time to make so it’s wonderful to see them putting smiles on children’s faces everywhere from America to Russia, Poland and the UK,” says Fleur.
Working with oil paints and digital software to create her artworks, Fleur’s subject matter centres largely around nature – especially flowers, foliage and animals. “My artworks are often highly detailed; I spend a huge amount of time on them. I always put a lot of time into each artwork, I come back to them to perfect them, I don’t let them go out into the world until they are just right. Each artwork is a true labour of love,” says Fleur.
And with gorgeous colour palettes another notable feature of the artist’s work, it doesn’t surprise me that a lot of work goes into their selection. “Colour plays a large role. I spend a lot of time refining my colour palettes and it’s a crucial detail,” says Fleur.
While formally trained in fine arts, interior design and illustration, Fleur isn’t that keen to define herself as one thing or another – she describes herself as an artist, product designer and creative thinker. “My work doesn’t fit neatly into one little box or category. I’ve worked with brands to create all sorts of wonderful things; wallpapers, children’s bedding, dinnerware – it’s a long list,” says Fleur who welcomed her son a couple of years ago and juggles her work commitments around him.
Perhaps one of her most high-profile collaborations, Fleur started working with Adairs last year – her first children’s range was a sell out and her fourth range has just been released in Australia and New Zealand. Titled ‘Springtime,’ it’s as fresh and pretty as its name suggests. “I adore this time of year, when nature awakens and begins to buzz with life,” says Fleur. The collection includes a quilt cover and sheet set (in sizes from cot to king), as well as wall art, a play tent and special separate unicorn themed pillowcase. The violet and green combination is glorious.
“Kids’ bedrooms can be a sanctuary, a safe space of their own where they sleep and play and dream. These collections are forming a backdrop to the childhood memories they’re creating. I’m very mindful of this when designing these ranges,” says Fleur.
Collaborations aside, Fleur has also been very busy working on a series of oil paintings and illustrations, all of which are available as ready-to-hang framed prints on canvas. “I’ve been asked many times over if I will ever sell prints of my paintings so it’s great to be able to offer my artworks in that format now,” says Fleur.
A series of still life images, the works feature flowers and foliage on dark backgrounds and Fleur is particularly excited about the range of sizes they are available in. “I worked with an incredible photographer in Melbourne to digitally capture all my paintings, so I could reproduce them in a range of sizes, some much bigger than the original. I love big statement artworks, so it was important to me to offer them in larger sizes.”