Inspired by a beautiful Japanese Poem from the 11th Century by Lady Izumi Shikibu, and a recent trip to the States where I got to see fireflies for the first time.
The muse was, once again, one of Marina Bychkova’s dolls.
When I think of you, fireflies in the marsh rise like the souls jewels, lost to eternal longing abandoning my body.
I have this poem engraved on a rose-gold bangle (by Victoria Buckley) that I wear every day, and have been wanting to illustrate the emotions it evokes in me for a while. I dreaded starting the background for this one, but I’m so pleased with how it turned out.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I have a strong melancholic streak. The sort of melancholy that intermingles with romance, nostalgia and heartbreaking memories.
Not having fireflies in Australia (at least not anywhere I’ve been, and not in the quantity I saw in Illinois) I have some really delightful memories of camping by a river and looking up into the trees on the opposite shore - and watching this haunting light show of flickering, ebbing and blinking. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I imagined how I would have felt if no one had told me they were fireflies – I would surely have thought I was seeing ghosts, aliens, or hallucinating.
For those lovelies following my unfinished-work challenge: this is number 11. Only 10 more to go!