Friday, December 6, 2019

Folklore, Legends, and Mythological Prompts.

To my dearest friends and followers,

Over the course of the past 25 days (tomorrow will mark the last day for us), my husband and I have been drawing together each day (together meaning, we each drew our own SEPARATE interpretation of the prompt). Our drawings are based on a list of fairy prompts (one beginning with each letter of the alphabet). The list was created by yours truly. XD
Today, I am going to share with you a few select favorites that I drew, along with a brief explanation of what the creature is.

Calypso is not a type of creature. Rather, it is the name of a particular goddess or sea nymph (nature spirit). She was one of 3,000 daughters born of the Titans in Greek Mythology. She was banished to the Isle of Ogygia, though the reason why is unclear. After the Trojan war, Odysseus encountered Calypso where she forced him to stay with her for roughly seven years.
I imagined her as a seductive siren-like being, a true spirit of the water.

My research on drakes has provided me with little insight about these creatures. While so many sources conflict with one another, one thing many of them agreed on is that the term "drake" and "dragon" may be used interchangeably. However, I went with the version I like best, depicting a drake as a type of dragon with six limbs (seven if you count the tail); four legs, and two wings. I gave this magnificent creature nature-like wings with wooden branches for horns.

Elayne, or better known as "Elayne of Astolat" or "the Lady of Shalott", is from Arthurian legend. She is the lover of Sir Lancelot (lover here being, she loved him, though he refrained from any such feelings/actions concerning her). She ends up dying of a broken heart, having previously requested that her body be placed in a rowboat and sent down the Thames River. Eventually, her body arrives in Camelot, where she held a lily pad in one hand and a letter to Sir Lancelot in the other.
What I decided to draw is a woman with a solemn expression, inspired by the woman in John William Waterhouse's painting, The Lady Of Shalott.

Fairy Triad.
My understanding is that a fairy triad is when an oak tree, an ash tree, and a thorn tree all grow together, forming a magical portal. I have also read that if these three trees are found growing next to each other, it creates a "sacred grove", a place where dryads inhabit.
I decided to draw a curious fairy who happened upon a magical tree. This was inspired by The Tree Spirit by Arthur Rackham.

I wanted this to be a loose prompt, allowing for the interpreter (my husband and I) to draw a hippocampus (or seahorse) if we wanted to. I ended up going with Hippo. Though little is known about her, she is also one of the 3,000 daughters born of the Titans. It made me think of a water horse or a water spirit, so I wanted to draw something that screamed water nymph (but was still very different from her sister, Calypso). 
I ended up drawing the "Freshwater Nixie" from The Spiderwick Chronicles.

I put this prompt on the list simply because I thought we would appreciate something easy and my husband likes drawing mushrooms. XD 
I went with a fairy ring, an area where mushrooms naturally grow in a circle. According to folklore though, a fairy ring was created when fairies, particularly pixies, danced in a circle to celebrate the vernal equinox. The mushrooms sprung up from the ground where their feet touched the earth. That circle of mushrooms then became a portal, trapping any human who entered it in an eternal spring, driven mad by the fairies who created it.

Puck is a character from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream. My husband told me that Puck was a mischievous child or sprite. I was absolutely flabbergasted!! I always imaged Puck to be a hobgoblin. So I did some research and the original story does not actually say what Puck is or even if he is a boy or a girl!! In plays, he was always depicted as a male though, and given the name Robin Goodfellow.
I still decided to depict him as I always imagined: a hobgoblin.

Qutrubs are interesting creatures. I honestly had no idea what fairy began with the letter Q, so I just picked one at random that I knew absolutely nothing about. My understanding is that it is basically a Djinn or what we would now call a genie. The female qutrub was called a "ghūl", which seems to be where we get "ghoul". 
I decided to draw a genie that was lightly inspired by Jeannie from one of my favorite TV shows, I Dream Of Jeannie.

A Rougarou is a creature that comes from French or more accurately, Cajun lore. It's kind of interesting to me that this is a creature that originates almost entirely in the U.S. The Rougarou, though it has some slight differences, is essentially the werewolf of Louisiana's bayou.
I drew the character Remus Lupin as a werewolf as he is depicted in the Harry Potter films.

A sylph is one of the four types of elemental spirits: water, earth, fire, and air. Sylphs are spirits of the air and cannot be seen. It is said that some have the ability to shape-shift and appear as a female human. The word sylph translates as neráida in Greek, meaning fairy or butterfly, which is a symbol of life and change (much like the wind).
I interpreted this being as a feminine spirit made of air.

Thank you, Dear Reader, for stopping by. I would love to hear from you in the comments!! 
Do you like it when I share lore about fantastical creatures? Which illustration was your favorite? I look forward to hearing from you. 

Yours truly,