PLEASE NOTE: All Psanky/pysanky eggs in this portfolio are from the artist’s private collection, or were personal gifts to family and friends. They may contain imagery based off trademarked characters, copyrighted imagery, or other intellectual property to which the ownership lies with the original owner, IE Disney characters, Marvel Superheroes, etc. The Psanky in this collection are shared here for personal gratification, and are not for sale, nor is this portfolio intended to generate profit for the artist. Nolie Marie Wilson creates these pysanky solely as creative challenges, as gifts for loved ones, and to document imagery that is meaningful to their loved ones or community.
Being disabled, Nolie Marie Wilson often finds themself with time spent at home, rather than exploring the world. But that has not changed their desire to understand the world. Since childhood, they have sought to analyze pop culture by replicating fashion imagery, movie imagery, and more, as a way of understanding the reasons it finds such cultural cache with their community, and themself. Deeply involved in niche hobbies and fandoms from their earliest days, and raised on “nerd” hobbies, Nolie eventually married a scifi writer who himself analyzes his creative loves and fandoms: a perfect match. Adopted into this family of Disney heads and Trekkies, Nolie felt a sense of instant kinship at being reminded of one of the more fun aspects of their family of origin, who included a father who used to pause The Princess Bride on Inigo Montoya’s climactic lunge, so he could note the blade’s hilt’s details, in order to procure a more accurate replica.
Nolie has always been interested in art forms that could bring multiple kinds of media together, such as film scores that blended classical music’s emphasis on musicality and motif with film’s emphasis on storytelling and a jazzlike subordination to the motion and emotion of the experience, although their exploration was stunted at times by their disability, which forced them to leave higher education, despite Nolie attending college at prestigious musical conservatories to study music composition. Their wedding bouquet comprised of quilled paper blossoms constructed of screenshots from computer games they played watching over their dad’s shoulder as they sat on the floor calling out suggestions to him while he wielded the mouse, and sheet music for the songs their then-fiance remembered his father practicing on the piano as a child, songs Nolie had also learned throughout their classical music education. They dug deep to find unusual, intimate, and striking papers, creating a floral crazy quilt of the formative memories and family quirks that were being joined with the two families being ceremonially wed through the eloping couple. And it is this same attention to detail that Nolie has continued to use in their approach to nostalgia-themed artwork, whether it’s a dimensional city rendered in a color palette reminiscent of early comics on a Spiderman comics-themed psanka, or the pointillist specks used to express motion, reflective water, and the millions of tiny lightbulbs that illuminate Pixar Pier at night.
There are so many new forms of modern myths, the imagery and stories we surround ourselves with offers insight into the world we live in, and the people we are. Nolie’s pysanky seeks to document this journey, exploring the themes, tropes, and symbolism that have provided guidance and comfort.
Nolie’s inspirations for their Pop Art eggs range from the mundane to the mature, the main commonalities being their fondness for the tiniest of canvases, such as chicken eggs, and the incorporation of as many minute details as possible, given the canvas. They frequently complete their artwork under a magnifying lamp, using a kistka (stylus that applies hot wax to an eggshell) with an opening smaller than the tip of a pin. Each egg can take easily a dozen hours, no easy feat for a disabled person with no regular working hours. And even this estimate depends on the complexity of the design, and number of dye baths needed to get the effect desired. While most traditional pysanky are designed to be replicated, these are not, sometimes using custom-mixed dye colors, hand-painted details in addition to traditional batik dye techniques, complex sketches that would be difficult to mass produce across multiple eggs. Please be warned, approaching this portfolio, you may see mature content, including risque and gory imagery.