Portunes and Animal Helpers

Hello everyone!

I intended to post much sooner than now but sometimes things come along and turn everything upsidedown!  I’ve recently come across and painted a little faery called a portune which is a type of elf.  They tend to live in farmhouses and come out at night, sometimes carrying out household chores like a brownie would.  But they do have a more tricksy side, delighting like so many faeries seem to do in leading travelers astray by coaxing their horses into bogs, then running off in peals of laughter!  Apparently their diet consists of frogs and maybe that is why they are a rare sight nowadays – as there are not so many frogs around.

I look forward to seeing if we will have any frog visitors in our little pond later this year as we often do.  I’ll keep an eye out for a portune waiting to ambush from the undergrowth too!  Portunes and other faeries can be seen the sketches section of my gallery.

Portune pixie drawing

I’ve had a couple of little helpers recently.  Well I think they like to think they are helping.  The first is my rescue guinea pig Mags whose friend sadly died recently so she’s been in from the cold with me.

Guinea pig on a desk with paintbrushes

My second helper is a recent addition to our family and the reason for lack of organisation.  She is Pinot, a now seven month old fox terrier who needed rehoming.  She can be a bit mischievous but is a lot of fun and likes help to look for the faeries when we are out walking.  I think all she achieves is chasing them away though!

Wire fox terrier dog in forest

Here she is out in the forest and I think she’s just spotted a little goblin or troll which she is about to chase!  Right, I’m off to see what trouble the dog has got herself into now so I’ll end this post now!  Thank you all for reading and don’t forget I have prints for sale from my Etsy shop.

Sketchbook Page and Changelings

Faerie greetings to you all!


Today I am sharing with you a page from my sketchbook from which I will be sharing more pages with you in the future.  I say sketchbook – this is rather a collection of loose pages folded together.  I have many “proper” sketchbooks too although often I am too afraid to use them, being too worried about spoiling them with less than perfect drawings.  With loose pages I can be a bit freer as if I have a disaster, they can be swiftly put straight in the recycling bin!

I’ve never been much of a sketcher, most of the time an idea appears, gets roughly sketched out and this turns into a finished piece.  More recently I’ve been encouraging myself to sketch more however as a few little characters that have turned out great for painting have appeared.

Another way I paint sometimes is when an entire painting appears complete in my mind with every little detail in place!  I do wish this would happen more!

Faery sketchbook page


I wonder if any of these sketched faeries will end up replacing human babies as changelings?  It seems that many types of faery are tempted to take a human baby and replace it with one of their own, or even sometimes a crudely carved piece of wood enchanted by faery glamour to appear as a human.  The spell will eventually wear off though to reveal a wizened creature.  Apparently some faeries decide to deposit an elderly member of their group in place of the human baby where it will be well attended to and cared for in its old age.  A faery changeling will often have an awful temper and spend their time in fits of rage and howling, biting and hitting.  They are bound to be problematic I suppose as the faeries would never give up one of their favourites!

The human baby, of which those of fair hair are most at risk are taken to improve the bloodlines and stock of a faery tribe which is dwindling.

A Danish story relates how a changeling would behave like a human child when in the company of its “parents”, but when left alone, the neighbours would see it running up the walls, sitting on the rafters and crying out in a strange language.  As soon as anyone entered the house however, it would appear quietly fast asleep.  Like other changelings though, this one was tricked into revealing itself for what it really was.

faery changeling

Several years ago, I was shown this photo of what at first seems like a log found in a cot – strange enough, but looking closer now, it appears to have a face – perhaps revealing this was not a log at all, but rather a changeling…

Supposedly, if a changeling is thrown onto an open fire, it will fly up the chimney, shrieking and shouting and usually the human baby would be returned – if not it may be possible to rescue it from the faery hill where it had been taken.  Obviously, suspecting parents must be very, very sure they have a changeling before throwing a baby on the fire!  And indeed, in the past there have been occasions where human children have suffered if they are suspected of being changelings, especially if they have changed with a sudden onset of illness.

It is possible to protect against human babies with the usual methods of protection which I will write more on soon, such as hanging scissors above the cot and tying a piece of red cloth around the child.

I often seem to be writing about the dangers of faery – they do have their more benign sides too – we just have to be careful!

Summer Inspiration and Spriggans!

Hello everyone, hope you are all well?

I love this time of year and I think the faeries do too!  A lovely time for faeries and humans alike to spend time being busy or relaxing outdoors and everything green is flourishing.  Every tree and flower looking drowsy and content in the sun but underneath all that they are busy all the same producing nuts and fruits for us, woodland creatures and the faeries to stock up on for winter.  But we shan’t dwell on that season for too long!

At this time I feel so inspired and feel so blessed to live here on the Isle of Wight.  I’m sharing a few pictures I’ve taken over the last few years which show just a tiny bit of the beauty of the Island.  I always feel the faeries are never too far away here waiting to emerge to be sketched or painted from winged fae flitting amongst hedgerows and branches, to pixies and mushroom men in deep forests and goblins hiding amongst tree roots and rocky crevices underground.

Footpath leading into trees under a bridge


Another faerie that dwells underground is the spriggan which I’ve included my little sketch of.  Supposedly they are exceedingly ugly and small although able to enlarge themselves at will.  They are said to guard treasure at such places as the Giant’s Holt, a stone structure in Cornwall and can be found around old ruins, quoits, old castles and barrows where treasure might be.  On Trecroben hill whilst a tinner was attempting to dig for treasure here, the weather suddenly darkened, a wind blew up and hundreds of spriggans emerged causing the tinner to flee and take to his bed for several weeks!


Beech tree woodland

They also cause other mischief and can be destructive and dangerous, blighting crops, thieving, attacking those who mock the faeries and stealing human children, leaving spriggans in their place.



I’ll bear all this in mind when out looking for faeries to draw and make sure I stay away from places where spriggans may be lurking.  Even though supposedly they are found only in Cornwall, I’ll not risk it – I don’t want them to think I’m interested in taking their treasure!  Have any of you ever come across something that might be treasure, only to have to abandon it as strange winds blew up, tools inexplicably break, or other odd happenings occur?  Might this be the action of spriggans or other guardian faeries…?

Fairytale Prince in an Enchanted Forest

Here is my latest painting.  It’s very much inspired by my love of fairytales. This was one of those lovely times when the whole composition just popped into my head whilst thinking of something entirely mundane I’m sure!  Hopefully I’ll have this one in print form soon.  For now, don’t forget I have a selection of cards and prints available here.

Hope you are all enjoying the mostly lovely spring weather we’ve been having.  The faeries have been busy making everything green and merry.  It’s my favourite time of year!Fairytale painting with a prince and castle

I some of my favourite fairytales are Rumplestiltskin, The Juniper Tree, Snow White and Rose Red and Hansel and Grethel.

What is your favourite fairytale?

If you would like to see more of my faery fairytale artwork, have a look at my gallery.

Shaggy Ink Cap

Hello everyone and happy spring!

After so much rain it finally appears to be here!  Little green things are unfurling everywhere and the birds are singing gloriously (especially at silly o’clock in the morning which is the one benefit of keeping waking up far too early! ).  My little friend Tip made by Wendy Froud has been out enjoying the sun too – enjoying all the spring flowers and swinging dangerously in the greengage tree!Wendy Froud Troll








I’ve recently finished a new painting – yes it’s another faery fungi!  He is a little shaggy ink cap peering out from the hedgerow observing the comings and goings of all the woodland creatures and any humans who dare to veer off the path.  I think another reason mushrooms sometimes look so sad is because so many have such a short life time – this particular type melting into a puddle of black liquid (hence the name ink cap!).

Shaggy Ink Cap Mushroom Painting

My next painting planned combines my love of horses and fairytales so hopefully I’ll have that to show you all soon but until then, have fun out in that sun and watch out for those faeries helping it along!

You can see my other faery fungi artwork here.