Wednesday, January 6, 2010

White Magic And Rose Trees

Enjoying the warmth from my little radiator at my desk I sit. Listening to gentle music, planning ideas for new work and lists in my head of things that I hope to fit into 2010. All is peaceful. The children are back at school. Its their first day back. Titanium white touches new canvas.
 Characters to breathe life into.

But outside a different tale was beginning. A whisper, a hush song, the gentle falling and gatherings of white bees.

That smell of cold and ice, travelled far from the north. She was finally paying us a visit.
By the morning the Snow Queen had painted her own canvas.

And what a masterpiece she created.

School was closed, my painting suspended, and off to find hills we walked. To sledge, with all manner of transport, toboggans, plastic feed sacks, dune boards, inflatable lilos, rubber rings and body boards.
What fun we had.

The Snow Queen has to be  my all time favourite fairytale.
I have loved it from the age of six, when I received this book for Christmas.

 I loved the illustrations, (By a lady named Pauline Hohly) especially this front cover.
And Jan and Gerdas window box gardens with minature rose trees growing in them.

Even now, whenever I see minature standard roses I always still think of the Snow Queens story.
There are so many beautifully illustrated versions of the story around now. I won't show you them all as you can hunt them all down online. But I do have this version here,  Illustrated by Errol Le Cain which I think is beautiful.

If you love the tale too you might like the quite recent BBC adaption featuring the music of Paul K Joyce.
I have both the cd and dvd and every winter, I listen and watch. (you can find it on Amazon through my link on the left side and find more about it here)

So, I have no 'new' finished work to show and school is closed again tommorow.
But we will enjoy the white magic while it lasts.


  1. Beautiful so important to be spontaneous, although sometimes we have no choice but to enjoy.

  2. This blog is really magic.
    I love it.

    Greetings from Chile
    and Happy new Year.

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  4. I used to read The Snow Queen when I was younger. Great photos!!

  5. Just look at your magical snow! What a treat! We are expecting some tomorrow. Our fingers, and paws, are crossed.

  6. Lovely lovely snow... I remember reading The Snow Queen as a child. Your blog is just magickal...
    wishing you more snowy beauty and joy...

  7. I always think of winter as the arrival of the Snow Queen as well. Those first icy days tell me she is stirring. What lovely illustrations in your books! I think I will have to get some out of the library and immerse myself in Snow Queen dreams.

    Enjoy your snow days!

  8. Karen what a trip down a childhood memory lane with those illustrations from the Snow Queen...
    It's incredible when you think what we remember, what makes an impression on us that lasts into adulthood...
    Your roughs were amazing to see...
    Keep up your beautiful art...

  9. I love the Snow Queen now, especially the hauntingly beautiful BBC version. I was though, quite put off it as a child, beacause we did it as a school play, and I had to be Kay. Everyone said what a wonderful boy I made, while I seethed with resentment and wished I could be Gerda!

  10. While I was reading this my daughter whooped with glee when she saw on the school web-site that her school is closed tomorrow too! The Errol Le Cain illustration is stunning, I'm going to look at your Snow Queen link now :)

  11. Hello Karen,
    What a lovely blanket of snow! How beautiful and serene everything looks. I especially liked listening to the wind chimes as I was viewing the photos and reading your lovely text! I can't wait to see your final works of art...I LOVE the foxes so very much.
    Hope you are enjoying the promise of this New Year! Theresa

  12. The wind chimes seem so perfectly in keeping with the snow. The new characters are delightful-looking forward to seeing them develop.
    I had the Pauline Hohly version of the Snow Queen as a child too.

  13. The Snow Queen is one of my favourites and there are so many beautifully illustrated editions to choose from.

    Your snow pictures are quite lovely - how I wish we had some here.

    Happy New Year to you!


  14. We too have been visited by the snow Queen, but our only gift has been chaos. Still very beautiful though. I was back at school for one day, and then snowed in for the rest of the week! Amazing.

    Stay warm and safe, and the picures will be useful for inspiration :)

  15. I have also loved "the Snow Queen" since I was small. My Sweet Hubby found me a copy illistrated by Edmond Dulac. Beautiful! Thanks for the reminder, I just went and found it on the shelf, I think I will curl up in front of the fire with it for a bit.

  16. Loving your sketches, Karen. I so adore your foxes! And that illustration by Errol Le Cain is stunning!!!
    I'm glad you're having a magical winter. :-)

  17. The Snow Queen will be visiting me tomorrow. Your pictures show the magic of snow, I love it.

  18. I have a small version of the Snow Queen illustrated by Arthur Rackham, but I imagine Kat_RN's copy by Dulac must be quite something too.

    I love your foxes though!

  19. Thank you for all your sweet comments its great to hear from everyone :)
    I've added a link to the BBC Snow Queen now in the post, (didn't come across it before)
    The snow is still here and the children are still off school and out sledging again... Great exercise!
    I shall go for a twilight walk I think :)

  20. Really magical post. I love The Snow Queen one of my favourites.... WOW your foxes and hares are amazing. I love visiting here I always feel uplifted when I leave Thank You.
    Health and Happiness for 2010 to you and family...have fun in the snow ..I love twilight walks I think it's the best time to go,lots of foxes to see here.
    Will be back soon.

  21. I love the snow queen too, I saw two wonderful productions at the theatre recently, I woul love to see the tv version, your post is just magical....

  22. Karen!

    Those sketches look amazing! Can't wait to see what develops from them!

    Amazing winter shots too! Wow! I really need to get outside with my camera, don't I?

    And am I the only one who thinks The Snow Queen is very much like the White Witch from the Narnia books?



  23. I always loved the Snow Queen story - a really wonderful tale - and lovely pics to evoke those memories.

    Pomona x

  24. Beautiful, chilly, snowy post. (are you still all snowy there?). I should be working, but the string of dismal rainy days we're having is making me itch for outside contact, so I'm making a rare-for-me-until-deadlines-are-over blog visit. :-)

    Hope you are all well, and warm. Your work, and your visual references are enchanting, as always.

  25. I also loved the Snow Queen fairytale. Somehow the presence of snow adds that little bit of magic to everything.

    Jeanne x

  26. More gorgeous photos of winter wonderlands...I'm getting so very jealous, sitting here in a hot stuffy studio, in our hot hot summer! I love the BBC 'Snow Queen', visually stunning. It's been repeated pretty much every Christmas for the last 4 years (terribly cruel to show it during a sweltering summer don't you think?!), but I've only ever managed to catch the second half of it...hopefully one day I'll get to see the beginning! Beautiful sketches, Karen...I must get back to my drawings too, but school holidays don't finish here for another two weeks, so I'm busy with small people for the moment.

  27. I was looking for illustrations from a particular Snow Queen book I had as a child and stumbled upon your lovely site. I believe the book I had is the same one you posted - the cover with the red banner across the title. I remember it specifically for the beautiful illustrations, but it's been so long I hardly remember them. Is the second picture, the one with the flower boxes, from the same book? I can't seem to locate any more illustrations from this particular book, but I will keep looking. Thank you for posting these wonderful pictures.

  28. Yes the second picture is from the same book. :)
    I'm glad that your searching lead you here.


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