Saturday, December 31, 2016

Welcoming the New Year

Woodland Celebration, Woodland Nutcracker
We had personal sorrow and loss in 2016, such as eventually comes to all who love and are loved.  Going through all my art files that were so carefully catalogued by my lovely father is both pleasure and pain. How very thorough and thoughtful he was in everything!  A good example for anyone to follow, and a good model for the coming year.
I like this quote from Marie of Romania, who saw her own share of loss and turmoil:
"Work, give, share; recognize the blessings you have and multiply them in your heart; do not strain after the impossible, but keep hope fresh in your soul, the hope that each day will be better than one just lived, which was already good because, like the Boy Scout, you tried to do at least one kind act in the twenty-four hours. Joy lies within your heart; does not depend upon what you are or have." 
Best wishes to all for the New Year.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 24, The Night Before Christmas

Farewell, Woodland Nutcracker
For day 24 of Advent, Clara Bear makes her farewells to Prince Nutcracker and the Great Bear. The magical adventure with celestial creatures and woodland friends has come to an end, and Christmas morning awaits.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 23, Kindness

Woodland Mouse, Woodland Nutcracker
Sharing crumbs of kindness, for day 23 of Advent here are the woodland mice - and Mouse King - from Woodland Nutcracker.
Woodland Mice say "Thank you", Woodland Nutcracker

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 22, Visitors

Snow Birds, Frances Tyrrell 2015

For day 22 of Woodland Advent, two visiting "snow birds".  And from Woodland Nutcracker, here are the guests arriving at the home of the Bear family.
Visitors, Woodland Nutcracker

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 21, Wearing the Tartan

Drum Major, Woodland Nutcracker
For day 21 of Advent, here is the proud tartan-wearing Drum Major from Woodland Nutcracker, leading the parade of pipes and drums, dancers, skaters, performers and friends.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 20, Drums

Mouse Drums, Woodland Nutcracker
For day 20 of Woodland Advent, some small but mighty drummers from Woodland Nutcracker. (What tune are they marching to?  The Black Bear of course)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 19, Stars Above

The Milky Way, Woodland Christmas
Christmas is closer, the nights are colder, the stars are bright and clear - for the 19th day of Advent here is one of the "Milky Way" racoons (Eight Maids a Milking) from Woodland Christmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 18, Anticipation

Rabbit detail from "Woodland Santa", Frances Tyrrell 
For day 18 of Woodland Advent, a snow-bunny detail from a larger painting, Woodland Santa.  I look forward to sharing some of the product this will appear on next year.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 16, Prince Nutcracker

Prince Nutcracker, Woodland Nutcracker
For day 16 of Advent, the transformation scene from Woodland Nutcracker, where the carved nutcracker toy becomes "a live fur-and-claws bear...tall, and so handsome".

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 15, Panda-monium

Pandas Juggling, Woodland Nutcracker
For the day 15 of Advent, here are the juggling pandas of Woodland Nutcracker making merry with a fine china tea service but dropping not a single piece.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 14, Dances with Foxes

Little Foxes, Woodland Christmas
For the fourteenth day of Advent,some dancing foxes from Woodland Christmas (pose inspired by Botticelli's 3 Graces).

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 13, Lordly Leaping Moose

Leaping Moose, Woodland Christmas
For Day 13 of Advent, one lordly leaping Moose.  Were this the Twelve Days of Christmas the moose would have appeared on Day 10 with all nine of his companions. But that is far too many for one small Christmas tree bauble!
Ten Lords-a-Leaping, Woodland Christmas

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 12, Ursa Major

Ursa Major, Woodland Nutcracker
Here for day 12 of Advent is Ursa Major, the Great Bear.  In Woodland Nutcracker Clara pays a visit to her starry palace in the far north.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 11, High Spirits

Cubs Hockey, Woodland Nutcracker
For the eleventh day of Advent, high-spirited bears of sport from Woodland Nutcracker.

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 10, Merry Music

Piping Squirrel, Woodland Christmas
For the 10th day of Advent, a woodwind musician from the Woodlands.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 9, Grace and Style

Polar Ribbon Dancer, Woodland Nutcracker
Leaping for joy with her ribbon dance skills is polar bear Yuk Tuk, champion gymnast from Woodland Nutcracker.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Star of Wonder, Day 8

"Two Little Bears", Woodland Nutcracker
For the eighth day of Advent, the Bear twins of Woodland Nutcracker search the sky for the Great Bear, Ursa Major.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Cardinal Post, Day 7

"Cardinal Post"
Of course there are fairies in the Woodlands! For Day 7, here is fairy mail delivered by Cardinal Post.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 5, Herald Bear

Herald Angel, Woodland Christmas
A joyful angel for the Fifth day of Advent, with garlands of evergreen.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 4, Rejoice and Be Merry

Round Reel of Bears, Woodland Nutcracker
"Rejoice and be merry, in songs and in mirth!", begins the old carol. It is the season for merry making, including dancing.  Here for the Fourth day of Advent is part of a vignette of the Bears of Woodland Nutcracker dancing a Round Reel of Eight.
"Dancing to Mother's paw-tapping fiddle music", Woodland Nutcracker

Friday, December 2, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 3, the Nutcracker

Clara Bear and Nutcracker
For the third day of Advent, the opening scene of Woodland Nutcracker with Clara Bear and the splendid carved Nutcracker bear. What a party it was!
Woodland Nutcracker is available in paperback and in hardcover, at TreasureSeekerStudio on Etsy.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Woodland Advent - Day 2, Two Turtle Doves

Two Turtle Doves, Woodland Christmas
"Two turtle doves" for the second day of Christmas - symbols of love, honesty and loyalty.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Woodland Advent - December 1

Santa Bear, Woodland Christmas
Skating merrily into Advent this year is Santa Bear, the "True Love" of my Woodland Christmas, Twelve Days of Christmas in the North Woods (Scholastic, 1995).
I was born in Northern Ontario and raised in Montreal, Quebec, and while I never became a hardy Canadian (cold hands, cold feet) the beauty of our northern winters never fails to inspire me. This year's Advent theme is Woodland, with a few visitors from afar.

Monday, November 28, 2016


Ohm, Fairy Advisor and Printer of the Fairy Gazettes
A recent communication from The Illustrated Fairy Gazette:

"We miss Ohm. Our printer, technical advisor, Dearly Beloved and everlasting friend, has left on the Great Journey that even fairies must take and for now we are parted. 

Ohm, in the mortal world, is the unit by which electrical resistance is measured. One "ohm" (Ohm is very good at explaining this) is equal to the current of one ampere which will flow when a voltage of one volt is applied. "Turn up the voltage and get more ohms".  But for us there is only one Ohm, shining bright and constant. Every flicker of light reminds us that we will meet again."

Eritha and Ohm, The Illustrated Fairy Gazette

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Little Robins and the Guardian Patrol

"The Guardian Patrol" The Illustrated Fairy Gazette, ©FrancesTyrrell
The robins are back and busy with nestlings.  It's the time of year for finding broken shells of beautiful robin's egg blue in the garden.  For "daring fledglings who test their wings too soon" Guardian Patrol fairies will come to the rescue with "stretchers of twigs and last year's spiders' webs", according to (who else) Dr. Flora Fauna of (what else?)  The Illustrated Fairy Gazettes, Spring edition.

There is a beautiful Saskatoon Berry tree in my parents' back yard and a nest with robins nearby.  They have taken to nesting over the back door and come back every year. Here is one of them, part of a demo piece from my watercolour classes.
Robin, watercolour, Frances Tyrrell ©2016
"A blessed and enchanted Spring to fairies everywhere"

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fairies' May Day

from "The Illustrated Fairy Gazette" Spring edition
Here are some fairy garlands for the month of May. The May Pole Dance is from the Spring edition of the Fairy Gazettes, where it is accompanied by an article on the etiquette of folded wings. Should it be "Wings Up" or "Wings Down"? Just ask Fairy Faux Pas!
Spring Garland, © Frances Tyrrell 2016
Above, a fairy garland woven from the spring flowers that have naturalized in my garden - forget-me-nots, lily of the valley, and primroses.  The flowers of the poem won't show up here until June.
Snowdrops, © Frances Tyrrell 2016
The snowdrops are gone by now. The scillas still abound in wide blue drifts.  And here come the trillums, crimson and white.

 "A blessed and enchanted Spring to fairies everywhere"

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Fairy in Lakeshore Woods

Scilla Fairy
 The woods nearby are carpeted with Scilla, masses of them  in sweeps of heavenly blue.  Of European origin, the little blue flowers have naturalized here and become as integral to the landscape as the native Trout Lilies and Trillium. Where there are flowers there must be fairies, hence this Scilla Fairy in Lakeshore Woods, just a short walk from home.
The first blossoms were snowed over early in April
 and the preliminary sketch showed the wintry scene, every blossom capped with snow. But that is another painting.
We've had enough snow for a while.