I wish I had done this...
People who know me will have already have heard me harp on about my childhood love of Jane Ray, after my parents bought me 'Magical Tales From Many Lands'; an anthologie of mystical and traditional Persian, Japanese, African, Native American, and French stories (with many more), retold by Margaret Mayo and entirely illustrated by Jane Ray.
While these combinations of folktales and legends were beautifully re-told, it was their illustrations which sparked my imagination. I have a vivid memory of sitting at the kitchen table with my mum, watching her copy the image of Babba Yaga's chicken legged house, free-hand, in watercolours, for me to put up on my wall. While I was sat attempting to recreate The Lemon Princess and failing.
Jane Ray builds up her images, 'layering' her watercolour paintings, often using found or previously decorated papers. The image at the top is just one of many of my favourites of hers, not only because her watercolour technique is obvious, but because of the vibrancy of the colours. I also love how Ray frames her images decoratively, even allowing elements within the image to emphasise the frame, such as the small plants or trees at the bottom of the painting.