I grew up on the art of PJ Lynch, and now I have a small child of my own I read the same stories to him and still adore the illustrations. PJ Lynch has worked as a children’s book illustrator since graduating in 1984. He has gone on to win numerous awards for his work and has a whole host of wonderful books to his name. Many of these are classic fairy tales like the Snow Queen and East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon. There are also modern classics such as Alan Garner’s A Bag of Moonshine. My absolute favourites however are Melisande (written by E Nesbit), about a princess and a faery curse; and Catkin (by Antonia Barber), about a little ginger kitten who travels to Faerie to win back his little girl in a riddling match with the King and Queen. Lynch’s illustrations are superb, his faeries at once grotesque and beautiful… you just want to get lost in these otherworlds. Some of the books are currently out of print, but if you can track down copies you will not be disappointed.Filed under Art & Illustration | Comment (0)
Spindlewood, spindlewood, will you lend me pray,
A little flaming lantern to guide me on my way?
The fairies all have vanished from the meadow and the glen,
And I would fain go seeking till I find them once again.
Lend me now a lantern that I may bear a light,
To find the hidden pathways in the darkness of the light.
Ashtree, ashtree, throw me, if you please,
Throw me down a slender bunch of russet-gold keys,
I fear the gates of Fairyland all be shut so fast
That nothing but your magic keys will ever take me past.
I’ll tie them to my girdle and as I go along,
My heart will find a comfort in the tinkle of their song.
Hollybush, hollybush, help me in my task,
A pocketfull of berries is all the alms I ask,
A pocketfull of berries to thread on golden strands,
(I would not go a-visiting with nothing in my hands).
So fine will be the rosy chains, so gay, so glossy bright,
They’ll set the realms of Fairyland all dancing with delight.
Rose FylemanFiled under Poetry & Prose | Comment (0)
French music label Prikosnovenie’s latest release is Old Celtic & Norse Ballads. Presented as a limited edition, 17 track book-cd, it is an invitation to travel the world of Celtic and northern legends and superbly illustrated by Arthur Rackham. Discover tradtional ballads from Scotland, Ireland, Sweden or Norway. They evoke the sylphs of Air, gnomes of the Earth, dragons’ fire and the siren living in deep waters.
The composer Jean-Luc Lenoir and his musicians play Lute, Lyre, Crwth, Dulcimer, Flutes, Hurdy-gurdy with wheel, Cello, and,Nyckelharpa. These traditional instruments are accompanied by the beautiful voice of the Scottish singer Joanne McIver in Gaelic, Scottish, Breton or Norwegian. Listen to these ancestral tales which inspired the likes of JRR Tolkein.
The 32 page book presents Rackam’s illustrations, lyrics, and introduction to each ballad (in French and English). Old Celtic & Norse Ballads is limited to 1200 editions and is available from the Prikosnovenie site.
An Cailleach Bheara is a short film written and directed by Naomi Wilson. The Cailleach is a blue faced hag, sometimes a faery and sometimes a goddess, who presides over winter. In this film she is an ancient being who must bathe in the sea once every hundred years to become young again. You can watch the film on the Irish Film Board website.Filed under Film | Comments (2)
At the recent Faery Fayre in Glastonbury, there was one stall in particular which drew the admiration of the crowd. Fuego Fatuo, a splendid collection of fantasy sculpture and OOAK art dolls, is the work of Álvaro Heranz. Having made the trip from his native Spain, Alvaro’s brought with him moth faeries with exquisitely painted wings, baby brownies, dryads and faeries and some absolutely fantastic stray sods. I had to keep going back to the stall to peer some more to take all the details in.
Álvaro’s work is also available to buy from Etsy, and he has blogs in both Spanish and English so you can keep up to date with new works.
Leading polymer clay artist Kathleen Dustin creates exquisite evening bags inspired by the smallest details found in nature. Stones, seedpods and flower buds form dainty wrist bags and purses that wouldn’t look out of place on the arm of a Faery Queen. Kathleen has been working with polymer clay for the past 30 years and has developed many of her own techniques. She passes on her knowledge with a series of workshops aimed at intermediate and advanced abilities. For details of these, and to see work currently available please visit Kathleen’s website.Filed under Faeriewear | Comment (0)
The Pathways to Faery app is available on iPhone and iPad, via iTunes. For those of us who don’t use apple products you can still buy the meditation album on mp3 from iTunes or Amazon. For more information please visit the BBP Creations website.Filed under Spirituality | Comment (0)
Although trained as a commercial photographer Ashley Lebedev of Bottle Bell Photography chose to step away from the commercial work to focus on her Fine Art. Her enchanting images are both atmospheric and nostalgic, with strong narrative themes, not least in the ongoing Faerieland series. The collection is dedicated to ‘Being lost, being found, childhood innocence and perseverance’. It is all quite, quite magical (especially viewed on Ashley’s website with the lovely music playing).Filed under Art & Illustration | Comment (0)
The gnarled boughs hand darkling down,
And biers sweep my knees;
The moon is low, like a gold lamp,
Behind the twisted trees.
O dark and still are the wet fern
And trees where no birds nest;
What heed have I for night or day
Who ride a livelong quest?
There is no cockcrow in the dark,
No bleat from a far fold,
When the Forest Folk begin to stir
Under the starlight cold.
Rend your wild hair, you elfin things,
That peep from bush and tree;
I know what strangling arms you reach
Athwart the dusk to me.
Twist your fierce lips, you false fair things,
I know what dance you tread
To what drear tune ‘neath the cold moon
O’ nights wi’ the sheeted dead.
Cicely Fox Smith, 1904Filed under Poetry & Prose | Comment (1)
American artist Forest Rogers has been sculpting her Forest Beings for many years now, and has absolutely mastered her art. Inspired by Golden Age illustration, the Pre-Raphaelites, and Medieval and Renaissance art, Forest’s work has a magical timeless quality to it. Her art dolls are absolutely breathtaking, with faeries, fauns and other mythical beings being portrayed in exquisite, delicate detail.
Perusing Forest’s blog you will also find many tips and tricks for the aspiring doll artist and other interesting offerings like paper dolls and odd tales.