Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Golden Egg Gals

A beakful of sneak peeks from the new commission sketches!
I'm thinking of going with indigos, ochres and gold for this one.

Katla & Bird Figure fully conjured and delivered!

I've just finished conjuring this commission of feathered figure and cat, and delivered the pair to their new nest on the bus yesterday!
It was such a hoot working on this canvas. It is a 73cm x 92cm canvas and conjured with gesso, texture medium and water-soluble oil paints. There are little flecks of gold paint in the feathers too.
Now I am embarking on a new canvas, this one for my Prince's cousin and family, of a feathered figure holding a golden egg.
It is such bliss working on these big canvasses! I love that they feel like living entities.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Feathered Figures

I'm painting a series of Feathered Figures at the moment.

The nature of birds is a mosaic of mannerisms ~ they are merry, serene, inquisitive, hopeful, curious & courageous, and I love that they communicate through song. Wings are both strong and gentle. I think their anatomy is fascinating by being so contrary ~ the whole wing can be heavy and swooping while comprising individual components that are delicate and light ~ that seems so beautiful! To me, the way the wings of the entwined figures curve around each other encapsulates the feeling of being held. Arms like meadow~blankets. Birds are connected to the elements ~ they can be earthbound - pecking at the grass, or airborne, or sweeping the surface of water, and mythical birds like the Phoenix and Firebird relate to fire. It feels so blissful working with these winged entities!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Monday, 18 April 2011

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Pipit Nest at The Woodland Trust's magical Creative Campaign Corner!!

The wonderdusted Woodland Trust knights in emerald armour have a blissful Creative Campaigning corner, cauldron swirling with art, music, creative writing and film...

The Pipit Nest paintings are nestled there from today and I am just over the moon!

They are a magical organisation protecting England's beautiful emerald guardians.

Thank you a thousand moonfuls Woodland Trust!!

Protect our emerald guardians with the wonderdusted Woodland Trust :)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Tree Mages

Woodland witch
Tree Mage elder

I am cauldron stirring a project about tree mages, magical beings who I can feel about me when I wander in the woodlands. I have written down their whisperings to me and would love more than anything to conjure an entire book about them...

"Tree mages (witches and wizards) are magical beings who dwell in woodland. The mages come in many different guises, each witch or wizard having their own personality, special ability and role. Together, they are the guardians, architects, healers, and magic voice of the earth's forests.
Among them are the elders, tree healers, chanters, sapling sprouters, and protectors of the ancient glades.
The reach of the mages' powers varies from those who are assigned guardianship of one particular tree for life, to those who can summon spells for any tree, copse, or forest which may benefit from their unique magic."

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Monday, 14 March 2011

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Little Galleon of Green Lions

A little galleon glided by
Gilded in Milky Way
Set sail with wanderlust
Green lions and moondust
The wild, rare sea caressed him;
(the king of the swans' dark throne)
and the galleon turned to a little golden bone...
filled inside with moondust
and a thousand comet stones.
Meanwhile, the green lions wove their crowns
of milk teeth and phoenix down.

Monday, 7 February 2011

The Firebird

The Firebird from Russian folklore
I drew this sketch of a Firebird laddy last year, inspired by the beguiling drawings of Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin. The Firebird is a magical bird with iridescent feathers, who can be glimpsed in Slavic folklore pinching apples from the King's garden. At the Diaghilev exhibition at the V&A Museum, where I dream drifted in December, there was a whole room dedicated to a ballet of the Firebird. A ceiling high painted backdrop of Aladdin~esque buildings and a video roll of photographs... swirling fabric feathers and multicoloured wings... it was magical. I sailed home with a treasure, a compilation of Russian faerytales illustrated by Bilibin, the original cover of which was nestled behind glass in the exhibition, and a black pencil tipped with a glittering green jewel... I think a twinkle from the Firebird's feather.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Mr Faun ii

Mr Faun ii
Mr Faun is beckoning us into an emerald forest...

Emerald green spellbinds me, wonderdust woodlands and whirring meadows, painting the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz and building an emerald forest in a shoebox many moons ago. The shoebox has shimmering green cellophane in square windows, so the little kingdom glistens green for whoever peeps inside.

Medieval literature is woven with dazzling emerald dust... from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight:

"His clothes were all kindled with a clear light like emeralds: 
His belt buckles sparkled, and bright stones were set
in rich rows arranged up and down
himself and his saddle. Worked in the silk
were too many trifles to tell the half of:
embroidered birds, butterflies, and other things
in a gaudy glory of green and inlaid gold."

to The Prioress' Tale, one of The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer:

"This gem of chastity, this emerald..."

... and emerald green can be spied far away from our glittering green forests here...

In alchemy, the Greene Lyon, or Green Lion, was the characterisation of the process of mixing nitric acid with hydrochloric acid, which creates aquae regia (royal water), a liquid with a green tinge.

"Here is the Universal Dissolvent, the Green Lion or Mercury of the Wise, without which nothing can be achieved..." (from Michael Maier's 1618 book, Antalanta fugiens)

The solution can dissolve all metals including gold (the mineral of the sun), thus, depictions of the green lion gobbling up the sun can be found in alchemical literature. The Green Lion was also used to describe photosynthesis by naturalist alchemists, the raw green energy of nature, eloquently expressed as "the green fuse which drives the flower" by Dylan Thomas.

The Green Man, the spirit and essence of nature... I think I would love to paint him.

Inspiration ~ glistening emerald meadow next to The Hundred Acre Wood in Sussex 
Maybe he sings about the leaves he is woven from...

A leaf from my sketchbook ~ magical tree names

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Mr Faun

This laddy is a mixed media painting of my Prince as a treetop nestled tryllefløyte (magic flute) playing faun.

In Roman mythology, fauns are half~man, half~goat incarnations of forest and animal spirits, with little horns, pointed ears, hooves and a tail. They are depicted as mischievous and fond of dance and music, and capable of guiding or guiding astray men who stumble into the wilderness. Fauns are comparable to the Greek god Pan and his satyrs, and the cheeky woodland sprite Puck from English folklore.

Spellbinding tales starring faun characters include C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia (Mr Tumnus), Mexican film~maker Guillermo del Toro's bewitching fantasy Pan's Labyrinth, and Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky's sensual L'après-midi d'un faune. Inspired by the poem of the same name by French poet and critic Stéphane Mallarmé, it was originally created for the Ballets Russes. Below, Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev will perform L'après-midi d'un faune for you...

The ballet's score, Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, was written by French composer Claude Debussy. Debussy said of his music ~

"The music of this prelude is a very free illustration of Mallarmé's beautiful poem. By no means does it claim to be a synthesis of it. Rather there is a succession of scenes through which pass the desires and dreams of the faun in the heat of the afternoon. Then, tired of pursuing the timorous flight of nymphs and naiads, he succumbs to intoxicating sleep, in which he can finally realize his dreams of possession in universal Nature."

Merriest spirit entwined in the branches of my darling forest faun