Arts + Crafts

Timothy Karpinski Art

June 24, 2010

Okay, show of hands… How many of you used sheets to make indoor tents as a child? I did and I would use anything to secure them from shutting corners in dresser drawers to using my father’s shoes to hold them in place. But my tents never, ever looked this amazing…

Timothy Karpinski Art

That’s why when I saw these photos (above) from artist Timothy J. Karpinski in Portland, Oregon, I smiled big. He built this crochet technicolor dream tent for a milepost 5 show. I loved making tent houses and have fond memories of spending time beneath them, especially at night, with a flashlight reading Sweet Valley High books or those Choose Your Own Adventure titles – and to think that my adventure of reading started all because I wanted the kittens poster from those school book flyers that came out a few times a year. Do you remember those? If you ordered a certain number of books you could choose your free gift, which was almost always an animal poster? ha! What a flashback!

Timothy isn’t known only for his groovy lounge areas though, he is known for his art which is quite sweet and his recent work can even be described as childlike innocence in a pastel wonderland of characters and sweet emotion. You can purchase some of Timothy’s works here.

Timothy Karpinski Art

Timothy Karpinski Art

“From a young age I’ve always been making things. Building forts turned into building skate ramps which lead to building art installations. I love the art making process, from the initial spark of the ‘idea’, the creation to the finished product. Art for me is very personal and everything i make is a direct reflection on my feelings about this world and my struggle and fascination with trying to understand it and find my purpose within it.”

Psst: If you are in the Seattle area visit This Feels Right, a showing by GNU’s Art Director Timothy Karpinski – now until the end of June. “Timothy Karpinski features his signature themes of love, friendship and kindness rendered in compositions of cut paper, pastel colors and detailed graphite drawing. In his world the viewers sense of wonder and innocence are set free as friends share a pot of tea on a rainy day, hot air balloons elevate lovers to new heights and float upon clouds on a moonlit night.”

(images: timothy karpinski)

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  • Reply Raru June 24, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Such a great idea. :) I love all Timothy’s illustration – so pretty and charming.
    Thank you, Holly.


  • Reply Samantha June 24, 2010 at 5:49 am

    ooHh i wish i still had small children so i could indulge myself! :)

  • Reply Margarida June 24, 2010 at 6:13 am

    I saw your tweet about this and I had to come over immediatlay!!!

    What good memories indoor tents bring to my mind :-) I used to make them at my grandmothers’s with blankets and sofa cushions…

    Lovely to see these ones :-)))

  • Reply Laura June 24, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Love that tent! I had forgotten how fun those were to make… I used to make them in the summer outside with a bed sheet and those awful plastic lounge chairs everyone had!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Claire June 24, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I’ve always wanted to live in a tent – and this one is perfect! I also love the drawings, so cool.

  • Reply Katy June 24, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I want that as my new bedroom!

  • Reply Emily June 24, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Yep, I totally wanted the Scholastic kitten posters and was so jealous of the kids who got entire BAGS of books from the book sale. If I was lucky, I got to pick out one. But it’s funny, because one of the books I bought, an illustrated copy of Langston Hughes’ The Dream Keeper, I recently pulled out and was shocked by how lovely it all is.

    The Babysitters Club books are probably still at my parents’ house…

  • Reply Ludmila {} June 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    The tent is amazing!!! I slowly died! looks cozy and the colors are so boho, makes me want to have one tent exactly the same!

  • Reply lesley June 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    wow, love all his work… so lovely and nostalgic!


  • Reply se7en June 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    You just raised the bar to new heights… When it comes to indoor forts I thought my kids were pretty good but this tent is totally awesome!!!

  • Reply Amelia Critchlow June 25, 2010 at 1:48 am

    this is totally and utterly inspiring! Apart from making and loving dens as a child and loving installation art now as an adult, I really enjoyed reading Tim’s quote on why he creates his art – it totally resonates with me, and what a great reason for making.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • Reply lady a. June 25, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I always dreamed of something like that when I was a child. Maybe it’s not too late?

  • Reply Johanna June 28, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I love the afghan tent! It looks so fun and cozy.

  • Reply Kim July 6, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Wow, Holly, Sweet Valley High and Choose Your Own Adventures….we’re exactly the same age. I LOVED those and haven’t thought about them in years. I think I’m going to buy a SWH book right now just for kicks….

  • Reply sunny November 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I giggled after reading this. When I was 6 and my brother 11 we decided to build a fort a in the dinnir room of my grandmothers house. We broke her crystal bird – got into a LOT of trouble for that.
    Never got anything from scholastics – was to exspensive for when we were growing up. But totaly spoiled my son with it haha.

  • Reply lola September 21, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    I love all your work, amazing…I found you by Juxtapoz magazine…, great illustrations honestly…I wish I could favourite work:
    “the anatomy of me” It tells so much about who you are..I like it :-)

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