Once upon a time, I visited Denise Fike at her studio. She sat on the floor beside a long roll of blank canvas, a Sharpie clasped loosely in her fingers. As we chatted her hand moved in a swift fluid motion. As she worked her way across the canvas an enchanted world of fairies, flowers and birds sprang to life behind her. Pure magic.

That project, handmade children's wallpaper, is just one of the forms Denise's art has taken. She's also taught fashion illustration and was Director of Fashion Drawing at Drexel University. The two interests--wallpaper and fashion--resulted in a series of works that make intricate use of vintage wallpaper. Although dozens of patterns cover every inch of the canvas, none clash. (I've used these in Redecorators' projects and they elevate any furniture they are paired with. They also make terrific screens.)

Most works are of a grand scale. "I think that's me rebelling against my tiny house," Denise laughs. Her house is indeed tiny--a Trinity two rooms deep in which, along with her husband Lane, she raised two boys and a very large Great Dane.

Recently, Denise has been working on a series of nudes in a flat, graphic style; another series of intricate florals against a clean background; as well as interpretive portraits that capture the spirit and essence of a bride-to-be.

Yet, Denise will tell you, all of her pieces "share the same line." Whether of a bride, a dominatrix, an artichoke or a haute couture hat; whether collaged from vintage wallpaper and metallics, or bursting to life in lacquer-like house paint, each creation is unmistakably hers.


For more information on commissioned portraits, bridal, pets plus fashion and floral themes contact Denise at:

Denise Fike Designs

All images courtesy Denise Fike.

"Use the good china for breakfast."