Title: Bog Fairy in a Carrot Seed Skirt
Artist: Maija Liepins
This artwork was commissioned by Amanda Kane Smith for Test Valley Tales project. In the summer of 2020 I had discovered what Wild Carrot seed heads look like. A photo of one taken in the meadow at Harmony Woods became fairy attire, and then made its way into the telling of the story itself. This demonstrates how collaborative the making of Test Valley Tales has been.
I liked the idea of a fairy who can be found in the bog. Fairies are hard to spot, and what if their wings were hard to see too? The artwork depicts my idea of the bog fairy who appears in the short story The Feuding Farmers of Harmony Woods published in Amanda Kane Smith's book of Test Valley Tales.
I didn't plan for her wings to appear only in her reflection, but as soon as I had drawn her floaty hair it made sense for the bog fairy to have a kind of magic that you can't see unless you look from a particular perspective.
I also wanted to create a fairy that looked like she belonged in nature and what goes hand in hand with a muddy puddle? Muddy boots!
You might argue that muddy feet would not be a fairy's concern but imagining myself as the characters and imagining young readers imagining themselves as the characters played an important part of my process. So the fairy is wearing my 8yr old welly boots which I would have called gumboots because I lived in Australia when I was eight.
Also in the picture you can see some of the other flowers that you can find at Harmony Woods in the summer. Here are some photographs of flowers at Harmony woods which you can spot in the drawing.
Test Valley Tales Artwork: thedreamforest.maija.co.uk/testvalleytales
Project Website: www.merry-go-roundstorytelling.co.uk/testvalleytales
Instagram: @testvalleytales @maijaliepins