Monday, July 28, 2008

the forest for the trees

Today I've started making a tiny forest out of twigs, and I'm excited to see how it will turn out.

For inspiration I've been looking at the work of Russian artist Ivan Bilibin. Here are two of his illustrations, published in 1900, of the red rider who brings the sunrise and the black rider who brings the night from the Russian fairytale Vasilisa the Beautiful.

(click for much larger images)

The full story can be read here. Baba Yaga the witch, who flies around in a giant mortar and has a house on chicken feet, makes an appearance. It is well worth reading.

For the last several nights as I've been going to sleep I've found ladybugs on my bedside table. I've been visited by red ones with black spots and black ones with red spots. Even if I let them out the open window they come right back in. I wonder if they'll be back again this evening?

(detail from the Alexander Marshal Insect Watercolors Album, ca. 1600-1680)


Mmm said...

Lovely illustrations. I think I've seen these riders before. They look familiar.

Rima said...

Oh wow! Bravo for Russian folktales :)
Funny - I am painting a Russian icon inspired knight for my next clock.
Those are lovely ladybirds... I think it's good luck they are flocking to you.
Looking forward to pics of the wee forest...
x R

Blog Princess G said...

Wonderful pictures!