Monday, October 31, 2011

Baba Yaga's Cottage

A special Halloween treat! Yes, you are seeing correctly. That cottage is walking around on chicken legs. That is one of the iconic symbols of Baba Yaga!

I have long been a fan of Baba Yaga. But I wasn't always a fan. Indeed, there was a time I tried to avoid her like the plague. But she kept coming around, and would not be denied. "Consider the uses of adversity," says Baba Yaga. I've met a few Baba Yagas in real life, and finally come to terms with them many years later. Now I can appreciate her very important lessons.

Read more about Baba Yaga at some of these sites :

The Vasalisa Project - Bare Bones a Digital Fairy Tale by Joellyn Rock
A modern telling of this old tale. If you don't know the story, or happen to own the storybooks above, you can get the full tale here--online.

Baba Yaga and the Wise Doll
I love this version for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Baba Yaga's toads wearing jeweled vests and collars! If you don't own it, try you local public library, in the Children's section. This little girl even looks like me at that age.

Baba Yaga and Vasalisa the Brave
Another beautifully illustrated children's storybook. Try your local public library.

Vasalisa the Wise - Chapter from Clarisa Pinkola Estes' The Women Who Run with Wolves. This article explains the lessons of Baba Yaga briefly, but do read the original chapter by Estes if you can. It is well worth it--It literally changed my life so many years ago! This is one of my all-time favorite books--ever. I re-read this chapter this week, and it still rings true for me.

PHOTO [little doll sitting stop Baba's house in my sewing room]

I drew the sketch a few years ago. I've transferred it from one Sweet Leaf Notebook to another--all with the intention of making it real one day, presumably with fusible web and applique.

Last month, the 3 Creative Studios Technique-of-the-Month was Thread Sketching with Monika Kinner-Whalen. Someone posted one with white thread on a black background -- like Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings :

A light went on in my head, and this long-stuck image leaped into a new life as a thread sketch!

It's not quite finished yet, but I couldn't resist posting what I have so far on Halloween Night!

This actually works for the Sketchbook Challenge November Theme : Imaginary Animals. Baba Yaga's house runs around on chicken legs. It must hae been a wild ride for Baba Yaga and any of her guests!

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