Saturday, October 16, 2010

"I wish I lived in a Caravan"

"Rainbows in the daytime and shooting stars at night gave notice that the gypsies were in our galaxy. So we were not surprised to wake up early one morning to the neigh of their little winged horses rejoicing in the rich pasture of Skylark Meadow by the stream. The smoke from their camp fires drifted across the orchard and we all abandoned our daily routine and flew to meet them." The Illustrated Fairy Gazette, Gypsy Visitors.
The fairy caravan paintings for Gypsy Visitors are among my favorite pieces, ones that beckoned me into the magic as I painted, with the lure of romance and adventure that was captured in the old poem "I wish I lived in a caravan". With original edition of Gypsy Visitors now sold out we are making the cover art available as a card, the newest item on the Etsy shop.

A short story of travel and discovery: On this beautiful autumn day Avril and I set out early to attend the Creativ Festival at the Convention Centre downtown. Michaelmas daisies and goldenrod made splashes of colour on the grassy edges of the highway as we left the suburbs. We eventually came off the expressway, into the city and past the CN Tower, consulting our downloaded tickets and discussing the best parking options and the booths we would visit. Having parked we made our way along the halls and up the multiple escalators of the Toronto Convention Centre, finally nearing the South Convention Hall and encountering the first trickle of crowds. We had both expected the other attendees to be more casually dressed for the occasion than they were - more casually chic with smart hand-made items and embellishments, more hats for example - but of course it was us.
We were as out of place as the giant woodpecker on the steel sculpture outside.
The Creativ Festival is next
weekend, and all those serious and tired-looking people with their suits and messenger bags were on their way to the The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) 2010 Annual Meeting and to lectures on bone and skeletal health.

We made our way back to the car and went to Queen Street instead, finding an excellent bead shop and other stores that cater to the creative passion. I doubt that any of the ASBMR attendees had noticed us or wondered if they were overdressed for their own event. They were probably thinking only of the convention schedule and their part in its important work. (And reminded of the importance of dietary calcium, we both ordered salmon at lunch, and a glass of milk.) We'll go back next week, in creative company.

Home again some hours later and inspired by the thought of the many crafts that will be represented at the show, I went looking in the basement for a certain box that I put away years ago.
Found it!
It was all still there, my beautiful stamps.
To be continued....

"We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend."

Robert Louis Stevenson


  1. OH How I would LOVE to be traveling with you...on a journey of creativity...perhaps to a secret caravan where fireflies dance! LOVE THE CARAVAN! Your art work is truly magical!!

  2. I wish I could have been there with you and Avril, but will content myself with a cyber visit.

    Your fairy caravan is a favourite of mine too, and now what about these very intriguing stamps???

  3. How in the world do you get the stamps to produce a multi-colored print? Would it be a case of carefully applying different colors to the stamp, or is that the original?

    I'm no artist, clearly, but I do love your work, Frances. Aren't caravans the most wonderful of notions? The always looks so colorful and snug when depicted in animation, or film.

    One of my favorites was from the TV series Wonderfalls (short-lived but very interesting visually) that filmed some exteriors up by Niagara Falls...and then shot the bulk of production in Toronto or Montreal...but I think it was Toronto.

    Sorry for that TV Production Trivia moment.

  4. Great way to get your Gypsy Visitors work, Frances. Magical...I bet your inspired moments lead others into to see what you make of the stamps, too.