01 April 2012

Something retro this way comes

"I´m having a renaissance of childhood. I´m embracing the world, instead of being followed by nightmares all the time.“
Says none other than Florence Welch, who formed a coven of witches when she was 11 (The Florence phenomenon in the British Vogue January 2012 issue).
And even today, she has the magical abilities of a sorceress when it comes to the choice of her outfits. You just can´t deny it: There's something amazingly appealing about her eccentric retro style. Not just her extraordinary siren´s voice, but also her unique looks have bewitched me completely and irrevocably. She´s divinely talented and intriguingly outfitted, so seen at a concert this weekend in Cologne. This flame-haired beauty is unafraid of mixing genres like seventies charm, comic hero costumes and fairy goth queen dresses. Florence's ever-changing array of performance outfits and red carpet looks are always enchanting. Buckle up peeps, cause I´m going to show you some of my beloved retro fashion influences!

For her latest shows in Europe, Florence has debuted a magical black and gold patterned cape that I find utterly captivating. Her spectacular Alex Noble cape formed incredible flowing shapes that were completely on a par with her ethereal music. The whole show referenced an Art Deco theme (cape, dress and background). Believe me, when I say, that for me the whole performance had the intensity of an unforgettable out of body experience.
Time to share some pictures of her stage outfit (and for once my camera didn´t disappoint meJ):

My  current obsession with her  inimitable style has me trawling my favorite vintage stores for the perfect beat-up skinny jeans, pussy-bow blouses, denim shirts, floating fairylike chiffon dresses and not to forget lacy Victorian dresses.
The fruitful results so far are those two dresses from traffic people, that I bought in London a few months ago:

Most of my recent inspiration for fashion stems from Victorian art.
Florence for example could have stepped right out of this painting by the Pre-raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. These two redheads have also their strange obsession with birds in commonJ

Veronica Veronese, 1872

Lately, I delved deeper into the Victorian world than ever before. I love old pictures and postcards of the 19th and early 20th century that give us a brief glimpse into a past and forgotten age. They have a considerable influence on my recent drawing style.

                               Cassell´s family magazine, 1889
                   Ophelia, 1853 by Paul Edouard Rosset-Granger

I love pictures of Gabrielle Ray (1883-1973). She was considered one of the most beautiful actresses on the London stage in Edwardian musical comedies and became one of the most photographed women in the world.

And last but not least, here a few sketches of my first attempts at fashion drawing, all inspired by Florence and Victorian art of course.

May your muse always be with you,
Your Retro FairyJ


19 March 2012

A round dance of fairy cakes!

Sweets for my sweets!

You know how in fairy tales you´re always told not to eat and drink anything on a fairy banquet? And really, you shouldn´t touch fairy food, unless you´ve always dreamed of a lifelong vacation in the fairy realm, of course.
And you need not fear anymore, aimless wanderer! Your journey comes to an end, for you´ve come to the right place! I present you with two truly magical recipes for fairy cakes (cupcakes as normal people call them) to indulge your sweet tooth. I´m sure that not even the fairy king and queen could resist them!

I created two different cupcakes: Double chocolate and red velvet with a heart of cherry. Unfortunately, I had to use the same frosting for both of them. The chocolate ganache that I tried for the red velvet cupcake became so hard after one hour in the fridge before piping, that not even my cat wanted to sniff at it (and normally my cat licks up everything creamy. Bad cat!).

I keep my promises: These cupcakes are ideal for your picnic basket. Just simply prepare them in advance, put them in the fridge for at least four hours and then place them in a box in your basket and only cover them lightly with a paper towel. The frosting should be hard enough to not get damaged by this.

And don´t say that I didn´t warn you before: You might still get abducted by greedy fairies….muahahaha!


The envoy of spring

(pencil and color pencils)
If you paid this blog a visit this last month, you might have spotted some tumbleweed balls rolling past, like in some old western movie. I have been neglecting this baby for far too long. But here comes the spring wake-up call for all you sleepy heads out there!
It´s high time for some spring-cleaning, inside and outside. Spring is absolutely the most natural time of year to renew, rejuvenate, refresh and recommit-all for the sake of making myself happier, more fulfilled and in control of my life! It´s a rebirth!
I´ve already adorned my room with daffodils and my home on the web can´t miss out either. The old design started to make me weary. My header shines in new splendor with its bright and warm colors. I chose a grass-green background so as to invite you to spread your blanket here for a picnic. And trust me on this one: Here your picnic baskets won´t stay empty for long!
As the robin is considered an envoy of spring, my first rebirth drawing is entirely devoted to this little guy. I sketched this outside on a bench with a fantastic panorama view over the Moselle valley. This was clearly one of my first „ouf“-moments for this seasonJ
So far, this month has already been so full of delights….and there is yet more to come! What do you think of the new design?
Stay tuned for some more spring surprises!

May your muse be with you for this new season,
Your Spring Fairy

18 February 2012

What the music gives us 2

On Fire
(color pencil and watercolors)
Song: Set fire to the rain by Adele
Normally, I feel like I might be able to set fire to the pouring rain. But not all days are like that. This weekend should have been different; I should have been burning brighter than the evening star, but sometimes your flames can be down to a heap of smoldering ashes.
I´m normally blazing with enthusiasm and this drawing should be a reminder of that. It´s the first in all long time, that I´ve done without  a detailled preparatory drawing. In the end, some fiery colors set the tone. I might do a series of drawings based on the four elements, because I have a strong connection to this theme.
The longer I stare into those flames, the more convinced I become, that I´ll soon catch a fire again…
When did you last try to set fire to the rain and dare the impossible?

May your muse always be with you,
Your Art Fairy

15 February 2012

Let´s beautify the world with ribbons!

I know, I know….I haven´t posted in a while. And who is to blame? The Siberian weatherman and his wave of cold of course! It can even knock the most energetic fairy flat. But this doesn´t necessarily mean that my mind isn´t in overdrive for creative tidbits. Last weekend, I went to a creative market with a friend and I was astounded by the sheer never-ending heaps of textiles in all the shades of the rainbow. There were even some with a pattern of flower fairies...I wish I could really sew, sigh!

I was actually looking for new drawing utensils on the market and was sadly disappointed when there were none at all. But no need to despair! After a while, I stumbled upon a stand with some lovely velvet ribbons. I love all kind of ribbons….they make my heart ache with longing. And for a long time, I´ve wanted to bestow some boyish-retro-charm on some of my old blouses. So, this is a tutorial on how to decorate a plain old blouse with ribbons. 

English actress Gemma Arterton for example wore a satin, Peter Pan collared blouse with a velvet ribbon neck tie at the Giorgio Armani Privé show in Paris last summer.

And Gemma has been a much better source of inspiration than Alexa Chung in her Stella McCartney bow blouse on the cover of the teen vogue 2005 (or the ribbon allover look as I call it).
So before you start a bonfire of your old blouses, here a tip on how to rejuvenate them:

Tie a ribbon in a matching color to your blouse up in a nice, floppy bow. To add some extra 19th century charm, you can fix the bow with a brooch.

If you ever see a dreamy-eyed girl in a library or café, twirling the ends of her ribbon…..well, then you´ve found meJ

So, what do you think of this? Yay or nay?

May your muse always be with you,
Your Creative Fairy

04 February 2012

My most trusted advisor…..is my fridge!

Something nice with rice: Eggplant and zucchini rolls with rice and apricot sauce

Sometimes if I don´t know what to do, the first thing that comes to mind is to open my fridge and ask the famous question: „My fridge, my refrigerator in the hall, is there anything to eat at all?“ Maybe it´s just an attempt to procrastinate, but I consult my fridge a lot. It´s like a look into a crystal ball: You don´t know yet what´s to come, but afterwards you´re a little wiser (at least if you want to know what your dinner will be likeJ). There is not always an answer to that question, especially if there are only leftovers in the fridge. But I pay close attention to always have some fresh vegetables on stock for spontaneous cooking frenzies. And recently I had one of those. I had a craving for rice and eggplant and so was born the idea to prepare some sushi inspired rolls. The apricot sauce adds some color and a fruity touch to it. So don´t forget to consult your dear fridge from time to time, I´m sure it will be most grateful!

31 January 2012

What the music gives us 1

(pencil and color pencils)
Song: Falling by Florence and the Machine

Falling's not the problem,when I'm falling I'm at peace
It's only when I hit the ground it causes all the grief

When I hear this song, I just can´t help it: It makes me wanna let go of everything and be in this state of utter bliss while falling…. So, it is a good choice for my first drawing inspired by music.
It´s not quite a year ago, that a friend introduced me to my first song ever of Florence & the Machine: My boy builds coffins. The lyrics raised a lot of questions. I just couldn´t help it and asked abashed what she´s actually singing about. Till this day, I haven´t found an entirely satisfying answer. In an interview, she said that her ex cancelled a date, so that he could build a coffin for the cover of his band´s album. This story seems really farfetched and whatever the truth behind it, I keep enjoying Florence´s daydreams that take flight in my imagination through her clear voice.
Florence´s songs are open for interpretation and her words take me to another reality, or so it seems. I can´t listen to any of her songs, without having those colorful images flashing through my mind. It´s high time, that I let my drawing hand be guided by those beautiful vocals.
Marvel at the resultJ No really, I´m quite happy with this one. I´ve done a thousand of those drawings with falling angels covered in blood. But the song inspired something else in me. The fall itself had to be light and peaceful, bathed in a surrounding halo of vibrating and joyous colors. Instead of wings, a heart-shaped balloon slows down the actual fall. The tangled hair is what I love the most about it; it cost me a lot of nerves to have it playing around the girl like tongues of fire. Maybe that is what it looks like if you let your hair downJ The facial expression is a downer though. I wanted no foreshadowing of the hit on the ground reflected in her eyes. She should appear like looking into herself and coming at terms with her own soul and being. With butterflies as her companions (the ancient greek word for butterfly is psyche), she continues heading gracefully toward tomorrow´s skies. At least for now! You never know what the water, er pardon…., what this talented lady might give us along the wayJ
My next idea for a pictorial song interpretation is already in the making!
What are your favorite songs and lyrics? What story do they tell you?

May your muse always be with you,

Your Art Fairy