Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Catherine Daniel, Artist And Author Of 'Wanton Fairies For Beginners'


My guest today is the wonderfully, talented, Artist and Author of 'Wanton Fairies For Beginners', Catherine Daniel.


Catherine painting at her allotment garden.


Catherine has painted and sculpted all her life, covering a wide range of subjects in watercolour, acrylic and bronze. Her lifelong passion for beauty, nature and humour suffuses her work & never more so than in her latest book.

It was whilst tending her allotment here in England with her friend Rosie Lee, that she discovered a new breed of Fairies, she then created one of the most enlightening little e-books I've ever seen.
It's a must have this Christmas, if you're looking for a gorgeous stocking filler, or if you want to buy something for yourself that's cheeky, naughty and indulgent, look no further than the 'Wanton Fairies For Beginners' e-book.


Catherine welcome,  it's lovely to have you here I love your book, it's beautifully illustrated and the saucy poems accompany them perfectly.

Thankyou so much for inviting me. It's great to be here. Of course all the Wanton Fairies wanted to join in too.. but I realised it could have become a bit of a squish & then there's no knowing where that would have ended! 

What exactly inspired you down at the allotment and how did Wanton Fairies actually come about?

Well..although keen gardeners, my lifelong friend Rosie & I knew nothing about growing our own fruit & veg, so the allotment has been a 10 year learning curve with 95% sheer hard work..half the time wondering why & how on earth we still do it with day jobs too! 

However, it has also been a fantastic place to unwind, observe & feel a connection with nature through the seasons as well as relishing the abundant bonus of organic food.
For me it has also been a deep & invaluable source of inspiration for my art work.

Many of the Wanton Fairies have been 
observed & sketched in this special place. 

I think the idea first germinated there after a robust weeding session, when I sat down for a breather & sent a text to a friend along the lines of: "I've just seen a Lavender fairy, wearing a black silk thong, disappear into the rhubarb patch."




The recipient of this text replied that on relaying the text to her husband "he disappeared into the garden for hours!" (They have a lot of lavender)
A few days later an idea hit me like 'a bolt from the blue' & i couldn't start or stop sketching fast enough.
Images of Wanton Fairies flooded my head & took over my life.



The sketches progressed to painting & with that the poems began emerging also. It was at this point Rosie & I began working on the poems together.
We had the most magical fun creating them, often finding ourselves convulsed with laughter as they evolved (many of which were far too rude to print).
Some I wrote, some Rosie wrote, some we fused! The fused ones are, I think, the best.
I tried to keep pad & pencil with me at all times.
Much of the inspiration happened whilst commuting to work & if I'd forgotten my pad I'd write on anything handy, laughing & muttering to myself as I wrote. (I did get some nervous looks from fellow commuters).
One of my favourite poems 'Yorkshire Fairy Hawthorn' was written by Rosie & i in a cafe on three flattened paper cups after a particularly arduous bike ride!

Yorkshire fairy 'Hawthorn'

Humour has been the driving force through much of my work over the years.
Who doesn't love the sound of laughter & its powerful intoxication as you enter its radar. It brings people together, helps you through the hard times & is a great healer.



Water Iris

Wanton Fairies are delightful rebels. In these times of restraint, where rules run riot, they allow you freedom through your imagination. They are good-naturedly unrestrained..inviting you to join in the rebellion. You too can unwind & if you so choose, join them half-naked in a tree to sip Elderberry wine.. Or dress outrageously in thigh-length leather boots & whip your friends with daffodils! You can please one is judged.
Here are fairies you can relate to. The real McCoy. A glorious bouquet of natural beauties in all shapes, ages, sizes & temperaments. There's a fairy here to suit everyone.
Unconcerned by the honest imperfections of a little superfluous hair or weight. Spending their days in wanton, distracting, fertile mischief, these fun-loving beings are a rally against the air-brushed perfection of our time and a tonic for all open, like-minded folk who come into contact with them.

As a small child I was enchanted by the works of Arthur Rackham, Ronald Searle & Cicely Mary Barker's 'Flower Fairies' series.
Now the 'Flower Fairies' of childhood can be observed fully grown, with their saucy double-entendre poems alongside.

Sweet Pea

I thought that they would appeal to the baby boomers generation as an adult version of their favourite childhood 'Flower Fairies', but they have drawn a wider group of fans from teenagers to a growing band of delightful luminaries in their 90's, including a 94 yr old spitfire pilot who has the book & entire collection of prints & cards.Yes, they are a bit saucy, but we've kept to the clean side of saucy/double-entendre.
Its verse is as innocent or as naughty as you choose it to be. I'm told this gives it a "music hall & seaside peep-show charm."

To date 32 voluptuous Wanton Fairies have been observed & painted in various stages of they pose amongst blooms, fruits & foliage, accompanied by their saucy verse.
The first book of 15 fairies is out now as an ebook. 
We have had many requests for a hard copy & hope in time to find the right publisher for all 32 along with a third book which is in gestation. 
There are many ideas for other Wanton fairy books & plans for a range of Wanton Fairy products.

The main aim is to spread some light-hearted fun & happiness through this little book & engage  a wider audience.
Everyone will be sure of a warm welcome if they choose to step inside its virtual pages into our garden of delights. Who knows WHAT may happen in there..
Wanton Fairies are adept at liberating the inner fairy in the open-minded!
You have an international following and have exhibited your art work in places such as Royal Academy, Mall Galleries, Royal Society Of British Artists, Society Of Women Artists and many more.
 Do you have any plans to exhibit in the new year?.

I do plan to exhibit, but have not decided where as yet. (I need to finish more art work first!)
The 32 Wanton Fairy watercolour originals have taken quite some time to paint & I'd like to exhibit them all together to coincide with publishing the book 'Wanton Fairies For Beginners' as a real book, so until that happens they will be safely stored away.
My other artwork is varied & covers a wide variety of subjects from the familiar to the strange so a visit to an exhibition may not necessarily include Wanton Fairies...but you never know....They can be MOST persuasive!
....In fact ...was that a 'Pine Tree' Wanton Fairy that just flew before my eyes!? ...Oh ..there could be another painting on the way..&..a poem... Perhaps the poem first! ....It IS Christmas after all! 

Here goes: 

Pine Tree Fairy

In the Yuletide forest deep,

Where all seems quiet and fast asleep,
If you look hard you may well see
A Pine Tree fairy in her tree.

She needs no thermal underwear
To guard her from the cold, crisp air.
In drifts of snow she struts he stuff,
In bobble-hat and big fur muff. 

(First draft..I'll run it past Rosie!)


Merry Christmas Catherine and you also dear reader, to find out more about 'Wanton Fairies For Beginners'  follow the link below.

#WantonFairies looks its very best on iPad  iTunes or iMac with the latest OXF Mavericks updated. 

Wanton Fairies For Beginners  Website

Follow  On Twitter  @WantonFairies




Anonymous said...

Gem of a post, absolutely beautiful, love the little lavender fay, pushed for time at the moment, but first thing I will do in the morning will be to follow up on the links you have provided, can't think of a better way to spend my Sunday morning than in the garden of the Goddess surrounded by fay - Thank you so much and best wishes for christmas

Unknown said...

Thank you once again Albion I'm delighted you enjoyed it.

Unknown said...

Full of the joys of Spring. If it ever stops raining I'll look carefully among the wild grasses and see what rhymes.