Sunday, July 31, 2011

Time does Fly in the Country

First of all I just want to apologize if I’m not answering questions or responding to everything. It’s all so new to me. I’m not really at all sure of what I’m doing. I have the feeling that every time I click on something I’m going to blow up my computer or wipe all the information. I know that wouldn't really happen but I’m still not confident. Sarah is doing a terrific job of helping me every step of the way and I’ll get there. I have no hope for Brian though.

Well -another week gone! Time does fly in the country. No -really it’s been taken up with just ordinary living -dentist, vet, puzzling out where the mysterious smell is coming from (a hidden dog bone) and trying to take walks on the moor in between rain showers. As I sit here, I can hear through the open window in my studio, the cawing of a raven. Looking out, I can see it wheeling over the trees. We’ve had a pair of them with a young one in the garden for the past six weeks or so. I don’t know how long they stay together but I think the young one is just about to go off on its own. We often see crows but these really are ravens. Quite exciting!

We’ve also had a large herd of ponies wandering the lanes recently. I’ve been trying to catch them on camera but they just seem to disappear when I go back looking for them. The reason I wanted to photograph them to show you is because there are three black spotted ones. Small black spots all over. They look like fairytale ponies. I know they’re out there somewhere and I’m determined to find them again! I couldn’t have imagined it now, could I!?

I have a few new photos for you as well.

First - a photo of my desk and the creature I’m working on at the moment. It’s a large troll woman for the new book we’re working on together. Her name is Mother Leap and sometimes she pricks up her ears and disguises herself as a hare in the meadow. There’s a reason for this but you’ll have to read what it is in the book. I find it so interesting and challenging to work on many different sizes of figures. She is about the size of a chimpanzee. Her head, hands and feet are sculpted in grey polymer clay, which is much more like plasticine in texture than flesh toned polymer clays. It’s quite brittle, which is the only drawback. I tend to mix it with translucent fimo just to give it more strength. The armature wire also has to be much heavier when working on such a large scale. I’d love to teach a class some day in fabricating large creatures. It’s SO different from the little ones!

We will be posing her in various ways for photos so she’ll have to be able to move freely and be strong enough to hold a pose. I think I’m almost there. I haven’t aged her down yet -she needs to look like she’s been around for a few hundred years so I’m going to have to spray her down with a mist of grey and some fullers earth -but she’s getting there. I wish I had a bigger desk!

Here’s Brian’s sketch of the week. He said it would be ok to use a troll sketch so here is one of the new troll sketches for the book. We think it’s going to be a wonderful combination of paintings, drawings and sculpted figures. A lot of work though -but fun.

The last one is a photo I took in our garden at night. There was a tiny garden light just shining on this flower. Looks like a faery to me!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Welcome to the Realm and Thank You to all who visit!

Well, I have to say –we’re overwhelmed by the wonderful response to our facebook page! I know it sounds strange, but we really are always amazed (and incredibly grateful) that so many people believe in us. It’s kind of like believing in faeries. If you believe - we exist. We don’t fade away. So keep clapping and believing because we’re not finished yet!

I don’t really know what all we’ll be doing on this facebook and blog page but I DO know that I’ll write something for it every week. We’ll also be able to give you news of anything that happens from one week to the next. I think for the moment, I’ll just begin every weekend (I think we’ll post on Fridays or Saturdays) with a new sketchbook page from Brian and a few photos you all might like to see.

For all of Brian’s working life (about 150 years so far) he has kept sketchbooks that relate to whatever project he’s working on at the time. That means that right now, he is filling quite a few sketchbooks with pictures of troll and troll related things. I’ll probably have to ask his permission before I scan any of the troll sketches so I’m going to start with a sketch for one of the characters from “How To See Faeries”. Hats have always played a big part in Brian’s work. He loves them and owns quite a collection of them. They turn up in his paintings and photographs all the time. We’ve recently been reviewing some of the concept sketches of the Ballroom scene costumes from Labyrinth and again, hats are so important. So -here’s a “How To See Faeries” hat sketch. Brian was just given a wonderful molded leather hat at Faerieworlds that he absolutely loves and wears around the garden when the mood takes him. I’m sure the faeries enjoy seeing him wandering in the garden wearing it -and it’s useful because we are having a REALLY cold summer here! Even the faeries are shivering.

I know that some of you would like to see photos of where we live so I’m going to post some photos of bits of our house and garden as well from time to time. The long table that is covered with my dolls and models is in our downstairs hallway. The pieces I keep on it are almost all part of my permanent collection. Most of them have become a part of the family. They include Sneezle and Twig and some of the other characters from the Old Oak Wood series as well as others that I’m especially fond of. If any of you are familiar with that series of books or “The Art of Wendy Froud” you may be able to spot some of them here. The garden photos are just a glimpse of the garden in different seasons. The Bluebells in May are always wonderful and last winter the snow made the garden look completely enchanted (for the first few days - then it was a real pain). At the moment, it looks rather like a jungle -very green!

And lastly our dog Elfie and our cat Buster. The photos speak for themselves. I’ll just say that they are the same size and are best friends.

So - welcome to the realm! It’s just us, doing what we do and sharing a bit of it with you all.

One more thing - I know someone will ask -so - no new word on Dark Crystal two. At least if there IS any news, we don’t know about it yet!

I forgot - I just put two new pieces on the ESTY site. They are both little Sneezle cousins and they’re called “ Fishing for Bunnies”. If you go have a look, you’ll see why.
Froud Etsy Site

Ok - that’s it for now -back next weekend.  
- Wendy