bill_wilson_illustrations_field_guide_to_faeries  
  ALL ARTWORK COPYRIGHT BILL WILSON 2008  

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bill_wilson_illustration_faery_gallery_magpie_faery

The Magpie Faery

The Magpie faery is truly one of the most mischievous and annoying of faeries. Folklore has it that the magpie bird has a great affection for shiny things and will often steal them in order to decorate their nests. There's every possibility that this is the work of the Magpie faery and not the bird itself. This faery loves not only shiny things, but anything brightly colored, decorative, or ornate. If you happen to see one of these faeries near your home, it's best to shut the windows and doors and keep the chimney flue closed unless you have a roaring fire going. This faery will steal whatever takes its fancy, and it's impossible to know what that might be: a watch, a button, a hairbrush, a hat. In the case of this particular one, apparently some frog's legs caught her attention and, well, you see can the picture for yourself. For those of you who are wondering, yes I've been asked, is it possible those are not a frog's legs, but another faeries legs? Ummm, yeah, but it's a thought so dreadful, I try not to think about it.

   
bill_wilson_illustration_faery_gallery_warrior_faery Warrior Faery
Acrylic on paper

   
bill_wilson_illustrations_cactus Faery

The Cactus Faery

It's easy to forget that faeries are not confined to the typical English garden. No, faeries are everywhere: the frozen tundra, the steamy jungle, and yes, even the hot, arid desert. The varieties of desert faeries are as broad as any other geographical region and many are attached to one particular species of cactus or succulent. Of course, there are queens in every kingdom, and the desert is no exception. This particular queen shows her affinity for all the vegetation and wildlife that inhabit her kingdom.
It's not easy to tell by first glance how large any particular kingdom is, nor where their borders lie. But, every faery knows instinctively and will almost never cross without great necessity. That's a good thing to know if you're ever pursued by one, or more. If you run far enough, you'll leave their kingdom and they'll leave you alone. Of course, their kingdom could be the size of a small plot of ground, or the size of an entire county. So, if you're being pursued, let's hope you have your running shoes on.

   
bill_wilson_illustration_faery_gallery_vanity_faery

The Vanity Faery

Vanity of vanities, all things are vanity. When 'The Preacher' penned those words, there's every possibility he was thinking about the Vanity Faery. Regardless of their species, faeries are not known for their humility. They are by nature a proud lot. But, this faery is not so much a species as they are a mind set. Any faery can become a Vanity Faery. First there's the excessive primping in reflective surfaces. Next, it's the compulsion towards extravagant personal decoration. Eventually, their every waking thought is to their appearance. A Vanity Faery will spare no expense, will abandon kith and kin, and will travel to the edge of forever and beyond in search of whatever special garb, or trinket, or makeup they believe will enhance their beauty.

   
bill_wilson_illustration_faery_gallery_titania Titania Faery
Acrylic on paper

   
bill_wilson_illustration_faery_gallery_snowdrop_feary

The Snowdrop Faery

Legend has it that the Snowdrop Faeries may be directly related to Persephone. Possibly, her first children. Now, no one truly knows exactly where faeries come from, but let's look at the fascinating evidence for the possible origin of just this one. Persephone was the offspring of the god Zeus and Demeter, the goddess of the harvest. Because of her beauty Persephone was kidnapped by Hades. But Zeus forced Hades to release Persephone after her mother in utter despair refused to allow plants to grow anywhere on earth.
But after her release, Persephone's ruby red lips betrayed the fact she had eaten six pomegranate seeds while in the underworld. An act which forced her to return each year. Now, consider this, around the world snowdrop flowers are known as the harbingers of spring. Snowdrop Faeries are white skinned beauties except for their ruby red lips, just like Persephone's pomegranate stained lips. Snowdrop Faeries derive their entire sustenance from, you guessed it, pomegranates. And lastly, Snowdrop Faeries mysteriously disappear during the winter months when Persephone is below in the underworld. Coincidence? You decide.

   
bill_wilson_illustration_faery_gallery_water_hyacinth

The Water Hyacinth

The Water Hyacinth faery is lovely and sweet with a helpful disposition, but like its namesake can be quite annoying. The water hyacinth is a very invasive plant outside its native Africa. If not kept in constant check it can take over and choke out whole bodies of water displacing all the native plants and killing the aquatic wildlife.

The danger with this faery is its deceptive beauty and eagerness to please. Many people simply can't resist allowing this sweet, gentle faery into their garden, but where there's one, there's hundreds. And they're always willing to please, even to the point of the total destruction of their host. Need your garden weeded? They'll weed until there's not a plant left, except, of course, their native water hyacinth. Your barn need a new roof? They'll pile roofing on until the entire structure collapses. There are stories of dairy cows being milked until they dropped over dead from dehydration. No, unless you're willing to keep a constant check on this particular faery, it's best not to allow one into your garden.

   
bill_wilson_illustrations_faery_gallery_uexpected_guest
An Unexpected Guest
Acrylic on paper
15" x 18"


An Unexpected Guest

These are Mistle thrushes, common to much of Europe, Asia and North Africa. Their unexpected guest is probably either a Robin faery who has traveled to Europe or a native Mistle faery. Some faeries, known as Chameleon faeries, are experts at camouflage, able to take on the colors and patterns around them thus blending into whatever surrounding they find themselves. Others, like the Mistle and Robin variety are simply colored a particular way and must be very clever about where they hide. Even the experts can't tell the difference between a Chameleon and non-Chameleon simply by looking. There is really only one way of being sure and that is to track an individual (easier said than done) and see whether it later changes to blend with its new environs. But one can make an educated guess. Usually, a Chameleon will blend with all its surroundings, and in this case one would expect that some of the body would be patterned after the nest. Also, most, but by no means all, Chameleons are willing to tone down their wings. But this is very hard for them to do. Faeries by nature are very vain about their wings. None but a Chameleon could fathom changing them and even they will hide them if at all possible rather than altering their colors or patterns. So, my guess is that this is either a Mistle or Robin faery.

 

 
bill_wilson_illustrations_faery_gallery_lotus_faery

Purple Lotus Faery
Acrylic on paper
13" x 13"
   
bill_wilson_illustrations_faery_gallery_aster_chameleon_faery Aster Chameleon Faery
Acrylic on paper
13" x 13"
ALL ARTWORK COPYRIGHT BILL WILSON 2008
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