The Daisy Fairy

I think this is the first woman whose work I talk about here – it is Cicely M. Barker, an English artist and poet, born in Croydon, in 1895. At the age of 13, her father took her to an evening class at the Croydon School of Art, which she continued to attend for over 30 years, when she was hired as a teacher. She died at the age of 77, leaving behind a vast collection of fairy art, which have become rather famous nowadays (especially due to the fact that Penguin Books bought them), and can be found on calendars, bookmarks, notebooks etc.
She generally rejected all rules and conventions, claiming to paint and write instinctively; she used watercolours, as well as pen, ink, oils, and pastels. Her first book was published in 1923 and was called Flower Fairies of the Spring (Summer, Autumn and Winter followed). This consisted of beautiful and characteristically naive depictions of different fairies, each associated with a spring flower, and accompanied by a short poem.


This is The Daisy Fairy (1923). The fairy is very child-like in appearance and posture, which is something usual for her drawings. Not only does it hold three daisies, but also wears a skirt made of daisy petals, which, on a very simplistic level, suggests a similar association of the fairy to its flower as that of the hamadryad to its tree (see previous post).
The poem next to the illustration was, apparently, this

Come to me and play with me,
I’m the babies flower,
Make a necklace gay with me,
Spend the whole long day with me,
Till the sunset hour.
I must say Good-night, you know,
Till tomorrow’s playtime;
Close my petals tight, you know,
Shut the red and white, you know,
Sleeping till the daytime.

(I apologize for the large number of commas in this post, they seem to be superfluous, but I’m not sure why. I’ll just blame the bad weather, not my bad grammar.)


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Filed under Artlove, Poetrylove, Pseudointellectual

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