Sunday, 26 May 2013

A Forest of Pencils

IN SLAVIC MYHTOLOGY there is a shape-shifting spirit of the forest called the Leshy (Леший). He protects the wild animals and birds and the woods, and can change his size from as tall as the tallest tree to smaller than a blade of grass. He is sometimes described as shadowless, with blue skin, glowing eyes, a long beard of vegetation, and he wears his shoes on the wrong feet. Leshys are known to be friendly but mischievous tricksters, leading people astray in the woods, hiding woodcutters' axes, and tickling people to death. Peasant folk would often make pacts with them in order to keep their cattle safe, or attempt to disentangle themselves from a Leshy's tricks by turning their clothes inside out and swapping their own shoes to the opposite feet.


This pair of pencil drawings I made recently depicts a forest lurking with Leshys of varying sizes. One even has his feet on back to front. These were all done with a 0.5mm HB propelling pencil and were drawn at slightly smaller than A4 size.

They were made for a wonderful new publication - Tiny Pencil - a journal dedicated solely to the art of the pencil. I was honoured to be asked to be part of this project, curated by artists Katriona Chapman and Amber Hsu, who have put together a  really beautifully produced collection of amazing artwork, printed on lovely paper. And this is just the first issue - all based around the theme of forests. Here below are a few of the pages. You can buy a copy here, and read an interview I did with the folks at Tiny Pencil here. You can find out more about all the artists whose work is featured in this issue of Tiny Pencil here. If you'd like to buy prints of my drawings you can find them propped in the branches of my emporium here.
Into the Woods We Go... 

Rima Staines - In The Leshy Forest - Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests
Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests - front cover art by Nick Sheehy, back cover art by Krisyna Baczynski
Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests - artwork by Stuart Whitton
Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests - artwork by Rachel M Bray
Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests - artwork by Yoko Tanaka
Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests - artwork by Vanessa Foley
Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests - artwork by Alexandra Higlett
Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests - artwork by Lisa Evans
Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests - artwork by Raymond Lemstra
Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests - artwork by Caitlin Hackett
Tiny Pencil Issue 1 - Forests - artwork by Sigrid Rødli

21 comments:

Charlotte said...

Quite simply marvellous. And I have tucked another shapeshifter into the box for my school project. Doubly marvellous. Thanks.

Ms. said...

Sheesh.....PENCIL! Oh what masterful skill is here. Terrific.

hen said...

W.O.W!

This has made my hairs stand on end!

hen
xxxx

ann @ studiohyde said...

What an honour to be asked to be part of this book. Love your interview and your drawings.

Lynn said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!
Your Leshys are fabulous.
And what a great idea for a journal.
Off to check out the links. Thanks!

nirrimi said...

Your love for living has brightened my whole family's day. I hope we can cross paths someday.

Nirrimi
www.TheRoadisHome.com

Heather said...

Exquisite pencil drawings. I don't have that skill but keep trying.
I think I must have a Leshy or two in the house or garden - thinks are always getting mislaid. It's a delightful myth.

chenda said...

Really beautiful drawings Rima, I might have to treat myself to a copy :)

Nomi McLeod said...

Eeek! I'm very excited about this!!

xxx

Mo Crow said...

what a wonderful collection Rima!

sarah said...

Such enchanting artwork! And the magazine looks wonderful ... tempting ... :-)

sandie said...

What delightful drawings! It's always amazing to see what skilled hands can do with the simplest of tools.

LittleInsect said...

LOL you're bad for my bank balance!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Nice work.

Ronnie (RR) said...

They are beautiful works of art Rima, mine already hang up in my lorry. Am running out of room for all your artwork. Have ordered the book and await it eagerly.

Ronnie (RR) said...

Such wonderful works of art Rima, mine already hang proudly in my lorry, altho I am running out of room. Have ordered the book and await it eagerly

sweet harvest moon said...

So beautiful!

Bridgit's Bell said...

Ooh and Ahh.

acornmoon said...

I am a great fan of the pencil and recently visited the Pencil Museum in The Lake District. I am also the proud owner of one of your pencil originals so feel duty bound to look up this publication.

Hita Hirons said...

I really like your pencil drawings, and I hope that you will do some more soon : ) That whole magazine was very inspiring. I do think that black and white or grey and white can give something unique and special, and I thought the pencil gave an extra soft and silky texture to your work. Lovely!

Anna said...

Magical! I'll be checking out the journal. If your travels take you through Oxford this summer, you might be interested to have a look at Magical Books at the Bodleian http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/bodley/whats-on/upcoming-events/2013/may/magical-books and, especially a propos of pencils, Master Drawings at the Ashmolean. http://www.ashmolean.org/exhibitions/masterdrawings/ Glad Midsommar!