Baby Dragons hatching

The Trouble With Twins

The trouble with twins is that they are twice as cute as a solitary baby, and twice as clever as they look. I should know, I’ve been a twin my whole life. It was only natural that I would not be satisfied with a dragon hatchling of solitary birth. No, I had to paint one egg with two little dragons coming out of it. I had to. They are dragons of different colors, as sometimes happens with dragons. One cannot be sure what color will come out of each egg. What is for certain is that they are born with their best friend, as was I.

twin dragon chicks hatching with runes

Double the trouble, double the fun! Twin dragon hatchlings by Beth Hansen-Buth.

What is uncertain is what they will grow up to be, more alike or more different. Seven years after painting this, I finally have decided on a title: Double Trouble. But any parent of twins can tell you it’s more like Trouble squared, because when twins get together with an idea, watch out! My twin has always been super supportive of my artistic endeavors, and is very happy to cheer me on, now that I’m getting back into the art groove again.

One of the wonderful things I discovered about working on the scratchbord is that the watercolor virtually disappears into the india ink. I didn’t know until I tried. It was a scary thing the first time I added color to the beautiful white clay surface, as I didn’t know how it would turn out. It was like magic! I was instantly rewarded for my effort with a pop of color that seemed almost back-lit to me, like stained glass. It really was love at first sight, but I put my boards aside when I got stuck on a larger image that wasn’t working out for me. It took a long time, and years of immersing myself into music, to bring me back to the drawing board. Now that I’m looking back, I notice that the year this was painted, 2009, was the year I bought my first Autoharp. The rest fell into place over the past seven years, instruments, more stability in my home, a steady job… all bring me back to where I want to start sharing the art I’ve made, leaving me eager to make more.

So now I’m working differently than ever before, learning as I go and loving every minute of it.Watercolor is a joy to work with, and I’m glad that the last time the urge to paint came upon me I invested in a good set of Winsor & Newton artists’ professional quality paints. Try as I might, I can’t find a picture to match the set of half-pans that I bought. All the more reason to clean the studio and do a studio tour video and or slideshow. I love seeing where other artists work, I’ve always found it very inspirational. Right now I’m becoming more and more inspired by the art I’m making, even if it’s in very small five inch by seven inch paintings, I find them immensely satisfying.

red baby dragon

Going Beyond Here

On the edges of Wyrdhaven Studio, I shall have to make a sign that says “Beyond Here There Be Dragons” because they have been with me since the very beginning. Back in the early 1990’s I was doing pen and ink drawings of dragons. They were fun and I really enjoyed doing them. I even painted them in Acrylics and Oils. Funny thing is, my early scratch board work has them too, and this time the color was added with watercolors. So I wanted to share this dragon with you. Mind you, it is just a wee babe, but maybe I’ll continue following it’s growth into a full sized dragon! After spending years working in oils, I found the process of creating this little darling a bit like instant gratification.

red baby dragon egg

Watercolor and ink on scratchbord (clay on masonite)

Although this was completed quite a while ago, it was my first step back into painting in watercolor. The lettering around the edge is in standard Futhark Runes, which a very industrious person can read as English. As I continue to practice and learn, I am looking forward to sharing my work with you as I go. Contemplating that has let me think very deeply about the role art takes in my life. Each piece adds to an overall narrative about the nature of Wyrdhaven Studio, along with my music. I already have plans for the art and songs to play off of each other, and each creation is an exploration of the nature of inspiration and imagination.

It isn’t easy showing my new work, as I’m working with different materials and techniques, and different goals in mind. So much of my previous work featured people portraits, albeit fantasy ones, and now I’m very interested in exploring themes in nature as well as mythology, finding a mood rather than a likeness. I want the colors of my paintings to evoke movement, and the sounds of my music to evoke colors, and the words of my lyrics to paint scenes in your mind. That’s not too much to ask of my artistic endeavors is it? I hope not. Because this isn’t about just one song, or one painting, it’s about transforming the world around me a little bit at a time as I continue to create new works. Those are some pretty deep thoughts that bubbled up as a result of the appearance of a baby dragon. It will be interesting watching it grow to full size.