Friday, July 23, 2010

Call to Moths
So it has been quite a while since my last post.  I've allowed my self to fall into the laziness of summer.  How delightful! 

Here is the finished drawing for a new painting.  I'll post again when I've painted it.

Friday, April 23, 2010


So I was recently asked to apply for consignment at an opening boutique!  One of the owners found me on Etsy and asked me to submit my work.  About a week later I was accepted!  The shop's name is Binspired and they are opening on May 1st in Sandy.  Here's a link to their blog:

Monday, April 12, 2010


So here's one version of my rooster that I had started the other day.  I'm not sure I'll keep these colors.  We'll see.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Night Moth and Morning Rooster

My recent endeavors.  The Night Moth is almost finished.  The stars need more detail.  The rooster is just at inception.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Hobyahs

When I was a little girl I lived in Idaho right next door to my Grandma and Grandpa Bybee. They had a dark basement that my cousins and sisters and I always snooped around in; even though most of the time we got in trouble for it.

One of the walls in the basement is covered with a built-in bookshelf. I remember looking at the books frequently. There were children's books, grown-up books and encyclopedias. One set of books that I remember most distinctly was a set of books called The Junior Classics. There were ten books total and each of them had a different set of fairy and folk tales collected from all over the globe.

They were older. My dad had grown up with them as a kid. And he remembered his dad reading from them when he was little.

My grandpa must have been particularly fond of one of the tales because he read it to both my dad and us as grandkids. The story is called The Hobyahs and like many old children's tales, it's somewhat grim.

When you experience something like that as a kid it sticks with you of course. So to this day the little creatures from this story seem to hold a dear place in the Bybee family's heart.

I did a little research on the story and it is an old Scottish tale. The word "hob" is an english word that describes a type of house spirit that helps around the property. However, if you offend one they can become quite an enemy. According to this folklore, they can be gotten rid of by giving them their own set of clothing. (Sound familiar?)

It could also be proposed that Tolkien might have been slightly influenced by this word when he created the hobbit characters in his books.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Baba Yaga

Speaking of forests and they're inhabitants; here is the Slavic witch herself: Baba Yaga.
She rides through the dark congregation of trees on her bent broom, looking for lost children to carry away.

Her home is built strangely atop two chicken feet that keep the house mobile. Once a child is captured it is of course eaten as the witch's dinner.

This is another illustration by Ivan Bilibin.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Romantic Idea of a Forest

I'm very drawn to the image of a dark forest these days. There are so many mentioned in the old folk and fairy tales. The pop up in scriptures too. A kind of metaphor for being lost or confused.

I think that the old forests of fairy tales seem so romantic. The idea of being surrounded by a sea of aging trees and the mystery of what lives or lurks there. Some quaint hermit, or a devious witch that cooks children for dinner.

The illustration posted above is by the Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin. His work is all based on the richness of old Russian folk and fairy tales. He too loved and often depicted the deepness of the forest. How could he not being in Russia?

His illustrations are filled with these antiquated hues and sophisticated lines. I love to see the evidence of drawing left behind in artwork. Line has to be my favorite element of design.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Before and After (Forrest Painting)

So here is the finished product. I spent a few hours yesterday finishing my strange little ode to Red Riding Hood. I used watercolor and markers in the piece. I really like the way that it turned out. If you read this and feel like commenting....well I'd simply love to hear from you!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Winsor McCay in Action

This is an amazing example of Winsor McCay's animation skills. Such a steady hand and exquisite line quality!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winsor Mccay's Little Nemo

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So here is my newest piece in progress. I'm very fascinated with old archetypes like the fairytale "forest" and cautionary tales. So I guess this is a step in that direction.

I've been reading this book "Why Fairy Tales Stick" by Jack Zipes. It's really fascinating. It's amazing to think about the fact that many cultures have so many similar stories that have been around for hundreds of years. Even a story like "Little Red Riding Hood" has roots in Greek mythology.

Zipes says: "since the human species (was) similar throughout the world, humans responded to their environment in similar ways, giving rise to identical tales that varied only according to the customs they developed."

I guess we have a need to interpret things that happen to us.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I love Art Nouveau design. I'm starting to use these designs that I have from a book. I'd like to incorporate them into some of my cards. We'll see what happens!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Etsy Shop

Here are some of my cards that are featured in my Etsy Shop: SunnieBee Art.