Thursday, November 5, 2009

Inspiration from the Fairy Feller

I am honored to have been asked to choose a piece of art for November's Challenge, so I picked one of my favorite pieces, the Fairy Feller's Master Stroke by Richard Dadd. My fellow bloggers have already given you a good amount of the fascinating history and story behind this painting and the artist, so I thought I would share my personal history and thoughts about it, and some of my works that were inspired by the painting.

Above, a very regal fairy like necklace made with Earthenwood charms and a face stone, with Vintaj brass. You can learn the techniques to make this necklace in the class I will be teaching on the 2010 Bead Cruise!

I had already been familiar with this painting from a few of my art history and fairy books, when I happened upon the actual piece on loan at a museum many years ago. I can't remember where I was, but I remember being very effected by this piece. It is quite small, just over 15x20 inches, and even though it was in a room of giant paintings, I was immediately drawn to it. It seems that tiny detailed, jewel like objects attract me... who knew?

My Queen Mab Faerie Parade necklace, which can be seen in the gallery section of the new book Enchanted Adornments by Cynthia Thornton, one of the other prizes for this month's Challenge!

I spent a good long time staring at the painting, and felt moved almost to tears. Especially with its tiny size, the amount of detail in it is so amazing, it is like it is an impossible piece of art, like a human could not have painted it. It looks like an artifact from a fairy world. The paint is applied with such texture, it adds depth that can't really be seen in reproductions. I feel fortunate to have seen the Fairy Feller in person, and it became a source of inspiration for color, theme, and detail for my work for many years to come. I am glad to share it with you!

I am not the only one inspired by this amazing painting! Did you know that Queen wrote a song about it? Maybe this little bit of musical fun will help you create your fairy inspired piece to enter this month's challenge!

Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.


TesoriTrovati said...

Thank you, Melanie, for sharing your personal insight into this master work of art. It looks dazzling...I can only imagine the feelings it would evoke if seen in person. I would like the opportunity to see more of these works live...they are all so beautiful. And I think you couldn't have picked a better one. I hope to have something ready for this one on time! (If my computer recovers :-(

Enjoy the day!

mairedodd said...

i am very excited about this challenge... what a great painting, i printed up an article on it last night... but as soon as you mentioned the dimensions, i connected to it in a different way... at the met in nyc there is a vermeer (his works are quite small as i am sure you know)... those kinds of pieces create an intimacy, you feel like you are being pulled into them as you delve for details, yet appreciate the whole... your necklaces are magnificent... this month we surely do have our work cut out for us!

Maggie R said...

Hi there..
I always enjoy my visit here.. Thanks for the inspiration.
Please take time out to pop over to my blog and enter my give away to celebrate my Bloboversary

Gail said...

Bravo!Melanie,how wonderfull,hearing and seeing Queen while absorbing the painting.I love this painting,and I'm so glad you decided to pick it.Otherwise,I'd never known it existed.Thank you.This looks like a great month.And that necklace,lovely&fascinating.

AJ said...

Wow, I can't believe that painting is so small! I would have expected more in the range of 3x4', to have that sort of detail.

I read about Richard Dadd in a book on Faerie Art, and I thought that his story was a very sad one. Beautiful work, though. I've got to make a few things for this ABS challenge.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I remember this song. I haven't heard it in ages. I have this early "album" of Queen.

Alice said...

How lucky that you got to see the painting in person. I can't believe it is that small! Amazing!

Thanks for the link to the Queen song--I'm telling my age but they were one of my favorite groups growing up.