January 11, 2021

Summer in Winter

         Here’s a new piece that I hope will bring you a little brightness!  It is a reduction print in two layers.  The first layer was printed with a mix of yellow and orange, with the green dabbed on at the tip of the stem.  The second layer is black.  After printing I was a little dissatisfied with the colors and decided to go back over and hand-paint green on the whole length of all the stems, as well as a little extra wash of yellow on the petals.
        So that’s how I made it — but what is it?  As you may be able to identify, it’s a mix between an American goldfinch and a monarch butterfly.  Why?  No particular reason at all; it just came to me that it might be fun.  The hard part, however, was what to call it.  My son P was quite taken with this piece when he saw me printing, so I asked him what I should call it.  He replied immediately that he likes it when non-humanoid creatures are called fairies, and this was clearly some sort of non-humanoid fairy.  That hadn’t occurred to me at all, but when I began thinking about it that way, I began to see this bright, flitting creature as more than just an animal feeding on seeds and nectar.  Perhaps it was more of a guardian, or almost an elemental — in which case it clearly must be a summer fairy.  After all, goldfinches, monarchs, and rudbeckia are all forms of summer sun incarnate.
        Well, that made me think about making “fairies” for the other seasons, as well.  For spring I thought at once about the winged frog hybrid of my malacorana.  The only question is how to make an image sufficiently different to be interesting.  (No snail shell, for one thing.  A spring flower, perhaps, for another…)  Autumn, too, seems pretty straightforward to me, but I’m struggling with winter.  I’m thinking of a nuthatch or junco or downy woodpecker - one of the birds that I see much more during the winter - but what can I combine it with to turn it from an ordinary bird to a whimsical fairy creature of the season?  Feel free to share your ideas for winter, or for any of the months: what little critters would you combine?  How would you make a magical symbol of a season?

[Picture: Summer Fairy (Monarch Finch), rubber reduction print by AEGN, 2021.]


Pax said...

How about a winter bird paired with a squirrel? They seem to stay around all winter. A cardinal would be a nice splash of color, too, and perhaps holly with red berries?

Anyway, I salute P's taste in liking this bright fairy or totem of summer. Looking forward to 3 more seasons.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

I think a squirrel goes more with autumn. But don't worry, I've figured out winter and you'll see it soon!