A certain youth here used to climb the door frames and swing from the carved brackets, sometimes pausing long enough to be sketched or at least photographed. Most of the fairies in my paintings are young ladies, but every fairy tale needs its Kay or Puck and it has been handy to have one about the house. The sketches are turned into detailed paintings with details of leaf and petal, wing and antennae, and the in-between preparatory work, with the transformation from present realism to timeless tale, is set aside. But both have their magic.
For a Mother's Day treat last week I revisited my favorite book, Good Housekeeping's Cookery Compendium of 1954 (and I could dwell all evening on the delights therein - puddings, pies, crumpets, jam roly-poly, biscuits and cakes, including the exciting chapter on Special Occasion Cakes that I used to leaf through even when my birthday was months away) and looked up the recipe for biscuits with feathered icing.
After an hour or so with the mixing bowl, rolling pin and cookie cutters, I had an impressive stack of plain biscuits (the resident lean young man efficiently disposing of the broken ones for me).
Glace icing was next: first the white, then with the piping bag I applied bars of colour...
dragging the lines with a toothpick to make feathered icing.
The butterfly pattern was a new approach and they turned out reasonably well, with no two alike. Like stages of sketching and painting, the plain ones were as enjoyable in their way as the finished, polished product.
So I wonder, which do you prefer in life - sketched or polished, plain or fancy?