Sunday, 28 August 2011

Winter Fairy Tales in August!

East of the sun and West of the moon.

This month ...still in August I know. I have been reading wintery tales and folklore and one of my favorites has got to be a Norwegian tale, East of the Sun and West of the Moon.  Even the title of this story brings amazing images to my heart and mind.  Some how it reminds me of winter and the cold feel of the North wind.   How did I ever miss this one as a child!  The young girl in this story saves the prince! 
I have seen many illustrations for this fairy tale and I wanted to try to capture the feel of the story  as a painting.  I have the perfect frame for it too. Chunky white wood with an inner frame of icy soft gold.

Shaman Flight.

Ok, so we all know that 'Santa' is a shaman in folklore, right?  Usually the rein deer would fly with him after both eating the mushroom, 'Fly Agaric' . So if this mushroom did give the rein deer visions and altered states of their usual rein deer happenings, maybe they would see themselves as unicorns as well as the magical ability to fly! Anything is possible. In any case, shamans must know about the unicorn and all matter of magical, mythical creatures so who knows where the rein deer must have taken him!

Winter's Dream.

The inspiration for this painting is from the fairy tale of the 'Ice Queen'. Another tale I seem to have missed as a child but seem to remember images somewhere down the years.  Winter is a time to go inward to a creative and meditive space of which I'm really looking forward to.  This Summer has been so busy with all the running around and crazy fun.  Autumn isn't far away. It will soon be time to slow down and dream those far away dreams.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Celtic Festivals

We are into August already and the berries and fruit trees are ripening early this year. Soon I'll be getting ready to gather as many empty glass jars as I can for jams and pickles to last for the 4 or 6 months ahead.  Already there are black currants, plums, crab apples, tay berries and in a couple of weeks the elderberries.  Last year we make hedgerow jelly with rosehips, haw berries and black berries.  Pear and cider apple chutney, and a few others that I can't remember the wonderful things we put in. The veg garden is growing in abundance and all around us countryside is bursting with wild food for foraging.
Sitting in the garden drinking mint and lemon balm tea from the wild knot of herbs, I wonder what adventures our family blackbirds have had this summer. Always meeting me at dawn with their song and never far away during the day. Their beautiful singing balancing the energies of the new day.

Early last Spring I started painting the Celtic Festivals and have finally finished all 8. I love the colours of the seasons here in the UK. The warm bronze and rusts, golds and earthy browns of Samhain to the gentle yellows, greens and violets of Ostara.  I will soon have all of these ready for prints and I'll be making card sets for the 'Wheel of the Year'.