Monday, 25 July 2011

Keeper of the Nest

Owls are powerful and wise hunters. Many of them are nocturnal moon gazing birds but some are active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk.
The snowy owl is a guardian, she watches over the small faerie and the nest. The eggs in the nest are unfamiliar, but grow stronger as each day passes, waiting to begin the circle of life.
I painted this as a gift for someone dear to me. She was attentive for many a year and I will never forget her kindness.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Badger, Sketchbook and Greeting Cards

The badger is a brave and noble fellow,
A creature of the night with a heart of gold,
He wanders along desolate misty roads,
Searching for stories and tales to be told,

On his midnight voyage to the fields,
He meets hedgehog, rabbit and fox,
Following the trail of slugs and snails,
He stumbles upon a box,

Three birds flew into the sky,
Snow-coloured, graceful and free,
He looked up with curiosity in his eyes,
Before disappearing into the hollow of a tree.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Wild and Windswept Moors

As above, so below.

To celebrate my love’s twenty fourth summer, we journeyed to the wild and windswept moors in search of myth and magic. Following the meandering tarmac road that passed worn out urban landscapes, china clay waste tips, quaint rivers and the beautiful looming forest of Cardinham we entered the frontier of Arthurian legend.

Observations along the way :
A country lane on higher ground overlooking a private wooded valley
Picturesque hamlets with churches and old fashioned inns
Farms with ‘honey for sale’
The ravenous cry of a buzzard
Reservoirs and lakes (fathomless and eerily silent)
Wild animals eating grass on the thoroughfare
Dozmary Pool (glacial in origin and home to many a tale)

Arriving in the village of Minions, we found a spot to park the car and began our quest for ancient history. The expanse views of moor land were breathtaking, elements felt heightened and the earth underfoot drummed with energy (or at least you could envisage this happening on pagan sabbats).

The Hurlers is a unique Bronze Age monument consisting of a set of three standing stone circles. Legend has it that the stone circles at Minions are made up of men who were turned to stone by a humourless priest. Instead of attending church on the Sabbath, the local villagers were found playing a game known as ‘hurling’. Just away from The Hurlers stand The Pipers, two more standing stones believed to be the remains of musicians who played whilst the villagers hurled.

Everything felt natural and sacred; animals left free to roam with human beings, a patch of foxgloves where the cattle grazed, horses with their foals, rook perched on an outcrop of granite, skylarks, jackdaw nest, moss and lichen, marshes, mires and disused mine shafts where greater horseshoe bats roost.
After stumbling upon sheep bones, fur and feathers we observed the majestic granite quarry and tower of stones in the distance.

The Cheesewring is a natural tower of balanced granite stones that have been eroded over the centuries. The stones are precariously balanced on top of one another, some of which are over thirty feet in circumference. The name derives from its resemblance to stack of ‘cheeses’ - pulped apples in cloth bags that are used to press cider.

There are several fables regarding the stones; it was thought by many that these natural rock formations had originally been built by druids or formed in the time of giants and saints.

Legend tells of a dramatic fight between the giants (Uther) and saints (St. Tue). Fed up with the saints claiming ownership of land which had been theirs for centuries, the giants challenged them to a stone-throwing contest. St. Tue vowed that if the Giants won, all the Saints would leave these shores forever, but if he won the Giants must mend their errant ways, and hereafter follow the sign of the cross. In spite of the fact that the giants were superior in size, the saints managed to throw larger rocks onto the giant’s smaller ones with help from the angels. The saints won the contest and the giant Uther promised to abandon his sinful ways.


The wild moors and ancient stones of Bodmin are spoken of in many tales and legends. Wayfarers now think of the moor as the haunt of smugglers; an untamed, windy and desolate wilderness. Many creatures inhabit the land; piskies, the little people, giants and beasts. The oldest stories have been passed down for centuries, transforming with each retelling. There are tales of giants who lived on Cornish hilltops, changelings, witchcraft, ghosts and the devil.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

3 Wishes Faery Festival

My dear friend Amy and I braved the elements for the first gathering of the fae clans in the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia. The festival welcomed kin from all over the globe… Mermaids, pirates, elves, highwaymen, dryads, tree spirits, small pixies, spriggans, faeries, banshees, shape shifters, wizards, goblins, kindred folk, ethereal maidens, satyrs, noble earth mothers, wild witch women…

We pitched our tiny tents by a faerie mound and the rain lashed down for two days and two nights making us believe we were at sea. Fire and flame warmed us at nightfall; a tribe of faeries huddled around the welcoming campfire, singing songs and sharing tales.

Cedar trees and a beautiful shell and crystal mermaid throne sheltered the lawn where the magic flowed free. There was a vegan café that offered bean burgers, paella, salad and pitta bread, beautiful stalls that sold trinkets and oddities, clothing, wings, crystals and healing stones, flower circlets, dream catchers, art and books, nomads selling their wares, travellers from afar, teepees, the giggling goblin bar (a cosy retreat with potions aplenty), wild sheep and deer, ancient woodland and folly, castle ruins, secret coves, workshops to decorate wings, wands and headdresses, belly dancing and hula hooping, fire faeries twirling and a trooping procession of male fae.

Sweet music often filled the air; men with drums, pipes, guitars, tin whistles and rhyme… Women with flutes, bells, ocarinas, tambourines, song and dance.

Happy Midsummer! x

Friday, 1 July 2011

Mother Nature

Two foxes bathing in the sun warmed valley, white geese, aylesbury ducks gliding along a salt water lake, the family of swans at swanpool - all six cygnets flourishing, moorhens and their young - selfless parents scouring the ground for bread and seed to feed their little ones, coots, rock-climbing near the depths of ocean, birds nest in the roof of a church, silver birch trees, collecting leaves, silent graveyard and a tiny lifeless fledgling {I placed a flower next to its still body}.