The Alternative Flower Fairies, a calendar for 1027

Two new calendars for 2017

My small and sometimes tidy studio is once more full of boxes: not only are there lots of Somerset Arts Week brochures ready to be distributed, I also have a few hundred calendars. So if you’d like to do your Christmas shopping early, now’s the time… An experiment last year more to please myself than anything – a calendar I produced of my growing collection of Swimming Drawings – turned out to be a runaway success. So this year I have produced a new one with the latest pick of swimming drawings. These include drawings of long summer swims in…

Cider Apple Fairies

I have finished the Cider Apple Fairies with two days to go, in time to get them into the Somerset Arts Weeks brochure. So that’s me signed up for Arts Weeks (17 September to 2 October 2016), and one more Alternative Flower Fairies picture ticked off. And a decision: next year there shall be a Flower Fairies calendar! I now have 10 Alternative Flower Fairies paintings, just two more needed. I shall also be doing another swimming calendar as this year’s was delightfully popular. So, pictures of the Cider Apple Fairies – after a long line of Poison Flower Fairies…

The Opium Fairies - sketch

Papaver Somniferum

There are gaping holes in my ‘Poison Flower Fairies‘ painting series. This suspicious selection of characters so far includes some toxic, medicinal and aggressive types of fairies, but I have yet to add two blindingly obvious ones. One of the omissions is Atropa Belladonna, a.k.a Deadly Nightshade, both notorious and medicinal, and this is partly because I don’t know anywhere hereabouts where it grows though it must be somewhere around, and I do like to draw a plant from life even if it’s sometimes hard to track down the fairies. The other one is almost so obvious you wouldn’t believe…

Foxglove Fairy - work-in-progress 8

Trust me, I’m an Artist! (The Foxglove Fairy pat 2)

Back to the Foxglove Fairy from the previous post… Here is the blue underpainting finished. At this point the painting looks fine, and you will think I am ok at painting, but after this everything will go a bit strange for a while as I start to add the colour. Trust me: I’m an artist… On go the first layers of colour. In fact you may not notice the very first colour I added, which was white, where the inside of the foxgloves flowers are spotty. Next I filled in the colours of the fairy. …and the purple and greens…

Three Wise Fairies: speak-no-evil

Nacreous Fairies

I have a slight fascination with the word nacreous because to me, it never sounds like it should. It has a sinister sound to it, something repellent, there are undertones of putrefaction in there. It is something that appears to be sound, but it glistens with decay. What nacreous actually means is ‘of or pertaining to Nacre’. And Nacre is merely the scientific term for Mother of Pearl: that lovely shimmery coating inside shells. It is also what pearls are made of. It doesn’t sound right. I think it is the aural closeness the word has to necrotic, narcotic, narcosis,…

close-up detail of 'The Pumpkin Fairies' - painting in gouache

Finished painting: The Pumpkin Fairies

…and barely pausing for breath (though I did in fact pause to prune several small apple trees) I have another painting finished! Click on the image and click again and you will be able to see it in quite some detail. Here’s the whole thing: It may be the picture for October in my calendar, but it seems very appropriate for the time of year we have now. Apparently we are moving into autumn without really having paused for summer. It’s that kind of time when there are strange fruits lurking in the garden waiting to be picked. The spiders…

The Caper Spurge Fairy… finished.

And another Fairy spreads her wings… I suspect she may squeak a bit as she flies, in her all-over latex outfit, but, given the dangers of this particular genus of plants, this is a small price to pay for the safety of inhabiting the Caper Spurge. The trouble with Euphorbias is their sap, which is not only toxic, but can cause severe skin reaction and damage to eyes, which explains why my fairy is wearing goggles, too. I have this plant growing here and there in my garden, and it readily oozes toxic sap at the least damage. So I…

The Caper Spurge Fairy: after washing off the under-painting

Painting the Caper Spurge Fairy, part 2

The Caper Spurge Fairy is beginning to come to life…. Ok, so when I said there wouldn’t be a huge range of colour in this painting, I think I was forgetting a few things… like the fact that I tend to just layer on washes of colour because it’s fun and not because it’s actually the right colour 🙂 So I have begun the ‘colouring-in’ stage of this painting: Having first done the shading part of the under-painting (see previous post), I am adding a basic colour on top. Most of this layer of paint ends up being washed off, but…

beans growing in greetings cards

How to grow greetings cards from seed: part 2

I promised I would post a photo of my greetings-card runner-bean ‘pots’ when the beans grew, so here they are: The start of this curious use of unwanted greetings cards was documented in a previous post: https://nancyfarmer.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/how-to-grow-greetings-cards-from-seed/… And I have to admit that these may very well be the borlotti beans and not the runner beans after all. Most of the runner beans were actually grown in toilet rolls, which do not make such a pretty picture, but there is something quintessentially English about a row of runner beans in the back garden, so runner beans is what I wanted…

The Honey Thieves

Do flower fairies eat flowers?

According to the site stats, somebody found this blog today by googling “do flower fairies eat flowers?”. I am sorry to say they would not have received an answer from this blog, for it is indeed an excellent question, so much so that I feel it ought to be addressed! If they do eat flowers, of course, this leads me to wonder do they eat the flowers of their chosen plants? Because this might be a very serious problem for my poison flower fairies. A scan through more of the obscure search terms people have used to find this blog…