Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Messing Around With Fairies


Fairies are tricky. They have a way of getting you to do strange things. Like agreeing to do an art demo in front of people. Paint on demand, as it were. So, no big deal, I've done this before. but then the fairies suggested that I do an egg tempera demo. In front of live people. In the year 2010. So... that's painting with an egg and colored dirt. While people watch.


Egg tempera is an old world medium. It can only be done slowly with millions of layers using a plethora of cross-hatchings. A whole army of plethoras. Think: fifteenth century. Doing an egg tempera demo is like performing rap in Latin.


In order to keep the audience from aging, I didn't complete the egg tempera demo painting. I merely dabbled a little to show the technique. I then brought the painting home with me from Abilene, Texas, and finished it in my studio. Then I sent it back with a couple of variations on a theme. They will reside at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) in Abilene.

Fairies have sisters, you know. What I realized by dipping my toe in Faeryland, is that I am now a marked man. Part of me will always be there, and part here. I intend to explore these will-o'-the-wisps a great deal more.

My friend Kitty from Ireland at Into My Own, tells me that Irish farmers leave hawthorne and ash trees in their fields (they plow around them) just for the fairies. That is taking green to the next level. No wonder there are no fairies in the parking lots of America.

So, if you know any fairies, tell them I am interviewing, and when I plow, I will remember to leave green belts and a plethora of nooks and crannies. Woah, I used the word, "plethora" three times in this post. No, wait, counting that last use of the word "plethora", that makes four. Oh dear, it's actually five. Wait a second! The fairies are messing with me again~«««««

6 comments:

Kate Higgins said...

Oh Richard, when you mess with fairies you need to be careful. Some are nice some are not. Some are not even small and cute. They are masters of disguise and pass as butterflies or crickets. Some live with toads and slugs and some live in your pantry. Some like people and some do not. Gifts are highly recommended so as not to offend them. Just keep your eyes and mind open, watch your back and do not completely trust any fairy. This knowledge comes from my heritage filled with Irish and Swedish ancestors.

Kristen Schwartz said...

This was highly entertaining. The faeries got a hold of me while I was still a botanical illustrator. I illustrated a faery on a dare of sorts from a gallery owner. They've been messing with me ever since...

Faith Pray said...

Ooh! All the fairies at my house LOVE the fairies in your blogworld! I wish I was at your Abilene demo, and not just because I like saying the word Abilene. I'm sure it was a treat to watch you working old style.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Okay, Kate, I'll keep my eyes peeled. Ouch! On second thought...

Thanks, Kristen, it seems that a botanical illustrator would be a natural to transition in to fairies.

Faithy, say hello to all the fairies at your house. You should go ahead and say "Abilene" as often as you like. Insert it randomly into Abilene sentences. You might Abilene start some new trend. Tolkien love the sound of "cellar door" for some reason. He thought it pleased the ear.

Kitty said...

When I'm back in Ireland I shall find some fairy trees to photograph and send you the pictures :) Another thing is that often in the hills (in Ireland and Scotland) rowan trees mark where cottages used to be (even when only a few stones remain) because they were planted by the doorways for luck.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Kitty, that would be awesome. I love hearing about the rowan trees. Fascinating.