Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Whuppity Stoorie- First Sketches and Story

Here are my first sketches for "Whuppity Stoorie". It has evolved so far into quite a playful piece and I'm not sure if I want to lose that entirely to the "celtic" intensity of the first 3 works- perhaps somewhere in the middle but time will tell. I'm enjoying it so far and should be inking tomorrow.

So the tale of "Whuppity Stoorie" is a Scottish Fairy Tale which shares some similarities with "Rumplestiltskin". In Scottish Storytelling style I have taken a few liberties and twists and turns with the imagery so I hope you enjoy my "version" which is not quite as dark as the original.

I will let the tale unfold as I complete the artwork.

Whuppity Stoorie (Part One)   
There once was a very poor and hardworking farm family who tended to their crops and toiled hard to make ends meet. The farmers daughter Jeanie was a beautiful young girl who tended to the animals, the cockerel and the hens. One spring the prize sow gave birth to litter of piglets and the last one, which was quite poorly, was nursed back to health by Jeanie and they became firm friends. Her great kindness was repaid when she realised the the wee pig was no ordinary pig. Little Fergus was an enchanted pig who bought good luck wherever her went. The crops grew tall as he passed, the water in the dried up old burn ran sweet again and the hens laid double the eggs. Life was good and easier for the family and Fergus was looked after very well with a fine coat for winter and the best left overs off the table. He grew up to be a fine and handsome pig.

One hard winter Jeanie went to the sty and found the pigs to be in distress. Poor Fergus had taken ill in the night and was lying fevered and close to death. Jeanie was distraught, all she could do was sit with him and cry great long streams of tears- he clearly didn't have long.
Suddenly there was a rap rap rap at the barn door and there stood the old witch who lived on the hill. Jeanie got quite a fright, she hadn't seen the old woman up close before and she was quite a sight in her long tattered robes and tall hat. Jeanie gulped back the tears and said tentatively said"hello, what can I do for you my dear ?".
"It is more the case what I can do for you dearie" said the witch in a not too unkind manner.
"I can cure your pig and bring him back to full health- I ask not much in return"

Well Jeanie was so happy to hear this, she said "Anything you want, it is yours, just please bring my Fergus back". The witch scratched her nose in thought.
"Okay dearie if this works I will ask for something you do not have therefore the exchange is more than fair with nothing to give, am I right ?"
Jeanie looked puzzled for a moment and said "Yes, please hurry, you can have anything I have, or don't have or might have- I promise you".
So the old woman smiled a sly smile and set to work with the potions and oils. Soon Fergus was sitting up and looking the picture of health again.

Jeanie was overjoyed "How can I ever repay you ?"
"Well lets see" said the witch. "I would like from you your first born child"
"Oh" Jeanie was a bit taken back but she thought about it and having children seemed a very long way off. The witch was right, something she did not have and perhaps might never as Jeanie could not imagine leaving the farm and Fergus to marry. The only young suitors of her age were the MacDonald brothers of Oldmeldrum just up the road and Jeanie screwed up her nose at the very thought.
"Very well dear lady, your request is granted......."
Without so much as a reply the old witch woman disappeared in a puff of smoke leaving Jeanie wondering if she had fallen asleep in the sty and had a rather peculiar dream. Without further a do she set about her chores with Fergus trotting along happily beside her. Thoughts of the old witch woman and her bizarre request soon left her mind.

 The Young Girl Jeanie- First WIP sketch

 Fergus the Pig- First WIP sketch

Jeanies Cockerel- First WIP sketch

Tune in next time to find out what happens to Jeanie & Fergus

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