Shop Etsy

Featured Shop: Khara Ledonne

Dec 11, 2015

by Khara Ledonne

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hello! My name is Khara Ledonne, and I make miniature paintings. I live on a seesaw between woodsy upstate New York and electric New York City. Thankfully, my work is tiny, so I can pack it up and take it with me whenever whimsy strikes…which is often.

khara-ledonne-001

Ironically, my work used to be huge. I started painting murals at age 16 in Washington state, then transitioned into sign painting when I moved to NYC in 2005. During my mid-twenties, I discovered a few lockets at a metal shop and dabbled inside them, creating simple silhouettes of birds or trees using my enamel sign paint. With a lot of encouragement and a few sales from friends, I opened an Etsy shop in 2007. After a few years, my hand got steadier and my eyes got better (no kidding!), and I started to take the business seriously. Now I narrow in on the rings of Saturn and trim my brushes with X-Acto knives (I don’t use a magnifying glass; they make me very dizzy). Each piece takes me about a week to make, as I must allow time for the paint to dry between layers.

khara-ledonne-working
khara-ledonne-paint

I’ve always been drawn to tiny spaces and the prospect of adventure. Moving so often, I carve out a small colorful nest for myself, whether I’m in a tent in Vermont or on a caravan in Italy. A sketchbook accompanies me whenever I travel, and I find it helps me shake out creativity cramps. Living in NYC can be an urban struggle, which often inspires me to paint the places where I long to travel. Real life hollers constantly: emails pile up, the Internet is fickle, and sales drop when I least expect it. Through it all, I think of the lockets as tiny escape portals – an opportunity to check in on my secret spirit animal, or have a peek at the hidden sailing adventure hanging around my neck. Adults need daydreams too, I say!

khara-ledonne-above
khara-ledonne-process
khara-ledonne-solar-system

Etsy has given me the world. Not only do I have the platform to share my miniatures with the globe, but the opportunity for exchange has opened up. Incredible tales have come from people commissioning a painting to capture their own hopes or memories. Hearing about a painting going to a soon-to-be-adopted daughter’s birth mother in South Korea, or a rocket for a dad who just retired from NASA – these things make Etsy real and vital. I love chance encounters and serendipitous friendships. I started out making paintings, and in the end have loved collecting the stories that came with them.

khara-ledonne-rocket
khara-ledonne-ship-future
khara-ledonne-bottle-paintings

The future is all about interweaving my miniature paintings with stories. I’m currently working on a series of paintings on antique bottles that come from Dead Horse Bay, a 19th century landfill that’s eroded on the seashore, leaving behind beautiful debris. Each bottle will hold a secret scrolled message (ooo la la!). The idea stemmed from my goal to find a sailboat and travel as far as the seas will take me this spring. How’s that for small spaces and big adventures? I’m terrified and giddy from head to toe. My future is about sharing stories and making new ones, using this crazy thing called the Internet and this wild idea called Etsy to connect them all.

Follow Khara Ledonne on Facebook and Instagram; check out a video of her process on Vimeo.

All photographs by Marilyn Glinka and Khara Ledonne.

Shop Khara Ledonne’s Collection

 

Framed 5"x5" Moon Phases Art Print - Small Framed Art Gift - Encouraging Humor
Framed 5"x5" Moon Phases Art Print - Small Framed Art Gift - Encouraging Humor
kharaledonne
$30.00 USD
Solar System Silver Locket, Unique Celestial Jewelry Individually Painted By Hand
Solar System Silver Locket, Unique Celestial Jewelry Individually Painted By Hand
kharaledonne
$180.00 USD
Spiral Galaxy Framed Mini Print - 5"x5" - Celestial Artwork of Outer Space and Milky Way
Spiral Galaxy Framed Mini Print - 5"x5" - Celestial Artwork of Outer Space and Milky Way
kharaledonne
$26.00 USD
Sloth Locket, Spirit Animal Jewelry, Hand-Painted Animal Necklace in Brass Ball Locket
Sloth Locket, Spirit Animal Jewelry, Hand-Painted Animal Necklace in Brass Ball Locket
kharaledonne
$60.00 USD
Solar System Copper Compass, Hand-Painted Intricate Tiny Art, True One of a Kind Gift for Him
Solar System Copper Compass, Hand-Painted Intricate Tiny Art, True One of a Kind Gift for Him
kharaledonne
$180.00 USD
Custom Hand-Painted Constellation in Vintage Brass and Copper Locket, Crescent Moon Starry Night Sky Necklace, One of a Kind
Custom Hand-Painted Constellation in Vintage Brass and Copper Locket, Crescent Moon Starry Night Sky Necklace, One of a Kind
kharaledonne
$85.00 USD
Big and Little Dipper Hand-Painted Constellations in Vintage Copper Locket, One of a Kind Astronomy Necklace
Big and Little Dipper Hand-Painted Constellations in Vintage Copper Locket, One of a Kind Astronomy Necklace
kharaledonne
$100.00 USD
I Love You to the Moon Tiny Locket, Hand-Painted Vintage Brass Necklace
I Love You to the Moon Tiny Locket, Hand-Painted Vintage Brass Necklace
kharaledonne
$45.00 USD
Personalized Constellation, Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, Custom Gift One of a Kind
Personalized Constellation, Tiny Oil Painting in Sterling Silver Locket, Custom Gift One of a Kind
kharaledonne
$130.00 USD
Paper Anniversary Framed Art Print - 5"x5"- Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus Sweet Funny Gift
Paper Anniversary Framed Art Print - 5"x5"- Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus Sweet Funny Gift
kharaledonne
$30.00 USD
Leo Constellation Tiny Locket, Hand-Painted Vintage Brass Necklace with Crescent Moon
Leo Constellation Tiny Locket, Hand-Painted Vintage Brass Necklace with Crescent Moon
kharaledonne
$45.00 USD
Moon Phases Mini Print of Original Painting - Framed 5"x5"  Black and White Artwork of Outer Space
Moon Phases Mini Print of Original Painting - Framed 5"x5" Black and White Artwork of Outer Space
kharaledonne
$26.00 USD
World Map Hand-Painted Brass Compass, Gift for Traveler, One of a Kind Accessory
World Map Hand-Painted Brass Compass, Gift for Traveler, One of a Kind Accessory
kharaledonne
$150.00 USD
Anchor Locket, Hope Anchors the Soul Nautical Necklace, Vintage Petite Jewelry
Anchor Locket, Hope Anchors the Soul Nautical Necklace, Vintage Petite Jewelry
kharaledonne
$40.00 USD
Solar System Mini Print of Original Painting - Framed 5"x5"  Artwork of Outer Space and Planets
Solar System Mini Print of Original Painting - Framed 5"x5" Artwork of Outer Space and Planets
kharaledonne
$26.00 USD

168 comments

Sign in to add your own