Aqua The Water Sprite
I spent eight hours creating Aqua's illustration, including adding some shimmer to her wings and scales which unfortunately you can't see in the book. I can add this to any prints ordered though :)
"....the tiny crystals (the size of teardrops) over her fine body and wings glinted every time she moved."
Aqua is a water sprite, an faerie or elemental of the water, whose job it is to help keep the river clean and of a high vibration to a level of which Mother Earth has intended. She is one of my favourite characters and I dressed up as her during our book launch at the Sustainability Centre's Green Fair. I love this line, "Jack noted that she seemed quite cheerful considering she was carrying such bad news."
Aqua appears on the roots of an old tree in deep water at a curve of the stream. "The roots were curling into a brook which bubbled over them."
As this scene is set in the river, I decided to paint alder trees which are commonly found near the rivers edge. There is a tiny Ogham symbol for Alder in the tree the other side of the river and you can identify the tree with the tiny cones which float down the river to reseed. Alder wood turns tough like stone when in water and so has been used for Crannogs (Scottish round houses in Lochs) and in Venice. Alder is also linked to faeries for 'whistling up the wind' using flutes made from their branches, also for faeire clothes keeping them invisible in the forest using it's natural dyes. Alder leaves make great foot fresheners during a walk by simply placing them in your shoes - this actually works and I used this tip numerous times in my wellies when I was in Scotland doing my ranger walks. Find out more about tree folklore on my Flora & Fauna Folklore pages.