Friday, 6 July 2012
I've got an interview up at Satin's Bookish Corner today ("What's the biggest secret you have ever kept?") - The text colours are truly eye-watering even if my answers aren't.
And now I want to rave about Brian Froud! Most of the fairy artwork I admire comes from the Golden Age of Illustration - that's getting on for a hundred years ago now. But Brian Froud (who was heavily influenced by Rackham et al) is still alive and kicking, and so are his goblins. He's the mastermind behind the visuals of The Dark Crystal movie:
And Labyrinth, which is still one of my favourite films ever:
His goblins can be charming, but there's a streak of anarchic black humour even to his cutsiness - he produced Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book, which was entirely full of, well . . . squished fairy corpses.
His grotesques are weirdly convincing, as if drawn from life ...
And when he wants to do beautiful and sensual, oh boy can he do that!
And yet it still has an otherwordly and menacing undercurrent ...
From his books Faeries:
"And here we must make one thing very clear. The real faerie experience is very diffrent from the general view of faerie built up by clouds of sentimental fiction with legions of inevitable happily-ever-after endings ...Faerie is a world of dark enchantments, of captivating beauty, of enormous ugliness, of callous superficiality, of humour, mischief, joy and inspiration, of terror, laughter, love and tragedy. It is far richer than fiction would generally lead one to believe and, beyond that, it is a world to enter with extreme caution, for of all things that faeries resent the most it is curious humans blundering about their private domains like so many ill-mannered tourists. So go softly-where the rewards are enchanting, the dangers are real."
So I'll shut up and leave you with some pics that I find inspirational. And when I describe beautiful fairies in Named and Shamed, this is the sort of thing I'm thinking of.