Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘FaerieCon’

Wendy Froud Wendy Froud is the designer-creator of wonderful fantasy soft sculptures (and is married to illustrator, Brian Froud). I saw her intricate creations at an East Coast FaerieCon (where this photo was taken), and found a wonderful quote from her on the World of Froud website: “I feel that my work is a sign post to the half forgotten world that we all carry inside of us.”

I think all writers and illustrators whose roots are sunk deep in folklore, myth, and legend feel this way. For us (yes, I count myself among those legend-myth folk), the stories and art we create, harken back to a time when the world was steeped in magic. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just reminding my readers of something they already know in the marrow of their bones.

And thanks again to Faerie Magazine for having me as their guest at FaerieCon.

Read Full Post »

Brian Froud English illustrator, Brian Froud, is known for his fantasy illustrations of fairies, trolls, goblins, and other magical beings. A great quote from him which appears on his website: “I paint the spirit and soul of what I see.”

I believe illustrators and writers alike should strive to paint the spirit and soul of what they see – whether through words or watercolors. I know I do.

By the way, I took this photo of Brian at an East Coast FaerieCon. (Thanks Faerie Magazine for inviting me to attend). And I must mention, I’ve been collecting work illustrated by Brian Froud for years. While at FaerieCon, I asked him to sign a book or 2. He saw my bulging knapsack, and realized all books in the bag were illustrated by him – so he told me to leave the knapsack and stop by later. I did so, and much to my amazement, in each book was a small goblin drawing by Brian beside his signature.

I hope I will always treat my fans as kindly.

Read Full Post »

 We’re right in the middle of National Magic Week – when it seems all the world acknowledges that magical things are still possible. And I think it’s no coincidence that Halloween is just a few days away. But rather than magic in general, I’d like to celebrate the illustrators (like Gary Lippincott pictured here) I met at last year’s FaerieCon who bring their visions of the usually hidden worlds of fairies, elves, trolls, giants, and such to the reader.

 I’m one of those devoted readers and appreciators of illustration who drags a knapsack worth of books to a conference and patiently stands in line for the signature of the artist or author. FaerieCon, held this year November 4-6 in Hunt Valley, Maryland, is a great place to meet these artist-magicians. Last year, I met the gracious Michael Hague (see my Jan. 6, 2011 blog) and the fabulous doll-maker, Wendy Froud (see my Dec. 12, 2010 blog) – but they weren’t the only artists I chatted with. Brian Froud (pictured on the left), Wendy’s husband and perhaps the most well-known fairy artist working today, spoke as part of several panels and shared his delightful tales of bringing Faeriefolk to life. And if you took the time to stop by and visit with the Frouds, both Brian & Wendy signed their books and chatted amicably with their fans.

 Faerie Magazine, www.faeriemagazine.com , usually hosts several illustrators and authors at their FaerieCon booth. Last year, the colorfully-dressed and always-smiling Linda Ravenscroft signed 2 books for me. She seemed happy indeed to converse with her many fans as well as talk a bit about her art. (Linda is pictured on the right).

For those who decided they wanted to know more about the business of illustration, businesswoman and illustrator extraordinaire, Jessica Galbreth, gave a workshop.  Not only did Jessica tell the audience about the ins & outs and ups & downs of life as an illustrator, wife, and mom – but those who registered for the workshop also received a copy of her Artists Manual. And as the owner of an autographed copy of that manual, I can tell you it was a worthwhile workshop. (Jessica is shown to the left).

And lastly, but never leastly, Charles Vess, autographed 2 of the Neil Gaiman children’s books he’d illustrated, for me to give as Christmas gifts to my daughter. This year, Charles has a wonderful painting that will be displayed at FaerieCon.  For those who’re interested, you can see the progress of the enormous painting on Charles’ facebook page. I’ve already got my copy of a book of his magical art ready to take with me to hopefully get autographed when I visit FaerieCon in a little over a week from now. (That’s Charles in the photo to the right).

And what of my illustrations? I had a successful exhibit of fantasy paintings this summer (sold 4). My illos have been published in a few speculative magazines recently, and are scheduled to a appear on the covers of several more in 2012. A small crocus fairy illo of mine will be appearing in an upcoming issue of Faerie Magazine as part of an ad. And of course, I included over 30 of my drawings in my recent book from Cold Moon Press, The Greener Forest. For those who’d like to read more about what I have to say about illustration, check out a guest-blog from me at Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog:
http://wp.me/p18Ztn-17n

Read Full Post »

 At November’s FaeryCon, I had the honor of meeting and chatting briefly with illustrator extraordinaire, Michael Hague. An admirer of his work for many years, I’d brought along 2 books with hopes for an autograph. Not only did he sign, The Little Mermaid, but he sketched in ballpoint pen a wonderful mermaid and fish on the first pages of the book. His sketching style, quiet manner, and kind smile reminded me of Pop (my grandfather) who used to spend countless hours drawing with me when I was a child. I must admit to being a little misty-eyed when I thanked Michael and turned to leave.

“Wait, isn’t that Tolkien’s World?” Michael asked pointing at the unsigned book I held.

 “Yes,” I responded, and began to explain I didn’t want to take too much of his time since there were other fans waiting in line for autographs. Michael waved his hand in the air, then proceeded to sketch a roaring dragon’s head opposite his painting of “Smaug the Magnificent” from The Hobbit.

 Born in the Year of the Dragon, those legendary creatures remain my favorite fabulous beastie. And in 2010, not only did I manage to place my dragon story, “Weathermaker,” in Dragon’s Lure: Legends of a New Age and became the proud owner of a Michael Hague dragon sketch – but I just learned that a recent review of Dragon’s Lure features a paragraph about “Weathermaker.”

So thanks to BSC Review and their book reviewer. For those who’d like to take a peek at the review: http://tinyurl.com/review-of-dragons-lure (Paragraph #4 focuses on “Weathermaker”)

 And now, to begin a dragon sketch of my own!

Read Full Post »

 At the recent FaerieCon, I attended a clay sculpting workshop led by the delightful, Patricia Hedegaard. (Shown to the right of text). Ten attendees were each given a lump of clay and 2 black beads. We borrowed Patricia’s ceramic tools, and with her patient instruction — 10 strangely different goblins were born.

 And though the medium is different (words instead of clay), creating a goblin character for a story is much the same. The writer begins with a heap of words and possible ideas in her head. She begins to separate the words, stringing a few together at a time, and eventually shapes them into sentences.

 Next, the writer gathers the sentences into paragraphs. She edits her descriptions, reveals the goblin through its actions (rather than telling), double-checks her folklore and legend references for accuracy, and tosses the faery creature into a plot with a few twists and turns.

 And if the writer is lucky or skilled or a little bit of both — a well-rounded goblin character appears. Whether the nasty, nose-picking spriggans of “Tootsie’s Swamp Tours & Amusement Park” or the mischievous gremlers of “Waiting for More” or the shape-shifting bogle and goblin from “Appleheads,” I had fun creating an assortment of goblins and their kin for my new book, The Greener Forest, due out in March 2011 from Cold Moon Press: http://coldmoonpress.com  And I also had fun creating the little goblin to the left.

My challenge to you: Take time out of your busy schedule to create something magical whether in words or clay or the medium of your choice. And check out the brand new publishing company – Cold Moon Press.

Read Full Post »

For those of you who like Egyptian myth and lore, a poem of mine called “Immortality” is now up at EMG-Zine, an online science fiction/fantasy magazine: http://tinyurl.com/vonnie-immortality  This magazine always has interesting art, non-fiction articles, poetry, and stories. Check out their archives for many of their past themed issues. (I have a poem in their Raven, Dragon, and Spider issues).

And speaking of poetry, I’m busy writing a few more poems to compliment the short stories in my soon-to-be-published collection of fantasy work called: The Greener Forest. The titles of some of the finished poems: Goblins, Dark Fairy, The Greener Forest, and On the Edge. Well, I guess you get the idea – there are fantastical creatures of all sorts mingling with the regular folks in these poems and short stories.

 Also, get ready for several posts with pictures and information from this fall’s FaerieCon. I met some wonderful artists and writers, and sculpted my own goblin.  And speaking of poetry and FaerieCon — award-winning writer, Jane Yolen, read a number of her marvelous poems. Not only did many of the audience members (me included) have tears in their eyes when Jane read her poetry — but facilitator, Wendy Froud, was on the verge of crying, too.

Good writing is a powerful thing indeed!

Read Full Post »

Butterfly Fairy

Butterfly Fairy

I spent a magical day at FaerieCon last Sunday. I got to chat with the Dragons Lure Anthology editor & assure her I’m hard at work on my story. I also got to visit with Kim Cross of Faerie Magazine. She’s wonderful to chat with & is enthusiastic about new projects for the magazine. I urge you to check out this beautiful publication: www.FaerieMagazine.com

I visited the dealers’ room & was happy to see so many artists present, including illustrator Charles Vess (whose work is breathtaking).

But the best part of the day had to be listening to writer Charles de Lint talk about writing urban fairytales, etc. He not only talked at length about his creative process, etc., but answered all questions posed by the audience in a friendly, professional manner. If you haven’t taken the time to read this author’s books, you should do so (I think there are about 65 published ones to choose from).

And lastly, looking around at the fabulous costumes (I must admit to buying some striped knee-socks, elbow-length fairy gloves & a fabulous rat puppet while looking) — I found the inspiration for Faeryland in a novel I’m at work on. The Medieval Faeryland I was trying to use in my novel didn’t feel quite “right”  — but the Steampunk Faeries wandering here & there at FaerieCon seemed “right.” Therefore, the Faeryland in the novel I’m working on will be Steampunk (think Victorian England or the Australian world of Mad Max).

My thanks go out to FaerieCon & its fairies for a magical answer to my setting challenge!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »