Day of the Dead
In Estonia Mardipäev is celebrated on November 10th Day of St. Martins. In the northern hemisphere often festivals and celebrations that were related to the agricultural world take place around the same time. Mardipäev shares similarities with festivals like Kekri in Finland, Vélinés in Lithuania, Calan Gaeaf in Wales and Samhain in Ireland.
Mihklipäev the Day of St.Michael (Sept. 29th) began a time period called Hindedaeg. Hindedaeg, coming from the Estonian word "hing" meaning spirit and breath was believed to be time when souls and spirits walked among the living. There are different versions telling how long Hindedaeg lasted. According to some versions Hindedaeg ended on Kadripäev the Day of St. Catherine November 25th and according to other sources Hindedaeg ended on Christmas Eve. There are also some sources which tell us that Hindedaeg ended on Mardipäev. Hinedaeg was time period dedicated to remember the passed away people and relatives. Baltic countries were some of the last countries in Europe that were converted into Christianity. Still today such Christian holidays, like All Saint´s Day are not celebrated in Estonia and have no religious meaning for most people.
Traditions and Superstitions
Some of the traditions that belonged into Mardipäev was to prepare dinner for the family and passed away relatives. Food and drinks were served for the dead. Sauna was also prepared for the spirits. There was a custom that lady and the master of the house would invite the passed away relatives inside one by one. They asked the ancestors to protect the fields and the herd and thanked them for watching over the family. After the dinner and sauna lady and the master wished farewell for the ancestors and safe journey back...wherever they were returning. Food that were served in the Mardipäev dinner was; barley porridge, boiled meat, broth, beans and peas. Very common Mardipäev dish in Estonia is goose. It was forbidden to make any kind of noisy chores during Mardipäev. Women especially were not allowed to weave or do anything that had something to do with cotton. It was believed that that would jinx the growth of flax in the coming year.
Time of the Spirits
In Estonia mardis are essential part of Mardipäev. Mardis were children (and sometimes adults) who rubbed soot into their faces. They wore old sheets and furs to mimic the spirits. Mardis went from house to house in small groups performing songs and little plays and for that they were served with sweets , foods and drinks. There was belief that the more mardis people invited welcome into their homes their crop would be very plentiful. This custom originates from France where during Middle Ages there was a custom in Monasteries to give so called soul cakes for the poor. While receiving a soul cake person had to pray and think about a passed away person. Custom was brought to Estonia by German invaders in the late Middle Ages.
In Mardipäev parades large groups of mardis walked through the town. Mardipäev parade was lead by mardifather, followed by Mardimother, mardichildren and sometimes they even had a mardibaby. Paraders walked towards a large building where there was a big celebration that included singing, dancing, plays, lots of good food and drinking. People played harps, trumpets, violins and smallest children beat pans together just to create noise. Keeping lots of noise was believed to keep evil spirits away.
In modern Day Estonia Mardipäev is still celebrated, mostly in smaller towns and in the country side. In bigger cities people don´t like to invite strangers to their homes. In bigger cities like Tallinn Mardipäev festivities take place in Mardipäev market. In smaller towns and villages you can still find groups of children visiting from house to house performing songs and plays. Mardipäev is also celebrated still today in many Estonian schools.
I am always studying watercolors and I doubt that I will never get tired of studying them. There are so many ways to work with watercolors and create patterns and textures. Here are some watercolor studies I´ve done to my countless sketchbooks.
Different types of washes
The orange text above is written with a white crayon, you can also use a candle stick to create similar effect. Watercolor rejects the wax.
These splashes are made by spreading watercolor with blowing a straw.
Yes! I´m all bonkers I made a Frozen inspired miniature tree :D Available for purchase here.
Some of the characters come with the tree. Those would be Anna, Sven, Olaf and the grandpa troll. You can also find some familiar faces from the tree.
What kind of magic globe is this?!!
So many gifts!
I love you Olaf!!
Here is a little video I made fro the tree! enjoy )O(
Merry Meet! For all the American friends of Fairychamber and anyone else who celebrates Halloween I am happy to tell you that I´ve turned bunch of my illustrations to Halloween cards. Click images to get straight into the store and to the product page.
When Black Cats Are Seen...
It´s near Halloween!
One of my personal favorites. I had a black cat many moons ago and he was a cat with sweetest nature. I can never understand the fear for black cats. They are often more sensitive and attached to people (and other pets) than any other cats. Anyway I love witches, autumn and black cats. That is all :)
Keep It Freaky This Halloween
..and every Halloween to come!
Based on my watercolor painting called "the Circus of Shadows".
Are you one of those blessed people (like myself) who likes to watch the Crow every single Halloween?
+ the lost boys, hocus pocus, the original Mummy, any movie with Sir Christopher Lee....
What is Halloween (or Easter) without witches! I would imagine that witches can fly with anything, like stars.
What You Will Need
In this watercolor tutorial, I will explain and show how I painted a rider in the night.
1. Sketch the Drawing
First, I made a loose pencil sketch on the watercolor paper and mounted it on my painting board. Tape the edges to keep the paper taut. You'll remove it after the painting is finished and dry
2. Wet-on-wet Technique
I started with a wet-on-wet technique. Brush the entire canvas with water. Then, divide the painting into two parts and paint the top area light blue and the lower part a darker blue. My rider is riding away from the forest, and so to create this effect of depth, I cleaned my brush in the water and created a little path for the rider.
3. Paint Trees
Trees that are further away from the viewer are smaller and painted a light blue color. Trees that are closer are bigger and painted with a darker blue to create depth.
What Colors Am I Using?
Viridian green, black, ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, and crimson red are my colors of choice for this project.
4. Create The Leaves
For the leaves, I'm using viridian green and ultramarine blue. I paint them just by pressing my paintbrush on the paper.
After leaves are dry, I'll paint bigger trees with black and blue paint.
When the larger trees are dry, paint bigger leaves on them to keep a consistent impression of depth. Add details and little branches to the trees.
When you paint with watercolors, it is good idea to have two or more jars of water, each reserved for different colors. This way, your colors stay clean, bright, and fresh.
5. Add Misty Effects
Paint the last layer of leaves with viridian red to create more mysterious atmosphere.
Last but not least, take white charcoal and draw some lines around the rider. I´ll spread the charcoal with my fingers to create the effect of a misty forest.
6. You´re Finished!
Your painting is now done. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and get inspired to paint landscapes with watercolors!
Lately I have been working on Rusalka, a siren-like figure from Slavic myths and legens. She is accompanie by Zmei, the dragon.
Pronounced as Nee-na.
Artist, illustrator, writer, watercolorist and a folklorist. Gryffinclaw. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea and period dramas.
Please keep the comment section civil, respectful and connected to the topic at hand. Thank you. Spammy/rude/passive-agressive comments will be blocked and reported.