Making Art with the Fairies

by | Nov 12, 2020

Making art with the fairies can truly be a magical experience. Recently, I decided to start a fairy journal for the first time in many years. In the past, I have used this type of journal to record my magical encounters. I am making my new journal by hand and as I stitch the pages together, I reflect on my art journey.

In this blog, I share some of my story with you in the hope it may resonate and inspire you to make art too.

Fairy Art Challenges

Like many, I have always loved creating art about the fairies, but I wasn’t always confident in my ability to draw or paint. While I loved to draw pictures and tell stories about nature spirits as a little girl, by the time I entered my teen years, I lost confidence in my abilities. As I grew, I wanted to create more realistic images of objects, peoples and places. I tried several times but when I didn’t produce the kind of art I wanted, I gave up, believing that I couldn’t do it. I simply just didn’t have the talent.

Does that sound familiar? According to Betty Edwards, the author of the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, this is a common challenge children face. In her book, she outlines a couple of amazing techniques to help overcome it.

Despite my challenges, I continued to write stories and enjoy the beautiful art and tales by Beatrix Potter, Cicley Mary Barker and May Gibbs.

My encounter with Her Royal Highness Queen of the Eucalyptus

When I was nineteen, something magical happened. I was living in a semi-rural property situated on a wide-plain, sparsely populated by gum trees. In the house, there was a fireplace. One evening, I felt a sudden impulse to draw. Without thinking too much, I took a cold piece of charcoal from the fire and began to draw on a piece of paper. Within minutes, the contours of a fairy appeared. This was no ordinary fairy but a queen! Her name was her royal highest Queen of the Eucalyptus, to be exact!

Charcoal drawing of an Australian eucalyptus fairy by Lisa Dunbar Solas.

Her Royal Highness Queen of the Eucalyptus, drawn in June 2001

The experience was magical. While sketching I wasn’t thinking of making art about fairies. I was just immersed in the creative flow. As I looked at my very rough sketch, joy ignited my heart and I felt great love for the fairy.

There are different ways to create. When I make art with a chatty and judgemental voice in my head, nothing I do seems to work out. I think the secret to making art with the fairies is to be very present and go with the flow.

So, I can’t wait to make art in my new journal. For now, I am sketching. My latest piece is of a little eucalyptus girl and her friend, Koala.

If you would like to learn more about the Australian nature spirits, especially the Gumnut Babies, I recommend you read May Gibbs, Gumnut Babies Treasury. The book is now available from Amazon. May was Australian’s very first female children’s author and illustrator.

Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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