Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sneak Preview...Secret Illustration Project Revealed!

I started a big illustration job for Llewellyn during the summer of last year, eight books that are illustrated with beautiful black and white pencil like I did for the companion books for Voice of the Trees and Mystical Cats Tarot. I've been having so much fun with this job that I took some photos as I worked because I knew that I wanted to share this project with you as soon as I could.  Well, now this set of lovely books is available for pre-order on Amazon and I got the official OK to share with you...here is a sneak preview of this amazing project that I'm so honored and excited to be a part of!

Early stages of the chapter opener; forms of divination here include cards, crystal ball, tea for reading the tea leaves as well as spell elements such as a candle, oils, herbs and a pen with parchment.
As soon as I got the email from Lynne at the Llewellyn art department and saw these beautiful book covers, I was "all in" to take on this big job filling the pages of this series of books with magical illustrations! I thought the covers look like an invitation to a witch's garden party to celebrate each sabbat.  I gasped when I saw them, so much inspiration, upon reading the description of the books, I knew this was a series that I would want to own myself. I thought of how pretty they would look on my bookshelf, and how delighted I would be to flip through them for ideas as each sabbat approached. I knew I had to be a part of this lovely series!
From the Amazon listing for the first in this series Ostara which is slated for Jan. 2015, "Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials series explores the old and new ways of celebrating the seasonal rites that are the cornerstones in the witch’s year.  A well-rounded introduction to Ostara, this attractive book features rituals, recipes, lore, and correspondences. It includes hands-on information for modern celebrations, spells and divination, recipes and crafts, invocations and prayers, and more!"  Pre-order here

While I was working on illustrations for Mabon, it was actually that time of year.  Right out my studio window I was watching squirrels running back and forth with acorns and hickory nuts. Since the squirrel was mentioned  in the manuscript as one of the animals associated with Mabon, our squirrel ended up running across the modern witch's front path in this chapter opener.
The witch's garden gate for a chapter opener, can you guess which sabbat this is for?
I always gang as many illustrations on a sheet as I could while still leaving room for labeling them and for the art department to digitally separate them after scanning. 
Part of the fun of illustrating this sabbat series is getting to revisit some of the concepts, deities, and teachings in order to offer a fresh take on the standards.  For Lughnasadh, I wanted to include Lugh in this chapter opener since he's one of the major deities of this holiday (it's named for him after all)  I've illustrated Lugh several times before, but this black and white may be one of my favorites.  
Re-inventing the wheel... this is another concept that I've illustrated before quite a few times before.  I have a black and white poster that's been circulated for years that I re-created as a design for my Sacred Source Wheel of the Year plaque, and I also illustrated one for The Well Worn Path deck.  So I did my best to come up with a fresh approach taking my inspiration from tradition as well as continuing the garden theme that was my original inspiration. 
I have three more books to illustrate, Samhain, Yule, and Imbolc, I'll have the manuscripts from those authors later on in December, so I'm working on Magical Almanac 2016 illustrations now to have them out of the way as soon as the last manuscripts are ready.  Part of the fun of working on this project is getting to read the manuscripts for the books, I have to make sure the illustrations work with what the authors have written so I've done my best to take lots of inspiration from their work.  The authors for the first five books are Kerri Conner, Melanie Marquis, (she wrote twoDeborah Blake, and Diana Rajchel.  These are really good books, chock full of no nonsense information on each sabbat. They discuss the ways the sabbats were celebrated in the old days, and new traditions as well. There are very creative craft projects, delicious sounding recipes, loads of spells, divination, rituals, and a handy section for correspondences.  I actually can't wait to get my hands on the finished books myself.  These will be released as the seasons progress starting early next spring well ahead of each sabbat so you can read them ahead of the sabbat and take full advantage of some of these great ideas, Watch for them to come out one by one, just like the seasons turn through the Wheel of the Year.   If you want to be the first to get them as they come out next year, here's a link for pre-ordering the first in the series, Ostara, and four more are available for pre-order as well.

Which Sabbat is your favorite? Which one would you love to have more recipes, crafts, and ritual ideas for?

Blessings,
Mickie

7 comments:

  1. These are beautiful! I'll be pre-ordering as soon as I can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm so excited, can't wait te get the first ones myself!

      Delete
  2. I saw the cover photo and thought, "I so want to be able to make that." Guess I better start practicing. I've enjoyed what I've seen so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! There are tons of cool craft projects in these, I bet you'll find lots of things to make!

      Delete
  3. unable to pre-order....would really love to have these....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here' the link to pre-order, you have to click the "add to cart" button, http://www.amazon.com/Ostara-Rituals-Recipes-Llewellyns-Essentials/dp/0738741817

      Delete

I love to read your feedback, please leave a note on my old wooden art table!