Sunday, 30 September 2018

Art Elements Fairy Challenge reveal.

September's Art Element challenge was set by Caroline of Blueberribeads and she choose 'Fairies' as the theme.

I grew up with The Flower Fairies and the delightful drawings of Cicely M Barker.  I also love the work of Brian Froud and Alan Lee.  There are so many artists out there who specialize in art works of fae, Jasmine Beckett-Griffith, Amy Brown, Linda Ravenscroft as well as less modern artists, Edmund Dulac and of course the Cottingley Fairies by Elsie Wight and her cousin Frances Griffiths, these of course caught the imagination of none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who weaved a tale so believable that the public were divided as to whether or not fairies did exist.

Once the challenge was set I started to doodle and let my imagination loose, using stories from my childhood to guide me in my fairy quest.  Of all the fairies from the stories of my youth they were mainly in human form.  The Flower Fairies, Victoria Plum  and others.  But my muse doesn't really work with people.  My illustrative doodle above came about after a lovely walk with my dogs watching as Autumn takes over from Summer and the fruits of the hedgerows and orchards swell and colour the landscape.  I may have had a glass of something cold whilst doodling, even fairies like a tipple ..right? 

I researched a bit for animal fairies and was sadly disappointed in their lack.  They are there of course but writers of stories tend to humanize their fae.  I decided to change that!  I also discovered that the words 'fairy' and 'faerie' are a little different in interpretation.  

“Fairy” is a word that has been derived from Latin word “fatum,” which can mean “fate.” “Faerie” is a word that has been derived from Gaelic “fear shidhe,” which means “’man of the shee.”

Read more: Difference Between Fairy and Faerie | Difference Between
So I doodled a little more and soon a scene emerged in my sketchbook. 

I decided to have an animal fairy, after all fairy are small 'folk' and in my world (art) animals are dominant.  After doodling some more in my sketchbook, my little scene developed and then to make it 'real'.

I have been exploring (read that as looking and drooling at lots of very talented artists on the web!) paper diaormas.  I really want to experiment much more than I have been doing.  I found in my cupboard a green 'thing' that was given to me by a member of the team (Niky Sayers).  She found it last Christmas and liked it so brought a few of them and gave them to the members of the team who met up in London back in January.  Suddenly I saw this green 'thing' as a mound in my world.  A few little glass toadstools, some paper grass, a wooden plinth and some trees - which in hindsight I would have done differently - with some of my own hand made gold watercolour paint and some 'found' acorns on a beautiful Autumn day walk with my dogs completed my vision... oh and a sprinkling of fairy dust (glitter), completed the look.

I got rather attached to my little mouse and decided to create her in glass too, then she got a name and now my sketchbook is full of little mice hoola hooping, running, playing and having wings! 

Thanks to Caroline for setting the challenge.  I nearly gave up as I really wasn't feeling the 'human' fairy but I am glad I stuck with the muse because I think Esme might go on to be a staple character in my stories and illustrations.

Others who have joined in on this month's themed challenge are below, I hope you enjoy reading their magical journeys this month. 


Art Elements Team


  1. Oh As me is wonderful, I am sure she will be getting up to all sorts of mischief in the future. Well done for not giving up.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Well done on your 3d sketch interpretation! And Esme is so cute, I just want to hold her in my hand ....

  4. Gosh, I love your fairy mouse! It made me smile! :)

  5. I love your little mouse sketch! And Esme, what can I say, she's simply adorable and has the cutest little face!

  6. I love Esme, she's adorable. I think you need to write and illustrate a book... I'd love to hear more about her! I love that you created a diorama too. It's wonderful!

    Thank you for joining me in the challenge!

  7. A Fairy mouse? now that is an intriguing thought. Could other creatures be fairies or faeries too, I wonder. Love your mouse doodle, its super sweet

  8. I love Esme and the life that was brought into her during your creative time for this theme. See - total Fairy Magic! I do believe in Fairies!!! Cannot wait to see more of her journeys and adventures :)

  9. You absolutely CAN do people! Your first drawing above is proof and the glass of wine she is holding is perfect:-) The diorama is adorable as is the glass mouse. I love her name Esme.

  10. Your whimsical illustrations are so charming and I smile each time I come across one on instagram. Of course there must be animal fae or fairies, and surely some of them must look like Esme. Your glass work is so remarkable, you must have some fairy magic to create such details with that medium.

  11. Your human faerie may not have been your thing, but I think she's cute. However, it's obvious from that first sketch that you were definitely feeling Esme much more. She's darling and the magic just exudes from her, in every medium. Exceptional!!

  12. I am rather in love with your creations especially Esme, see the name Esme holds a special place in my daughters heart, her first/best friend growing up was called Esme but she moved away a little over a year ago, they write infrequently but she misses her so very much, I shall show her this post in the morning and I am sure it will make her smile very much! I love that you found a use for the 'thing' it looks great!

  13. Esme is darling. I think you should put her into a storybook. She has such character and charm.

  14. Esme is adorable! I love how your design stayed so true to your original sketch. It's such a lovely piece!

  15. Oh you .... Of course you can do human fairies but Esme is so very cute I love her fairyness... And you translated her so well into one of your glassy Creations.... Love her xx

  16. As always I love reading your blog posts and I was intrigued to see what you would do with the challenge. I adore Esme she is so cute and I can see you making more Fae animals :) xx


Thanks for stopping by my corner of the blogging world :)