Monday, December 31, 2007
It would seem that the Celtic Land of the dead, Annwn, may very well be located in North Wales. The main story is of the King of Annwn, Gwyn Ap Nudd, and his wild hunt. He rides the night skies in search for souls with his hounds. It was this story which inspired my painting "The Queen of Annwyn" and I chose the longer spelling because that's fitting for a Welsh word. So I decided to take that image, and dress it up a bit and create some cool stuff, because it's what I do now that I have my own fantasy art gift shop. So now you can explore Annwyn on your own with the Journal of Annwyn.
I have kept journals on and off for years, and though now I do a great deal of my writing online, I still keep a hand-written one as well. It's not updated as frequently as it once was, but I have a feeling that may change soon. There's magic in writing, and if you don't believe in magic even just a little bit, then you've come to the wrong place. The idea that the Land of the Dead is associated with a physical location doesn't negate the mythology, in fact it reinforces it. Who knows what rituals the ancient Celts performed as they laid their dead to rest? Did they call upon the King of Annwyn to welcome their loved ones into his hall?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
This was our first weekend with Fairy Woot, our new booth helper. She was very cheerful all day Saturday, but ran out of steam on Sunday. Maybe next weekend we'll bring a supply of Pixie Sticks to perk up her energy a bit, she says that caffeine just makes her sleepy. Fairies are a different race after all, they would tend to react a little differently than us mere humans.
I did manage to keep a cheerful attitude all weekend, though. It was fun to see everyone all dressed up in their garb, and to dress up myself as well.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
This weekend at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is dedicated to celebrating both Asian and Mid-Eastern Heritage. Festivities include belly dancing, Arabian horse show, yoga lessons and much more! The lovely dancer pictured here is Jeavonna "Something Purple" Melantha and has also worked at GemiGlass. I love all things belly-dancing, and hope to make time to get back into shape so I can join in the fun too, next year.
Things are really hectic at Wyrdhaven Studio, as I have been unable to locate the sign for my shop that I made last year! So I'm busy painting a new one, gathering my costumes, and generally pulling my hair out. The usual pre-show jitters have kicked in. You can still find me in booth #645 under the shade of three giant oak trees.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Today's theme is Pirates. I was innocently searching the web for a nice parchment graphic that I could use to spruce up the background of my Shroom #3 tile, and what should I discover but Piece of Eight, a website devoted to 17th century piracy. Pirates are popular right now, what with the movies, a tv show, and the occasional wannabe. I even have a friend who asked me when I'm going to do a pirate painting. I don't know the answer to that question, as my muse has her own ideas about what I should paint that has nothing to do with trends in this realm of mere mortals.
Of course pirates have nothing to do with my cute little shroom really, except that he'll steal your heart away and make you glad he did. Pirates are like that.
Monday, July 23, 2007
So I picked up my book at midnight and started reading it the next day. But before I could finish I had my husband's birthday party to throw so I was wearing the hostess hat until late at night, again. No rest for the wicked! Who knew that so much responsibility was required for those who wore the green and silver of that much maligned Hogwarts house.
The official total of books sold broke the previous world-wide record by a respectable 2 million. Here's the scoop from BBC NEWS:
The seventh and final Harry Potter book has broken sales records on both sides of the Atlantic, selling 11 million copies in its first 24 hours.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold 2.7 million copies in the UK and 8.3 million in the US.
The previous record for the fastest-selling book was held by the sixth Harry Potter novel, which sold nine million in its first day in 2005.
The long-awaited climax to JK Rowling's series was released on Saturday.
It was published simultaneously in more than 90 countries...A decade after the first instalment, the running total for Harry Potter book sales was already at 325 million even before the seventh novel came out.
Author JK Rowling launched the final instalment with a reading session at the Natural History Museum in London, and signed 250 copies an hour for fans between midnight and 0630 BST.
Tens of thousands of devotees - many dressed as wizards and witches - turned up to midnight launch parties at 280 branches of book chain Waterstone's, while many more took part in release parties all over the world.
Never underestimate the power of a single person to change the world, especially if she's a single mom! While I read this final installment in the saga that I love so well, I'll keep in mind that I too have an arsenal of creative gifts to bring joy and wonder into this world. So really, where were you at midnight on the 21st?
Monday, July 9, 2007
This past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the largest Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention here in the great state of Minnesota, none other than Convergence. While I was there I attended a panel discussing the possible new film coming out, a sequel to The Dark Crystal, one of my favorite fantasy films of all time. So naturally I hit the net when I got home and there's a great deal of speculation about whether or not they will be doing a good job on it. In 2005 Brian Froud was called in to do conceptual art for the new film, since he did all that work on the original way back when. Now there's some discussion on the IMDb Boards that his involvement in the film is over. Maybe his work is done on the project, but fans WILL tend to pick things to pieces just because they can.
There was much trepidation from the moderator of the panel I was at that there would be too much CGI added in the new film. I think I'll wait for the film to come out before I start passing judgement, and all the artwork looks very Brian Froud Dark Crystal to me, so I don't see any cause to worry at this point. The logo is pretty cool anyway, I only wish they would put it on a girlie t-shirt over at the Cafe Press Jim Henson Company Store. So I'm hopeful and eager to see this new offering come to a theater near me, never mind other peoples voices of doom. Here's the promotional flyer that's come out via Ain't it Cool News.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
This is a tale of a gardener and a trickster who just do what comes naturally to them. In a world where magic is real, it's very form is explored and challenged, it's nature re-defining itself through the talents of those who use it. Those who had held it in the palm of their hands, who thought they new it's machinations, still had a thing or two to learn. They failed to recognize magics they had never heard of. Complete with the Od School of Magic, and the odd ways people come to that school, this book is filled with enchantments at every turn. Like all of McKillip's books the cover artwork is that of the incredible Kinuko Craft, perfectly setting the mood for your decent into this fairytale setting.
Another must-read from the World Fantasy Award winning author.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
According to efairies.com, a Brownie is "a Scottish domestic fairy; the servants’ friend if well treated. Brownies are brown or tawny spirits, in opposition to fairies, which are fair or elegant ones; a legendary good natured elf that performs helpful services at night." Living in an older home, I'm fairly certain that it came with it's own Brownies. Just to be sure, I set out some tea and cookies for them in my studio so we can be on good terms. They are known for keeping a home neat and tidy, and I think they clean up after our negative energies and keep the home feeling good. At least they haven't been inclined to do any dishes that I've noticed.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
There's nothing like a supernatural detective story with a female protaganist, and this series offers up three of them. The baddies are complex, the good guys are too, and I really am enjoying this sexy, witchy romp that crosses magical borders. It's a nice break from all the metaphysical reading I've been doing lately, and at the same time strangely supportive of my world view.
So I do hope Changeling shows up around my birthday, I'd be more proactive about it except I already ordered myself a B-Day present. I have no idea what my twin wants, but the party is at my place so maybe playing hostess is enough for her, or maybe I can gift her my used Witchling to see if she likes it.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Decisions, decisions. It might actually be kind of fun to dress the part of the reader and then go to the movie that night. I'll have to be sure to secure my tickets in advance and have friends waiting for me at the Theater. I'm toying with the idea of adding a countdown for the movie, since we're at 38 days right now. Maybe I'll just check in at veritaserum and their counter, since it is down to the millisecond after all!
Sunday, May 27, 2007
As I contemplate my freedom, I have to think of my studio which is on the second floor of my house. It has a porch with a balcony off of it allowing me to play the role of the tower maiden, but one who has complete freedom to come and go as I please. Though I spend most of my time alone in there, either painting or doing my daily meditations, I have an extra chair so I can invite friends up for a cup of tea and a chat.
My tower is my haven, which is weird but appropriate. The illustration above is by Arthur Rackham, the great illustrator of fairy tales in the Victorian age. I've started playing with watercolors more lately, and I'll have to take a look at his work more closely so I can learn a thing or two. There's a wonderful article on Rapunzel at the Endicott Studio Journal right now. Very interesting and inspiring.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Once upon a time there were Seven rather opinionated young artists, who decided to throw convention to the wind and do their own thing. This was in a day when art was ruled by convention, so what they did was radical in the extreme. They painted from life with realism, romance, and a love for mythology. They called themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and they changed the face of art in England in the 19th century.
I first heard about them at Fourth Street Fantasy convention in Minneapolis, many years ago when I was young and thirsty for art knowledge. Terri Windling gave a talk that captured the imaginations of everyone at this small convention. I even had a cassette tape recording of the talk, but it was lost long ago. Thankfully, Ms. Windling is still in the inspiration business and has articles online about it. Here's what she has to say:
Like the early Pre–Raphaelite Brotherhood (before the tides of fashion turned in their favor), fantasists must work outside the approval of the art establishment. Fantasists use themes that are once again considered beneath the notice of serious artists: myth, magic, fairy tales, and stories unabashedly Romantic. The Pre–Raphaelite artists worked in forms derided as craft or decoration, not high art: ceramics, weaving, embroidery, jewelry–making, furniture, and book design — just as today we work in forms that are also rarely considered high art: genre fiction, children's fiction, book illustration, and comics.
In a day when you can't swing a mouse without hitting another Wannabe fantasy/fairy artist's website, it would be nice to see some more with real talent, real vision, and real dedication to the craft of painting myth and legend on the scene. It's unfortunate that when hearts and minds are turning to fantasy via the excellent books and movies like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, all they can find in art is yet another cutsie-wootsie fairy. It's supply and demand though, so the market decides that crap is art once again. Too bad it's part of the fantasy genre.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
This is just too cool! You can now join Dumbledore's Army online through the official movie Flash site. It requires Flash 8 to experience all the sparkles and lighting, but this so much fun I had to share. The movie is coming out on July 13th and the next book will be released on July 21st. I have my copy reserved and ready to pick up following the Harry Potter book party at Eye of Horus on Friday July 20th...just after midnight on the 21st!
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
15% off prints, cards and originals through the end of May!!
Life is a Popularity Contest
The most popular page on my website is the free goodies page, where you can download backgrounds for your desktop. All I ask is a donation on an honor basis in order to make it worth my time to make more. Sadly, nobody is making donations, so I may have to eliminate this feature on my website...but...you can change my mind by donating via the paypal button on the page.
If I get $50.00 in donations over the next month the page stays and I'll make more desktop backgrounds. If not, it goes away.
Originals Lost or Stolen
Late last fall, one of my biggest collectors of my original paintings purchased both my dragons. "The Gift" and "Eurus" were packed up and insured and mailed to Arizona to their new home. Unfortunately they never arrived...there's no record of them ever leaving Minnesota. The insurance claim was filed and was eventually paid, so my collector got her money back. But the paintings were never found. :(
So I've been reluctant to add any originals for sale to the site, but they're not doing anyone any good sitting in the closet. It's time to let them find new homes, so that page will be growing over the next few months.
I will be doing Faery Oracle and Tarot Readings at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community Psychic Fair on May 19th & 20th
So that's what's up for May!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
The purples beat the blues any day. Case in point is my Monday - Sprite of Inspiration:
As one of the Seven Daily Sprites, Monday was painted on her namesake day. After working for years strictly from references, I was inspired to do a series based entirely on intuition and what was happening with the paint. In order not to get a blob of ugliness, I limited my palette to be mostly monochromatic. This piece was painted in 2004, and I'm finally releasing the 11 x 14 inch original oil painting for sale. She has been an inspiration to me for three years, now it's time for her to move on.
Many people I know consider purple to be one of their favorite colors, and it's definitely mine. When I was a senior in high school all my cloths were different shades of purple, and I wore purple eyeshadow and eyeliner every day. Some people place different meanings with colors, and that is as true with purple as with every other color.
Colors are healing and have esoteric properties as well.
Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.
For color therapy, the color Purple assists with: Healing, power, strength, and spirituality.Purple for Pisces...got it. I must be in-tune spiritually more often than I thought!
Another one of the powerful and intense colors, purple when used correctly can enhance and strengthen healing and assist us in our journey towards true spirituality. Look for people you know to be spiritual "in-tune" and I am sure you will find some shade of the color purple on them.
In Astrology, the color Purple represents the star sun sign of Pisces.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Monday, April 9, 2007
About the Image:
This lovely piece is an ORIGINAL pastel painting by Beth Hansen-Buth. Inspired by the element of fire, this piece is part of "Nature Spirits" collection. It is double matted to fit a 16 x 20 inch frame. It is also available as a signed and numbered limited edition mini-print from wyrdhaven.com.
Monday, April 2, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Go to my wyrdhaven.etsy.com original fantasy art store to see it bigger and to buy it.