I really love the artist Michael Sowa (German, b. 1945). I first came in contact with his work in the film Amelie, one of my favorites. His work is all at the same time whimsical, melancholic, sweet, and expectant. It makes me feel like a child, but there is more there than in a typical children's illustration. His work makes you feel as if you were walking in on something secret and quiet. Take a look:
"A Summer Night's Melancholy"
"Girl with Bear" What are they saying I wonder?
"Diving Pig" I wonder why that pig wants to get in the water so fast? Hm.
"Kanker Hund" You may remember this from Amelie.
I think my next apartment will need some Sowa prints. And thanks to Caitlin for giving me Sowa's name many months ago. She loves him too (and probably first).