Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Flying with the Fairies

My watercolor muse has been visiting again. Ah, sweet hours with music and color and line and the peace of unbroken concentration. My husband had to remind me to eat....

Flying with the Fairies

The story behind this watercolor, inspired yet again by my lovely and entertaining friend Anita, is that she found herself enchanted by a huge, fuzzy, furry flying object (HFFFO) in her beautiful garden. She posted about it on Facebook and a friend of hers, Stan, who's a phenomenal photographer, put up some photos he'd taken of another HFFFO, which turned out to be a hummingbird moth. I did some Internet research to find more closeup photos, and the ones by novembergale at Wonderphotos are the BEST.

We'd never seen anything like it - the fuzziness of its tiny feathers are charming. Anita and I got together to extol its virtues, and here's how the conversation went -

Anita: Doesn't it just make you think of fairies! Jen, you've got to paint this.
Me: YES! I can just imagine a little elf friend going for a ride.
Anita: Me too, but how would he stay on?
Me: Well, he could hold onto those fluffy antennas.
Anita (eyes big, hands pressing hard on her cheeks): I don't know if I would want someone tugging on my antennas if I were a hummingbird moth. 
Me: Do you remember when you were a kid and you'd ride your bike and hold your arms out to the sides just feeling the wind?
Anita: YES!
Me: That's what the elf will be doing, I'll do it. I'll paint it. Perhaps my muse will find a way for him to hold on.

The result - when I drew it in pencil, the little elf's feet were nicely tucked under where the wing joins the shoulder on the hummingbird moth. But while I was busy painting the colors, he untucked them. Fairies can be a bit mischievous that way, you know. I don't think his friend will let him fall off, do you?

The drawing took about 5 hours and the painting another several. I lost count. The size is 7 x 9 5/8 inches. Nothing like a nice round number, eh? That's gonna cost when I frame it. Am sooo running out of wall space in my house.

What fun : )


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