Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Green Children of Woolpit

Jenny of the Somewhere in Time blog left a memory in comments of visiting Woolpit in Suffolk, where the green brother and sister appeared in the Twelfth Century. The boy died, The girl's color faded with time, and she learned to speak English - she claimed they came from St. Martin's Land, underground. Jenny's book The Mystery of Lewis Carroll will be published in The U.S. February 2, and in the U.K. March 1. Jayne Harnett-Hargrove has a series of portraits painted on musical notation which probably suggested my painting on these pages. The little bits of fabric are shavings from the borders of the Christmas present.

I have painted this on the pages of a disintegrating book I got at a garage sale, no cover and much stained, but illustrated withe beautiful engravings. Here is one with a little text.

What a wonderful world, to have green children appear, or a man named Mr. Green, at sunset, in a balloon.

24 comments:

Celeste Bergin said...

I especially love the 3 dimensional hat on the Green boy. This is totally a rich visual. Enjoy the hand holding across the pages, too. I bet you have a lot of garage sale items...would that be right? It has to be fun to be you! ....A pass to buy weird stuff at garage sales!

steve said...

Yes, what a fine escape as well. Love how you portrayed this Susan.

Poet in Residence said...

I suspect the green children may have been Leprechauns.

Your Artwork and your Ideas leave me green with envy.

Jessie said...

Hi Susan, thanks for visiting my blog :) It would be lovely for my birds to be included on your page, thanks so much for asking!x

Jasmine said...

A great post. I love the picture. Words, become a fabric of time, clever combination.

I love the blog link. My granddad used to read me the Jabberwocky as a child, I noticed that was the web address :)

rosedale's 4head said...

this is quite lovely. love the green more than anything.

ArtSparker said...

Jasmine -

Reading "The Jabberwocky" to a small child sounds like something my brother-in-law would describe as something to cause said child to "grow up all wrong". Then again, it might depend on the child.

Ginga Squid said...

What an interesting post - I've never heard of the green children. Beautiful picture too.

Jasmine said...

My grandad does have a very dry sense of humour. I remember when my cousin went to study law at uni, he asked her what she was going to solicit? Hmmmh! Maybe we did all grow up wrong :)

Cláudia said...

Green children coming from the underground and Mr Green coming from the sky...

You make wonders with your skill to make poetry out of apparently disconnected stuff!

Titus said...

Love the green children, and like Celeste, the boy's hat is a lovely detail. And then Mr Green's delicious appearance!
It is a strange country, indeed.

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, I'm gonna have to look up more on that topic. Green children?

femminismo said...

Yes, I want to know more about the green children too. Love your drawings and the bits of material you've incorporated. The book illustration and beginning of the story - making his balloon fast - is great! I want to know more!

eyetrouble said...

Very interesting story and an especially cool illustration. All of your assemblages, altered books, and photos really engage and reward the viewer's attention.

eyetrouble said...

Very interesting story and an especially cool illustration. All of your assemblages, altered books, and photos really engage and reward the viewer's attention.

Fresca said...

And Mr Blue in the library with a candlestick...

Have you seen the movie of a couple years ago "Son of Rambow"? About a boy in a Brethren family that forbids him all popular media, but he colors his fantastic drawings all over the pages of his Bible.
Your drawing on the old book reminds me of that.

I love altered books, but have had to overcome an inner barrier whenever I make one, as I remember being punished for coloring in an ABCDErian book when I was little.
Unfairly, as I was only making it better!

ArtSparker said...

Fresca-

I too used to draw and paste things in the front of books I liked a lot as a child.This was to express aprreciation after I had read them, because I could not actually speak to them I think.

That film is one I will look for.

jude said...

wonderful indeed. i love everything about this post.

jenny2write said...

Thanks for the mention! And I love the idea of adding to illustrations which are already old and fascinating. If you're in England, you'll find parish churches in villages can be good places to find out about local legends and strange creatures. Sometimes they're carved on the walls. I'll try and send you some photographs. I know I have some somewhere.

ArtSparker said...

Jenny, I would love that. I was thinking of doing a series of these folkloric characters using this book.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

I do believe much of art is in the air, the hundredth monkey thing!...Green can say so very much, perhaps more than any other color, it changes and can encompass many, many modes.
-J

Kaetlyn Wilcox said...

Love, love, love. The paintings+the book=two great things that go great together.

Les Elmer said...

Hi Susan... Lovely art but please note that Woolpit is in the rural East Anglian (NE of London) county of Suffolk in England, not Sussex.

A branch of my family had the local
windmill and bakery in Woolpit for many generations. It's a lovely & unspoilt village in the fields of central Suffolk, just east of Bury St Edmunds.

Cheers, Les Elmer
Auckland, New Zealand

ArtSparker said...

Thanks, Les - I have changed it.