Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Fascination With Folklore

There's nothing to spark the imagination like a folk or fairy tale.

As a child, thanks to my great aunt Marguerite (who gifted me with the very old Brothers Grimm and Andersen books shown below), I read many of them and remember the magical feeling upon first discovering a new tale; Rumplestiltskin, The Musicians of Bremen, The Ugly Duckling, The Twelve Dancing Princesses...such wonderful stories (and crying out to be painted, hehe)...

At any rate, I'd of course heard of gnomes, but like most of us here in the US, had grown up seeing them mostly as guardians of the garden. I'd heard of the Tomten too, but only as a vague concept, and as never read anything specific about them.

Enter the internet, hehe. Isn't it just marvelous the information and stories available at our fingertips now?! (Makes one marvel to wonder what's coming in the future too!)

Well, suffice to say I've become fascinated with these tales and legends. In fact, it's probably safe to say the remainder of my Christmas Barnes and Noble gift cards will be spent exploring Scandinavian folklore.

So I must share the second of these Gnome or Tomte paintings, an 8" x 10" original on gallery canvas, now up for grabs in my Etsy shop. I do hope it finds a good home! ♥

Must also add, in addition to being captivated by folklore, I've also been captivated by the videos of Siku, the polar bear cub at a Danish zoo - hence the polar bear cub here. ;)

And speaking of folklore, there's a wonderful Russian tale I'm depicting next - the witch Baba Yaga. I just can't stay away from witches too long (and besides, my Halloween art friends have been joking that I may need an intervention soon, teehee). :)

Finally, a quick note to friends who've been following happenings on the home front; John's hospitalization will be rescheduled - a very long story involving miscommunication, scheduling snafus and a shortage of hospital beds. But we're trusting that the universe has a plan, and all will work out. I'll post an update when I know anything, and thanks as always for your concern, prayers and good wishes.

And now I'm off this chilly morning to brew a pot of Good Earth tea, put some appropriately inspiring music on, and begin Baba Yaga. Oh, and before I forget - - in-progress pics will be posted on facebook - - please do follow me there. The link is on the right sidebar. :)

Until next time,
♥ Carolee
PS - still two days left to enter the giveaway, two posts down!


Charlotte said...

Lovely. I am married into a Scandic family and was introduced to Tomten many years ago.

Every christmas we sing the classic drinking song
Hej Tomte gubbar...
before drinking schnapps at the table.
Enjoy your research. This site might help and anything by John Bauer is lovely:

This is my take on Tomten

Love your work

Niina said...

That's so nice you've found about gnomes and tomtes. Here is Finland this character is called "tonttu". I highly recommend for you to check out books form finnish author and illustrator Mauri Kunnas. He has written many books with these characters. And these books are full with details:)
Can't wait to see your Baba Yaga painting.
Take care

Ann Louise said...

Dear Carolee,
I dfind it very fascinating that you are researching the scandinavian folklore. I totally share your interest in it, being a norwegian woman, born in Sweden and now living i Denmark :)Fairytailes and folklore is my all time inspiration too, and you would never believe how many exciting personalities there really are! Going on from the nordic mythology to traditional folklore and traditions. Did you know that there is this person called the "Lygtemand" - the man with the light, who one must watch out for, if one is wandering in the woods at night, and is lost. He will come with light and direct you further into the woods and marsh? Most of these persons are both good and bad at the same time. They help you if you treat them good, but if you don´t...??
I can´t wait to see your Baba Yaga! She is russian and a slavic fairytale. Have you ver hear the version told by Clarissa Pinkola Estes? It is about Vasalisa and Baba Yaga. It is my favorite!
Forgive my ramblings :-)
Please don´t hesitate to ask, if I can be of assitance in your research.