Saturday, November 28, 2020

#FolktaleWeek2020 - Day 5 Picks: Death

by Lesley Smitheringale Studio
My series of illustrations are from a North American folk story about a raven and a peacock which I fell in love with. (Lesley is using the prompts to create sequential illustrations for one story this week. It's a great way to think outside the box for the net scene for, example, a picture book!)

 Day five's prompt is DEATH.
(We were thrilled to see a wide range of responses to this prompt. While some are sad, or violent, others have a completely different take. Enjoy.)
by Cynthia Cliff (@ceecliff_art)
In folktales and in fairytales often the endings are not happy and sometimes there is even death. It comes in many forms—by a dragon or an evil potion, and occasionally by a broken heart. In some tales it is a permanent condition and once in a while, in the land of storytelling, it is not. Which will this one be?
by Eleanora Asparuhova (@elleasparuhova)
‘Once upon a time there was a man who wanted to run away from Death. But Death was everywhere - in the wind, in the branches of the trees, in the wild berries...’
by Victoria Fomina (@victoria_fomina_art)
by Maxine Lee Mackie (@maxineleemackie)
#bluebeard #inkdrawing for today's prompt - #death
by Jürgen V. Blankenhagen (@Skizzig)
The blacksmith from Rumpelbach (translated via Google Translate) Because a blacksmith in Nussdorf am Inn once took in St. Peter, he granted him three wishes. His first wish was that no one could get down from his pear tree unless he explicitly allowed it. So the blacksmith was finally able to outsmart death. He then locked the devil in his coal cellar and when he finally got tired of his life, he threw his hat into paradise, because where his hat was, his home was also. So he tricked Death the devil and Peter and felt very clever piggy in paradise.
by CapEllis Designs
Today's theme is Death. This illustration is inspired by the Philippine folktale, The Datto Somacuel.
by Green Rain Art by Anya Kopotilova
“The Death of the wicked sorcerer can be found on the tip of the needle, which is hidden in the egg, which is hidden in a duck, which is hidden in a hare, who runs in the darkest forest”
by Bee Dixon
She danced where the dead don’t dance. A shadowy place where angels of darkness shriek and wail, “May your precious red shoes dance you until you fade into a ghostly dusk.”
by Scott Keenan Illustration
“Snow White craved the perfect looking apple, and as she watched the farmer’s wife taste it, she could no longer resist. She held out her hand and took the poisoned half.”
by MartaPilosio_Illustration
Day 5 of #folktaleweek with the prompt: Death. This couldn’t be anything but Arthur’s death and his slow flowing towards Avalon.
by Sabine Waldmann-Brun
She enjoyed the beauty of the bird's dance and song, but then to her grief had to realize it burn and die. Zabiba knelt at the side of the dead body and her tears fell on the burnt breast feathers. 
by Joanna Illustrations
Do you consider death as something bad, good or maybe neutral?
by Soni Speight (@sonispeight)
 If anyone came looking for the child and meant her harm they were met with death, so many ghosts roamed the trees
@chechulalala here is Godmother Death from that creepy brothers Grimm's fairytale
by Katrin Dreiling (@dreiling_katrin)
‘Death’ - this is a Brothers Grimm folktale in which Death proofs to his godson that he can’t be tricked.

by Imogen Joy (@imogenjoy_illustration)
DAY 5: “CORVELLO & THE BIRD QUEEN” (Written and Illustrated by Imogen Joy) -- DAY 5: PROMPT ~ DEATH -- And so the Bird Queen went on, tormenting village after village until the whole land was bathed in darkness. Then she gleefully ordered her bewitched flock to fly to the last village, the one in which Corvello’s bereft mother lived. The flock flew towards the village. Just as they had almost reached its edge, suddenly with an almighty surge, every single bird in the flock soared higher and higher into the sky... further and further away from the village, and the land, until they were high above the ocean. -- Furiously their wings flapped, bewildering the sorceress who screeched “You are my servants! Do as I command you!” ... then through the deafening flap of wings came Corvello’s calm and commanding voice “Too long have we been at your mercy. Now you must feel what it is to be powerless” and beating their wings ever more furiously the flock dropped the Bird Queen into the sea below. Her screeching faded to silence as she and her darkness were swallowed by the hungry crashing waves.
by Sarah Ekström (@sarahek.illustration)
Death would always be there and show himself to him, and it should be to him for a sure token if he saw Death at the foot of the bed that he could cure the sick with a draught from the keg; but if he sat by the pillow, there was no healing nor medicine, for then the sick belonged to Death. -- Folktale week, day 5: Death -- This Norwegian folktale is called « Death and the Doctor ». A man on a journey has a keg of Yule-al and wants to drink it with someone. He meets Death and decides to share it with him. Death enjoys the drink so much that he wants to bless the man. He turned the Yule-al into a healing drink so that the man could make the sick whole again, better than any doctor. And when the man should come into the sick man’s room Death would show himself, if he saw Death at the foot of the bed, the sick would be cured by drinking the Yule-al. On the other hand, if he saw Death by the pillow, no medicine would help and the sick belonged to Death. -- The man got famous with his healing powers and helped many to health again. One day he was called into a king’s daughter, she was so dangerously ill no doctor thought she could be saved. When the man stepped into her room, he saw Death by the pillow. Then he decided to fool Death so that the princess would live. Do you think he succeeded?
by Kath Waxman (@kathwaxman)
(focusing on Shakespeare stories and folktales as a theme for the week) Death -- The Black Plague -- Shakespeare lived his entire life in the shadow of the bubonic plague, and his collected works were littered with references to the Black Death. Outbreaks raged on and off for years during the 16th century, and it was terrifyingly contagious. Numerous preventative measures were put in place to stave off the disease--from the use of various leaves and spices to ward off the effects of the disease and clear the air of infection, to early social distancing guidelines in London’s theater district, to radical new procedures in the realm of medicine. The period, while known for its tremendous suffering and incredible death toll, was also a period of remarkable change, rebirth and innovation. The Renaissance was marked by new thoughts, beliefs, creativity, and imagination. These are the same traits that inspired us to create Wee Will Shaxbard, and we hope will inspire young readers as well.
by Elin Manon Illustration
Bedd Branwen / Branwen’s grave - In North Wales on the Isle of Anglesey there is a ring cairn which is said to be the grave of Branwen daughter of Llŷr, whose story you can find in the second branch of The Mabinogi. After coming back to Wales following the events in Ireland, it is said that Branwen died of a broken heart. When excavating the site, cremation urns were found as well as a jet necklace and three vessels containing the detached ear bones of children
by Deborah Stein (@deborah.j.stein)
Folktale Week Day 5 is Death. -- I worked on this in a chair in my mother’s room the night before she died as she slept. I made so many images born from the magical thinking that if I can no longer protect her, there was something else that would. In those moments I was hoping they were making themselves known as she was passing. -- Then the best rabbi I have ever encountered (he is the fourth) from hospice told me that in Jewish thought, when we die, we are united with all of those who have loved us and those we have loved. We are united with the universe and are protected as we protect and when I went on to finish this one this week, I felt all of this. -- Beliefs and even origin stories are a different older animal than folktales but I found great comfort in the conjuring of all these mournful meditations, more talisman than anything else. So many artists meditating on this today is a beautiful day on Instagram.
by Joanna Allen (@joannaallenstudio)
Lucretia Atropos is a forest witch. She is feeling restless and slightly light-headed, as she delicately sips her evening psychoactive tisane. She has skillfully concocted this thick, dark brew from over-ripened belladonna berries. -- She is waiting impatiently for the full moon to rise and the potion to take its effect so she may take an exhilarating night flight with her Death's Head Hawk Moth familiars. -- If she should ever invite you into her quaint home for a cup of tea, decline politely, and whatever you do, don't look into her deep black eyes.
by Imogen (@imogenfoxell)
Death for day 5 of #folktaleweek2020 - gambling Hansel tricks Death into getting stuck in a tree, so that he can go right on gambling. St Peter and the devil are getting pretty worried that no one is dying any more.
by Kristina Kister (@nichtlicht)
by Freya Hartas (@freyahartas)
This piece was inspired by William Allingham's wonderfully dark poem 'The Fairies'. Read an extract below:
They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of fig-leaves,
Watching till she wake
by Heidi Griffiths (Aheidi_griffiths_art)
Thumbelina (Blossom) finds a swallow, cold on the ground and presumed dead. Mouse and mole laugh at the stupidity of the swallow, and how he has not flown south before the snow.
Blossom has empathy for the frozen bird and weaves a blanket of reeds and lay flowers at his graveside. (There is a happy ending to this I promise )To her surprise, the swallow wakes up by the warmth of her kindness and is revived. - ‘Oh great swallow, the world shall miss you dearly, may you fly in the warmth of the eternal sun’
by Marta Dorado (@martadorado)
(5/7 of an original tale) DEATH: One night, after being rejected once again by the princess, the evil advisor, maddened with hatred, tried to take her by force. But he hadn't realized that it was the shortest night of the year. -- "You can't end me, I am the only one whom can reverse the spell. If I die, you will remain a beast forever!" He cried in terror at the great grey wolf... And the last thing he ever heard was a howl of victory.
by Laure Allain (@laure_illustrations)
While she is waiting for her much dreaded wedding day, Thumbelina finds a bird that has frozen to death. She loves birds and thanks him for singing to her during the previous summer. Then she covers the poor creature to try and warm him. After a while, the impossible happens and she hears the swallow’s heartbeat
by Debra Styer (@debrastyer)
Today's illustration was inspired by the Swedish folktale, "The Ghost of Fjelkinge". In this story, the brave widowed Madame Barkenow stays at a haunted inn. Unlike, the past visitors that see the ghost and run away, she stays, fixes his wounds and listens to his story. The next day she helps solve the mystery of the ghosts death and saves the day! I thought it was a very unusual ghost story and really fun to draw.
by Sojung Kim-McCarthy (@creativesojung)
Baridegi: Abandoned Princess A king had 6 daughters and no son. When his 7th baby turned out to be another girl, the king got so mad he threw out the newborn baby. Baridegi(Thrown-away Thing) was raised by an old woman without knowing her identity. As she walked into her father’s castle, Bari met the king’s funeral procession. She touched his dead body with the flowers and moistened his lips with the elixir. The king came back to life & Bari became the goddess of the underworld to guide the dead.

Some late entries worth seeing:


by elitsa nedyalkova (@elitsa_nn)

(original story - text above) This is taking place on the day of St Lazarus, the Saturday before Palm Sunday (in the week before Easter). Maidens wear wreaths or crowns of flowers and willow (though willow is mostly used on Palm Sunday, known as Flower Day in Bulgaria) and sing, almost a form of caroling. Like Christmas caroling, they visit people's houses for good luck and sing a song dedicated to each family member with wishes specifically aimed at them and their (expected) role in society and the family. Girls will also weave separate wreaths of flowers and float them in a river, having a sort of race. The winner can expect to be the first to marry that year. Some say that a girl who hasn't celebrated the day of St Lazarus can/should not marry. I don't know if there's any folk belief associated with a sinking wreath (I'm assuming it's not particularly uncommon), so that's just me doing my own thing with it.


by Joy+Noelle
Day 3 ~ Courtship. 💛“Not again,” Rusalka muttered to herself. It seemed every time she fancied someone, they ended up drowned. Another 3 months of courting wasted as her garden of expired boyfriends grew ever larger. -- In Slavic folklore, a Rusalka is the spirit of a woman who drowned, either accidentally or on purpose. She enchants foolish men, luring them to their watery graves. We played with the idea that she’s still getting used to this new power.

by Marta Dorado (@martadorado)
(4/7 of an original story) COURTSHIP: …When the princess reached the age of marriage, rejected as she was and feared by all, the adviser began to woo her. "I am her only suitor, she can't reject me. When I marry her, I will finally become king and I will lock my queen in a cage!" But to his surprise, the princess dismissed his courtship over, and over and over again, until he could no longer bear the humiliation…


I decided to illustrate something a bit closer to home this time, with an old Portuguese tradition - 
It is said that on St John's eve - the summer solstice, water has great healing powers.
Just before dawn, children and cattle were sent out to bathe in rivers and dew to ensure
good health and strength.

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