Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Folkesang: The swing-song

I am super happy with this illustration I made for this song. It´s about a young girl who is supposed to watch the cows as the are up in the mountain-pasture. But she gets bored and starts to play on the swing instead. So taken by her own game, she loses them. Later she neither sees or hears them anywhere and starts to cry. Her family comes up to the pasture to comfort her and look for the cows, just when the whole herd comes walking back to them.

These sketches are from this summer. I had followed the most obvious thought in my head, that traditional norwegian folksongs should probably look like idyllic and picturesque landscape paintings. Like Erik Wereskiold´s paintings for example. But I scrapped the idea, the whole family would not fit nicely into the picture, and the illustration would not get the energy of sitting on a swing a warm summer day.

A new way for an old song

Later, I learned that traditional folksingers love their folksongs, but feel often restricted by the culture of folklore that exists around all folk traditions. Folklore knows only one way to express itself, it is the old way. It has the dark-toned colours of old farmhouses, and very few of today´s children go that way by themselves.
And that is why I like this illustration a lot, it tells the old story, but in a fresh and new way. It´s like you can feel the wind in the girl´s hair, and the rustling sound of the leaves overhead. And in the distance, her family is calling.

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