Monday, December 20, 2010
When Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973) moved into a Victorian house in south London, she had a studio built out back in the garden. Meanwhile her sister ran a kindergarten in one of the rooms of the house.
The kindergarten provided a steady supply of child models for Barker’s Flower Fairy characters. The children wore costumes that were stored in a trunk in the studio. Barker made the fairy wings from twigs and gauze, taking the elements apart after each picture to be recycled into future costumes.
All of her fairies were based on specific kinds of flowers. The plants were painted from observation in her own garden and from the botanical collection at Kew Gardens.
Complete Book of the Flower Fairies, at Amazon, published by Warne.
Photo of CMB and more complete bio at “Through The Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews”