Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Avalon Faery Fayre

Brian and I want to say a big “thank you” to Karen Kay and all of the people in Glastonbury who made last weekend so successful and truly enjoyable. We had a wonderful time! It was good to catch up with old friends, meet new people and help spread faery energy in the town. The weather was glorious (the only drawback being that we were inside for both days!) but we could feel the sun shining and could certainly feel everyone’s spirits lifting. The Steam Punk Faery Ball was great! The costumes were so inventive and imaginative that it felt far more as though people were putting on their “real” cloths after having to wear human disguises all week. Perhaps some of the beings attending both the ball and the fayre were less human than we knew. I always think that these events are perfect places for faeries to mingle without being noticed!
B and Cat Bell loved coming along and they enjoyed the attention from those of you who had read about them in Fae magazine. They made friends with Armorel’s “Faybles”, inhabiting the table next to us. I hope they haven’t given Cat Bell too many wild ideas (she’s very easily influenced!).
We apologize for running out of books so quickly  - especially ‘Trolls’. I should have ordered more. Oh well  - next time! Thank you all for the wonderful response to our preview of the new book, ‘Faeries’ Tales’. We’re very excited about it and it was wonderful to see that you were as well.
It’s back to work now. The sun is still shinning and we’re once again inside, working  - but  - at least we know it’s there!
I was so busy during the fayre that I didn’t have time to take many pictures. I’m sure you’ll be able to find many more on other facebook pages. Here are just a few from us.







Friday, January 31, 2014

Crazy on Page 143

Brian and I are feeling bear-ish. We’d like to hibernate for a month or so – maybe until it stops raining. Well, that might be more than a month if the past three months are anything to go by.  But  - we’re not bears and we can’t just sleep away the grey days. Buster and Elfie would get up to too much mischief if we did.

I think the faeries are doing a bit of their own hibernating. Nothing seems “active” at the moment.  There are flowers coming up (tentatively) and the birds are beginning to sing their spring songs, but it still feels everything is waiting to make that leap into the new. There isn’t any activity in our house (I’m still talking about faeries here) but perhaps that’s because they spent a very busy few months helping and hindering us while we finished the book. I truly believe that they don’t always know if they ARE helping or hindering. They just do what seems appropriate to them and it may not be at all appropriate to us. Here’s a good example of what I mean.


I decided (for some foolish reason) that I would write an afterword for the Faeries’ Tales book  - the last double page spread, explaining where some of the original stories and songs I used came from. Sounds like a good idea  - very grown up and book-ish. I duly did this and congratulated myself on the fact that I could do it (with help from Terri Windling and my editors!). I gave the pages to Brian (remember – this is the last two page spread in the book) and asked him to choose a few drawings to liven it up for any intrepid reader who ventured all the way to the very end pages. He did so and we sent it off to the editor for corrections.  I hadn’t paid much attention to the drawings he used, only noting that the very last one looked more than slightly mad. The page spread was returned with a few things to correct and at this point Brian said “I just knew this page spread would be trouble”.



We corrected and sent it back. The memory stick we sent got lost in the post. We sent it again and when it arrived it was found that we had sent the wrong version of the pages. We sent it via internet (after all it was only two pages!) and again more corrections came back  -things that no one had spotted before. We corrected and sent it back. It came back again with yet more and different corrections. This was bad enough, but every time we tried to correct the text, it took a different form on the pages. Sometimes it left out sections, sometimes it changes the format, sometimes it just refused to do anything.

As we were looking at it on the computer for what seemed like the hundredth time I said “I feel just like that little drawing you put in the corner” and Brian confessed that he had put it in as a joke because he just knew this page spread was going to be trouble and would drive us crazy. Well  - it did. The faery in the drawing was just doing its job. It had been drawn to be crazy and it was indeed crazy and very happily going about its business spreading that craziness around as much as it could. It was far too late to take it out and replace it with another drawing so we had to make due with a stern talk, trying to explain to it that it had now done its job and could stop!

We sent the pages off again and so far we haven’t had them back for any more corrections. I think our editor was being driven as crazy as we were. We’ll get color corrections for the whole book back soon. Luckily, that page spread is in black and white  - so, what could go wrong? Hah!

And what have we learned from this? Maybe that what one brings into this world, matters. Brian may still draw crazy faeries, but he’s going to be much more careful about where they go from now on (he says that now but he probably won’t do it)!


One last word. Most of the faeries involved in helping with the book did just that. They helped, inspired and facilitated. We thank them. Actually, we thank them all, helpful or otherwise. After all, they’re only doing their job. It’s up to us to be sensible about it!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A New Year?

A new year - I feel like I should write about it, but - I’m sort of still waiting for it to feel like a new year. Does that make sense? On some past New Years Days, I would wake up and feel that things had changed, moved - I’d feel energized and ready to start again, but this year feels, I don’t know, up in the air, perhaps. Maybe it’s because I’m still catching up with things left over from last year and things not quite resolved yet. They will all be resolved, but I feel like I’m still trailing stray tinsel and shaking pine needles out of my hair. The faeries are grumpy (or maybe washed away) or maybe I just haven’t been out to look for them lately. At least I can go out even if it is raining. I feel so (sorry, worried, anxious) for everyone in the U.S. and Canada experiencing the ice age, and people here who have been flooded out of their homes. Rain and mud I can deal with. Having just read this, I think the solution is to go out and have a little look around and see what the new year has brought so far (I know I’m a week late but hey, it’s closer to new year than not).


Well - it appears that Spring IS coming. I took a very fast walk out into the garden (in the rain) and found the first flowers of the year pushing their way through the leaf cover. No snow to hide them so far. 




I think the faeries are all gathered around the new little flowers, urging them on and making sure they enter the world safely.

This is enough of a New Year sign for me. I think I might be ready to move forward now - after all - if the flowers can do it, so can I.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Catching Up

Hello to everyone and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the U.S!

Brian and I have just returned from almost a month in the states, doing all sorts of exciting things.

We started our trip with a stop in New York to deliver our new (and almost completed) book to our publisher, Abrams Books. We are always SO nervous before we have to show anything to anyone, let alone the people who most need to approve it  - but the response was wonderful! We’ll have the new book –Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Tales – out next Autumn, hopefully in conjunction with New York ComicCon and an exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculpted figures at AFA gallery. This should all be happening around the beginning to middle of October. It’s very exciting to know that we’ll have another “big” book out there next year! It really IS a big book  - the same size as “TROLLS” with all new artwork  -portraits of faeries and their versions of faerytales we think we know well. As always, the faeries’ points of view are very different in most cases! We’ll keep you posted on related news and events.

Here are some images of our process:






After New York we flew on to Convolution – Gates of Horn and Ivory  -a myth and fantasy convention just outside of San Francisco, where we were guests of honour with Wendy and Richard Pini (of Elf Quest). We met up with the family there – Sarah, Toby, Sebastian and Sarah’s mom Sherri, and combined forces to teach two workshops  -a greenman mask making workshop, taught by Toby and assisted by us and a Troll Talisman workshop, taught by us and assisted by Toby. Sarah, Sherri and Sebastian were there to make sure everything ran smoothly. Sarah and Sherri did an amazing job collecting natural materials for us to use in the Troll Talisman workshop as well as the best collection of leaves we've ever had for a mask making workshop. We really enjoyed both workshops and so did the people participating in them. The masks were beautiful and the Troll Talismans were all quite profound. We’ll certainly be teaching that one again sometime soon. I’m hoping to figure out a spring schedule for a few weekends of teaching at our home (or somewhere in Chagford). I’ll let you know when I’ve got something sorted.
Anyway  - we loved being at Convolution and want to sincerely thank everyone who was involved in making it such an enjoyable, easy and interesting experience for us –especially Kimmi Allbee the convention chairwoman. Thank you Kimmi!!!

We returned to New York after a week of recovering (we both had colds) and sleeping at my mother’s house in Northern Michigan. It’s always so good to be there and just be able to relax and not have to do much. It is so important for us to get to see friends and family in Michigan. We don’t get there nearly as often as we would like to but it’s so special when we DO all meet up. I’m sure my mother was ready to have her house to herself again by the time we left though!

Back in New York we had lunch with Heidi Leigh our AFA gallery owner, where we talked about and planned some coming events for the next few years. We’ll (as I said earlier) be having an exhibition related to Faeries Tales at AFA Soho next October and then we’ll be back at BelCastel in France to teach workshops again in the summer of 2016. Two weeks this time, but the same courses we taught there before. So  - that gives you lots of time to think about joining us if you’d like to spend a week in France! I’ll also have some new pieces in the gallery before Christmas, so check out the AFA website for photos.

The other upcoming events that we’ll be a part of this coming year are  - the Faery Art Show at Krab Jab Studio in Seattle in February, Karen Kay’s Faery Fayre in Glastonbury on March 8th&9th.  And of course the Illustration MasterClass inAmherst this coming June. We’re looking forward to all of them and hope to see some of you either in Glastonbury or in Amherst.

If you have been following Toby’s facebook page (and others as well) you’ll know that he’s finished shooting for his film “Lessons Learned” and now has to turn it into the film we are all waiting to see! It looked totally amazing from what we could see when we face timed with everyone on set and from the photos we've seen. It’s going to be something very special indeed! And I love Digby!

We are updating our website with lots of new information and links to things of interest. It’s been ages since both Sarah and I have been concentrating on the Facebook page  - but, please have a look at the website soon. We’re doing our best to update it! 

Have I caught up with everything? I hope so. I’m getting excited about planning for Christmas this year. Toby, Sarah and Sebastian will be joining us and I’m going to ask the faeries to help us make it extra magical for Sebastian’s first Christmas! 

I left my camera at my mother’s house and until she sends it back, I don’t have any of the photos I took on our trip. Hmmmm. I’ll see if I can conjure something up from my iPad.


I realize that this has been an “information” blog and not a blog about faery experiences. But  - that doesn't mean that they weren't present on our trip and helping us when they could. They were and they did. I know I’ve said this many times before, but if you want to communicate with them  - if you want their help with things happening or about to happen in your life  - just ask. We find that when we remember to ask them for help, they really do come through (although in unexpected ways at times) but if we don’t ask, sometimes they’ll take it upon themselves to “help” anyway, which can be interesting to say the least! I think they are happy to have us home again and we are equally happy to be here! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Upcoming events!

We’ve got some news to share with you all! 

Brian and I are going to be guest artists and instructors at IMC – Illustration Masterclass - in Amherst, Ma. on Amherst College Campus, this June (2014), for the week of 9th through the 15th.

We are so excited to be joining the rest of the fantastic faculty, including Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Donato Giancola, Greg Manchess, Rebecca Guay, Dan DosSantos, Scott Fischer, Ian McCaig, Irene Gallo, James Gurney, Mike Mignola and Lauren Panepinto, for what we know will be an amazing workshop week! 

If you are interested in joining us for the week, please look at the website. It will tell you everything you need to know – including the fact that enrollment is already open and is first come, first serve. http://www.illustrationmasterclass.com/

This is going to be pretty special!

We are also getting ready for Con-volution, which will be held over the weekend of November 1-3. 
We are looking forward to teaching the Troll Talisman workshop and Toby will be teaching a mask making workshop as well. Hopefully the workshops will be scheduled so we can participate as the “Froud Family” – which means you’ll get the benefit of Toby, Brian, Sarah, Sherri and me -and of course Sebastian! 

We will also have art for sale and will be participating in all sorts of activities.



Hope to see you there!







Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pokes of Inspiration

Brian and I are back at work. At the moment it’s beginning to feel like a weird dream. Every time we think we’re getting closer to finishing the book, we discover another thing that needs doing. I don’t know if the faeries think this is funny, but I’m beginning to feel that they are enjoying inspiring us to discover new things to add to the book. I can just hear them saying “what about this? Surely you won’t forget about this faery or this object!”. I wish they would stop now. It’s hard enough without them poking at us! Ahhh - but then again - we DO appreciate their help (just in case they’re listening).  I took a photo of Brian photographing a group of faeries in the Nifty Shed. They insisted on playing tricks. No matter what Brian did, the one on the left (red nose, wild hair) would NOT let his face be in focus. Different angles, different everything - it didn’t matter - twenty photos later, he still wouldn’t “love” the camera. Sometimes they just don’t. Brian tricked him in the end but it took forever!


Our friend, David Todd-Jones has been clearing granite along the wall for us. I caught Brian and David here with Brian looking distinctly worried. I’m not sure what he’s worried about but it WAS just after the uncooperative faery photography. 



The garden is quite autumnal now. Roses are being replaced by Physallis (or Jack o lanterns) that are so magical. There are a few late roses left and we appreciate them even more because they are trying so hard to bloom one final glorious time before winter. 




The dining table was covered in faeries yesterday all waiting to have their photos taken or just lying around recovering from the experience. The sleeping faery is the only one left on the table now but I hate to disturb her - she looks so comfortable there.


Speaking of looking comfortable - here’s Buster looking a bit too comfortable on this chair. I think if he could see this photo, he might decide to go on a diet. 


That’s it for this week from the land of faery foolishness. We’re going into the village tonight for a screening of the silent film “Nosferatu” with Elizabeth Jane Baldry (Harpist, composer, film maker and faery godmother) playing harp accompaniment. It’s part of the Chagford Film Festival on all this week. As part of the festival, the Jen and Kira costumes from Dark Crystal ware on display as well as lots of other film memorabilia and props. If you are near by, come and have a look and see what else is going on this week for the festival. There is SO much to see! 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Pixie Led

Brian and I took a well-deserved break this past weekend and visited friends in Somerset. We spent the weekend talking endlessly, laughing almost constantly and eating and drinking our way through two days of rest and companionship. 

Our friends live in Castel Cary, very near the famous town of Glastonbury, which is overlooked by the stunning Glastonbury Tor with the ruined church tower on the top (I always mean to take a photo of it, but never seem to be in the right place at the right time to snap one). We often stop there on our way to Castel Cary but this time we had a special reason for being there. Our friend, the wonderful faery and fantasy painter Linda Ravenscroft has (as I’m sure many of you already know) opened a gallery/shop called ”The Mystic Garden” on Glastonbury high street. It’s a truly beautiful shop, with SO many beautiful things to see and buy! Linda is always incredibly welcoming and it was great to see her looking so “at home” in Glastonbury. DO go and visit if you possibly can. You’ll love it! Or - visit her on her facebook page and website - lindaravenscroft.com.



Talk about being “pixie led” - on the next leg of our journey –which should have taken us a half hour max. – we ended up driving around for almost two hours in torrential rain trying to get first to Castle Cary and then to the small hamlet just outside of it where our friends live. IMPOSSIBLE! We’ve done this drive many, many times but could we find our way that day? No. We still haven’t figured out why we got so lost. What were those pixies up to? We have no idea.

The next day our hostess kindly offered to take us sightseeing and we decided to visit a National Trust property that we hadn't seen before, called Lytes Cary. It’s a medieval house with absolutely beautiful gardens surrounding it. I had to take a photo of Brian in the topiary. SO Alice in Wonderland! 




We came home Sunday evening, refreshed, restored and ready to get back to work. Sometimes a change IS as good as a rest (or is that a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse?), especially if it is shared with good friends.