Artistic: Fantasy Is this real life, or is this just fantasy… Your artistic inspiration this week is fantasy.

It wasn’t until I moved here that I understood faeries and elves and such. When you walk through the woodlands, feeling brambles catch at your clothes, tripping on weedy vines that stick to your skin, past Oak Trees covered in Ivy and Beech Trees that tower, it’s easy to imagine them, see them in your mind’s eye in each shadow, feel them grasping at your clothing as you pass. These aren’t the sweet flower faeries of Disney, but Imps and Pixies, Sprites and Elves, as well as Faeries. They are beautiful and grotesque, mischievous and friendly, loving and spiteful, and their pathways are not easy to see.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you catch a glimpse in a hedgerow of a place where they have been. If you know how to shift  your sight slightly sideways, you can see their world.

There’s a wishbone shaped pair of twigs to the right of the log that lies across the top of this photo. Just through the open arms of the wishbone, is a hole. I recognised it immediately as the entrance to a Faery dwelling.

ISO 200, F5, 1/8, focal length 44mm
ISO 200, F5, 1/8, focal length 44mm

When I shifted my sight, however, I realised this wasn’t just any Faery dwelling, it was the gatehouse. This was an entrance to the World of Faery.

ISO 200, F5, 1/8, 44mm, sight shift to blues and highlights.
ISO 200, F5, 1/8, 44mm, sight shift to blues and highlights.

It wasn’t until I had shifted sight that I saw exactly what I had taken a picture of. To the left of the wishbone/gatehouse is an opening between the Ivy and the log. Look through the centre of the opening to another world entirely. Can you see them? They’re moving up the Ivy path toward the entrance to the World of Faery. Suddenly, I recognise that the wishbone isn’t just twigs, but the legs of the Faeries’ Gatekeeper as he steps down to challenge all who dare enter there.

Do you dare?

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