Tag Archives: witches

Jacqui Lovesey – Artist and Illustrator

Our featured artist this month is Jacqui Lovesey, whose work features witches (of all sizes), magical hares and an enchanting, animistic sort of reality

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I have been working as a self-employed artist for the last thirty years in many different media.  I am not ‘formally’ trained, but have drawn and painted for as far back as I can remember, starting as a child, keenly sketching birds, animals, flowers and insects… My father was passionate on nature and instilled in me that same  lifelong love of the natural world from an early age.  However, having been brought up on a 1970s estate, I also longed to grow up, leave home and find somewhere in the contemplative quiet of the countryside in which to live and work.

And so my travels began…leading quite a gypsy life, moving many times but always finding each place had something new and inspiring to offer, an excitement I was keen to pass down to the younger members of the family.

But that’s not to say that it’s all been idyllic! Working as an artist has its ups and downs, mostly the making-ends-meet part, the main, familiar problem for most self-employed creative folk!  However, for me, the ‘ups’ easily outweigh the ‘downs’. Most importantly, you’re more or less continual master of your own destiny – who knows what amazing project or idea is just around the corner?

Then there’s the ‘motivation’ question I’m often asked – where do I get if from? I always reply bills are a pretty-good motivator – and that there are never enough hours in the day!

At present I am illustrating the Matlock the Hare trilogy of books with my husband Phil, a writer.  It’s been a four-year project of blind faith and dedication, only made possible with the support and loyalty of our many ‘Saztaculous Matlock folk’ who keep us going by buying the artwork, supporting our kickstarter projects and providing endless valuable enthusiasm and encouragement.  The books feature a green-robed majickal-hare who lives high in the Derbyshire Peaks, and have been a joy to illustrate, as I can create the images totally from my imagination – always fun!  Phil and I work well together, neither of us getting in the way of the other, as we have own roles within it. Besides, I’m dyslexic, and he can barely hold a paintbrush without breaking it, so it’s probably better we stick to our own skills!

With two feature-length novels in the trilogy already published, and the third and final instalment due out in October this year, it will soon will be time to put down the brush and go out blinking into the light with our  ‘baby’  and say to the world, “Hey! Look what we’ve done. Now you can all share this too!”  As an artist this is always the hardest part, as we’re almost always happiest creating, not promoting, and this awkward transitional time leaves you wanting to pid-pad in the other direction entirely. However, it’s  a vitally important part of the process and putting on a coat of creative armour to face any critics and naysayers is a given. However, at the end of the even’up you can always go to bed knowing that, if nothing else, your brush and pen are already waiting for you to take them up again all too soon!

Who knows what’s next? That’s always the most exciting part!

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You can see more of Jacqui’s work and discover more about the ‘saztaculous’ world of Matlock the Hare at www.matlockthehare.com

Or, please follow her Instagram account for latest progress on her current artworks, exhibitions and forthcoming publication days at

https://www.instagram.com/jacquilovesey/

 

What’s wrong with being a witch?

I don’t know what angered me more—that tea party candidate Christine O’Donnell trashed witchcraft or that people have a problem with a Wiccan running for political office. I wasn’t the only pagan upset about this.

When I first saw the video with O’Donnell admitting to dabbling in witchcraft, I thought she was a nut ball and was glad she wouldn’t get elected since the majority of conservatives are Christian. But then I realized that by thinking that way, I was being as narrow-minded as everyone else that objects to any non-Christian religion.

Why couldn’t someone with a brain admit to being a witch? Someone who could explain Wicca/pagan practices correctly? Pagans had a chance to have a voice and instead were aligned with Devil worshippers.

So, what’s wrong with being a witch? Nothing, unless witches are truly as horrible as Christine O’Donnell described them. Thanks to her rambling nonsense, witches will have to work even harder to fix an already tarnished reputation among the mainstream population. Pagans do not worship the Devil, they don’t even believe in the Devil. The Devil is a Christian invention. I can see how people get confused, especially when the dictionary doesn’t even get it right. A witch practices Wicca.

It would be awesome to have a Wiccan elected to a political office, but it was obvious from the way O’Donnell giggled and babbled in the video that she wasn’t serious about being a witch, and she didn’t know what she was talking about. And, Ms. O’Donnell, you don’t dabble in witchcraft. Witchcraft/paganism is a lifestyle.

Kelley Heckart

‘Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic’

http://www.kelleyheckart.com

http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/

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Witches, Priests and other challenges

I am, without any doubt at my most self conscious when writing religious figures. I’m aware – especially with pagan characters – that what I write could perhaps inform someone else’s perception of pagans. When I write Christian characters, I’m equally aware there may be impressions created.

Taking on writing Hopeless for Tom, I acquired a setting that had both a witch and a Christian priest in it. Tom’s original vision of Annamarie Nightshade was much akin to your classic cunning person – spells, charms and a hint of extracting money with menaces. Reverend Davies on the other hand is your classical puritan priest, with a perpetually disapproving look on his face. The trick, I suppose, lies in fleshing them out such that they become complex characters rather than caricatures.

I’ve tested Annamarie on a few pagan reads now, and they seem to like her. I think as a character, she means well, but she has a short temper, a pronounced selfish streak, and tends to think she knows best. Anyone interested in finding out more about her needs only to sign up for the Copper Age newsletter – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/copperage as we will be sending an ebook Annamarie story to all members next week.

 

As yet I’ve not had any Christian friends feed back about Reverend Davies – but then, he’s not been so visible. He starts out like a character from The Crucible, or something by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but ends up with more than a dash of Van Helsing in the mix!

There is a great deal of the occult in Hopeless, but the paganism is less obvious. It’s there – inevitably given that Tom and I are both on the druid path. The central characters – Owen and Salamandra – have a love for life, and for living things that is born of our own attitudes. There’s a striving after beauty, community and honour that has quietly druidic undertones as well. But we put this in a context where the demons are real, the goblins are dangerous, and there are unliving things to contend with as well as the living. It makes the morality a lot more complicated at times and allows me to keep playing with that all important question… ‘what is natural anyway?’.