Sunday, September 24, 2006


"I'm often called a 'fantasy' painter," Brian notes, "but my imagery springs from myth, folklore and the old oral story–telling tradition, not from the modern fantasy genre — although I'm grateful for the support that fantasy readers have given me over the years. I have to confess that, unlike Wendy, I rarely read fiction at all. Most of my reading is nonfiction: history, mythology, archetypal psychology and the like. I prefer the enchantment of a story told rather than one that is written down. In the oral tradition, where stories are told around the fireplace in semi–darkness, the words are alive: they leave the lips, enter into the air and before they fall onto your ear they transform themselves into magic. They're not fixed; they change from telling to telling, and from listener to listener. I want my pictures to have that same quality of mutability. I don't want things to be fixed too solidly or explained too fully; I want each viewing to be like a re–telling of a tale, full of new possibilities." [. . .]

"I find that some fantasy genre painters tend to over–paint their pictures; they're a bit too . . .over–wrought for my taste. When I look at them I find them much too bright and shiny. The artist has finished every detail, and every edge is hard and bright — which doesn't allow me into their world, my eye slides right off that shiny surface. I prefer to keep the rendering as loose as possible, just on the edge of being finished. I want a painting to give just enough information for the picture to make sense; there should always be a little bit kept back, a few pieces missing, which the viewer must supply himself. In doing that, the picture comes to life. It becomes part of a reciprocal process, a communication. The painting allows you inside, where it can grow, and you can grow."

- Brian Froud as quoted in an essay by Terri Windling, Brian Froud: Portrait Painter to the Fairies

I both sympathize and emphathize.