Fairies and Fantasy in Art – Escapism | Arts Education

Mythical, mystical and fanciful, fairies have always been a fascinating part of the arts. Since the days of early Victorian art in Britain, fairy painters have had great success in captivating the world. Why? Because fairy fantasy art can be compared to a soap opera, which offers temporary release from a desolate existence by way of the imagination.One of the earliest artists closely associated with fairy painting was Richard Dadd, a convicted murderer. His creative and meticulous style was very popular with reviewers, who described his fairy art as “exquisite”. He produced most of his work while confined in the Bethlem Psychiatric Hospital for the murder of his father. Undoubtedly, the fantasy world he created for himself was an escape route that took him away from the dire circumstances he lived in.Highly imaginative William Blake included fairy metaphors and teachings into his individual theory on fantasy, defining them as innate essentials of nature. He visualized them with wings, and introduced this element into his work with watercolour.Symbols and MessagesFairy fantasy art is not only legendary but also controversial and meaningful. It comprises various thematic elements and significant traits. It is commonly seen as magical and supernatural, projecting a comfortable and innocent environment, an escape from the ambiguous trials of reality. However, it also owns a dark side, typically evident as in the laws of nature which encompass both good and evil. Interpretation is left to the viewers.


Depicted in many forms and with many characteristics such as long pointed ears, large eyes, wings, and elongated bodies, fairies are undeniably intriguing figures. Over the years, they have inherited many titles: air spirits, gnomes symbolizing the earth, nymphs representing water, as well as enchanters, sylphs, and fauns. Other spirits such as elves, trolls, sirens, and imps are of the more common variety.Today’s Fairy Fantasy ArtFairies have long been a profound inspiration in fantasy art and spiritual imagery, depicting tiny, modified human forms of mystical importance. And although these creatures are fictional, they are still very much a part of today’s art and literature.Depictions of fairies and fantasy art can be found in the ‘Spiderwick’ series for children, a recent adaptation by Holly Black, and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. As in most fantasy series, fairies have not only followed the trend of original imagery introduced in the Victorian era, but have also transcended into new species of mythical creatures, taking on the forms of sprites, pixies, and goblins.Following a chance meeting with Myrea Pettit, a fairy artist, David Riche, well-known supporter of fantasy artists, and often referred to as ‘Fairy Godfather’, brought world-wide recognition to fairy art and fantasy. His spiritual message, promoting a greater understanding of fairies as nature’s representatives, is conscientiously combined with the importance of protecting mother earth.Growing in PopularitySince the early 1970′s, the combination of vivid imagination with recent internet technology has sparked a renewed interest in the fantasy world, creating an international fellowship amongst talented fantasy fairy artists. Their creativity takes on many faces and moods that can be displayed in any style of environment.Though fairies are often associated with feminine attributes, showing young sprites dressed in filmy and sensual attire in the midst of a marvellous world, such as those portrayed in Warwick Goble’s, ‘Three Spirits Filled with Joy’, a new concept is emerging due to the ongoing development of computerized fantasies. Strong and noble male fairies, warriors of the fairy species are changing the public’s general view of fantasy art. A definite trend adopting more aggressive male fairy action in art is now apparent. Nevertheless, the most famous male fairy continues to be Peter Pan, created by novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie (1860-1937).


The ever-increasing demand for fairy fantasy art is a clear sign of its rising popularity with adults and children alike. Although a childhood phenomenon throughout the last several decades, fairies have evolved in order to become part of the adult world, and so as to continue their mission of providing an escape from reality. Is it not an innate human desire to live in a whimsical, imaginary world, just for a little while?Definition of Fairy – “A tiny supernatural being in human form, typically female and depicted as clever, mischievous, and capable of assisting or harassing humans.” Reader’s Digest illustrated encyclopaedic dictionary.

First Seven Steps for Organizing Your Art Room for Teaching | Arts Education

Teaching art means that all supplies must be easily accessed so when your next group arrives you are prepared. Minutes are lost gathering materials. The class eagerly awaits your permission to enter and their teacher or parents have left them with you. You bring the class in your room, seating them in assigned seats at their table. On your desk is a roster of the class so you can note behavior and individual strengths in subject matter for their grades, and your plan book. Use their names during the class to build a friendly atmosphere. Art is fun, and you as an art teacher must make each student feel that he or she has some art ability. Most public schools with art, require the art teacher to link the art lesson to one of the subject matters being covered in the class. You must organize your materials to suit the lessons. Here are seven first steps to organizing an art room for teaching. If needed, conference with the classroom teacher once a week, to plan the themes students will be learning for the month.1. Plan book- As soon as you arrive in your room, check your plan book for your schedule for the day, and what lessons will be presented, or retrieve the lessons from the previous weeks work from the shelf, and arrange the material you will need for the day. Get ready for your first group by placing their crayons, markers, scissors, etc. in the middle of the table. While the students are working during the first art period, you can get the next class’ work out.


2. Teaching material- Place your teaching material, like illustrative books on your subject matter, at the front of the room. After the class has settled (do not start unless they are quiet) explain the project. Show them an example of the lesson, and make sure they understand that they must be creative. If they begin to talk, wait. Teach them that when you raise your index finger in the air, you want quiet. They will learn this technique themselves if they notice their group is getting noisy. They will realize you are serious about teaching art. Show them pictures that give them an idea of the subject matter. Maybe they never saw jungle animals in the zoo, so a book on that would be appropriate. Always give examples to show them and speak to the class about how the project is linked to the particular subject.3. Team leaders- Many lessons require markers, crayons, scissors and construction paper. Ask the team (table) materials leader to come up and take the paper from your materials table against the wall. Everything else should be in the middle of the table. This prevents students getting up when they need something. Train them to raise their hands if they need something or have a question. The team leader should count the scissors before his group gets on line. This is for school or street safety. Students should be told that all supplies must stay in the art room.4. Storage- Have storage closets that are designated for each material. One large cabinet to store glues, paste, scissors, stiffer paper called Bristol board, small construction paper and wall paper sample books and newspaper. Another cabinet should be for paint (gallon size to be poured into sealed plastic jars). Tempera paint is used for younger children, acrylics for the older students, wide brushes for the younger children and an assortment of sizes for various needs. Do not buy the cheaper brushes. They will shred and leave hair like strands on the work. Some weeks, there will be hundreds of children using the brushes, so make sure you order better brushes. Watercolor tubes or the large circular dry watercolor tablets will be kept in the paint cabinet. Store rolls of mural paper next to the paper cabinet.5. Drying space- Have a table for drying the students’ work. Some art teachers use portable laundry stands with clothespins to hang art. Even an area on the floor will do if you do not have wall space. Keep the paper cutter with its blade against the wall and the locking lever on. You will need it often to prepare the display boards with students’ work for the hallway or library or an art show.6. Water- Water is a crucial element in an art room. You may not have a sink. Put a table in the corner with a bucket for the old water and a pitcher with clean water. The materials leader of each table can go up to the water table and pour the dark water into the bucket and obtain clean water from the pitcher. Go to the slop sink in in the hallway to empty and fill the containers in the morning. Place under the table a couple of extra empty buckets and a few filled gallon jugs of water. You may not need water with every lesson, but this area is needed to be set up always. Paper towels and hand cleaner is helpful on this table. Call a plumber to install a sink if this is a home studio.


7. Time- Class time is usually not enough to finish projects, so you should have a table or cabinet to arrange projects according to class. This way, the following week you can call out the student’s name for them to come up and get their work. I hope your schedule allows you a little time in between class. When a class is late coming to your art room, sometimes you will sigh with relief. You may have to adjust the lesson, but it gives you, the art teacher, a little time to take a drink of water and breathe.You will need energy and enthusiasm to make future artists or patrons of the arts. Organization of your materials for teaching in an art room is essential for a great art program.