Monday, July 12, 2010

After the ball is over... and a new Give Away

The show as Sovereign House is over and the visiting fairies have flown away. The "How Many Fairies" contest drew many entries and last week a winner was declared and the prize presented. The contest is this simple: How many fairies can you count in the picture above? (Hint: they all have wings)

The prize is a fairy-tale princess on a gilt ladder, as seen here, from the Princess and the Pea collection that I had the pleasure of designing.

Count carefully and post your entry in the comments section, and next Sunday, August 1, the winner will be announced.

To quote from A Midsummer Nights Dream, "Fairies away!"
(or my favourite, "Give me your hands, if we be friends...")

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fairy Finds

Along with the fairy paintings currently on display at Sovereign House are other fairy finds. There are the fairy purses of course, and now another one of Avril's crochet inventions, a little blue-finned mermaid with cascading golden hair. Like the fairy purses she is made of the finest, silkiest cotton thread, very beguiling to the touch. She fits charmingly into the palm of one's hand.

Some weeks ago I found a pair of child-sized chairs in my favourite charity shop and brought them home to sand down and repaint with a fairy motif. The weeks have slipped by with so many things to have ready in time for the show, but this weekend I finally finished the chairs and brought them into the gallery.

Here is the signature motif under the seat,

and here are the chairs, with daisy seats and winged back rests.
One of our young visitors pulled up a chair to sit and paint with me for a while. Working on scraps of watercolour paper we came up with these (fairy with a flower vine, fairy flying over a golden ship) and other miniatures, making up stories to go with each one.

On a table in the middle of the room are books, cards and ornaments. In recent years I did some designs for a giftware company and have a small stock of the resulting product. The Frost Fairy collection included these little cherubs,
and another group of ornaments was designed around my "Princess and the Pea" illustration,
with the Princess on her ladder, sets of Princess slippers,
and a trinket box of the Princess in her tall bed with (what else) a small golden pea inside, under all those mattresses.
The show continues until later this week, concluding another magical interlude at Sovereign House.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Midsummer Magic - Fairies at Sovereign House

The paintings are framed, labelled and hung on the welcoming gallery walls of Sovereign House. Just a few steps in from the door is a poster of a busy fairy scene, above the little half moon table with entry slips for the "How many fairies" contest.

Usually I hang book illustrations in narrative sequence, from the cover art and title page vignette through to the last page and end papers. This show is a little different, featuring selected art from all of the Illustrated Fairy Gazettes, including fairy advertisements, events, interviews and articles of interest on fairy life. I grouped the paintings to make a new narrative, beginning with the Fairy Wedding. Here is some of how it looked.

"Little Flower Creations" has an advertisement in each of the Fairy Gazettes and now we have examples of the fairy purses. Typical of Avril's fibre work, they are beautifully finished inside and out. No two are alike. They are crocheted with the finest silky cotton thread, embellished with tiny floral inventions and hung with a netting of beads.

Some of them have already gone home with young fairies who came to visit on the weekend.