Saturday, August 23, 2008

Inspiration: Arthur Rackhan's Faery World

I used to have a big poster of this painting on my wall when I was 16. All I knew about it then, was the caption said, "Queen Mab". Many years later, when I found it on the web it was entitled "Feeling Very Undancey Indeed," and when I researched it a bit more I discovered it was actually from Arthur Rackham's illustrations for J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.

Ah, so that explains why I loved the painting so much! I love J. M. Barrie. The world has lost way too much of its innocence these days, consequently I work very diligently to hang on to as much of mine as I can. Reading Peter Pan every few years is one of my favorite ways to accomplish this.

According to our beloved Mr. Barrie, dancey is how the faeries say they are happy... so undancey is faerie-folk language for a wee bit dispirited or some such thing. It is Queen Mab, and the reason she is feeling undancey is too long to go into here, but Dover Publications is issuing a new edition of the book with Arthur Rackham's original illustrations next month, so you can go and read the story for yourself if you are curious.

One of the things I love most about Arthur Rackham's illustrations of Queen Mab are the beautiful tones of ivory and burgandy that he used... it seemed only natural when I was asked to create a wedding set in these colours that they should be named after the undancey faery Queen.

When I finished the tiara, I went to find the Undancey picture again and was delighted to see how much tiara looks like it belonged to her! I have also made a hair clip, earrings, two necklaces and a bracelet in this series. They are my new personal favorites, and are available in my etsy shop, look for "Queen Mab's Wedding"

*Written by Thyme2dream.