Joanna Karpowicz

Painter, illustrator and comic artist

4 kids: Polish fairytales

Field ghost – watercolors and crayons, 2012

Polish fairy tales are filled up with ghosts and demons, strongly related with nature –  a heritage of slavic mythology. Here is a series of unpublished illustrations I made for a very old fairy tale: “Son of Boginka”.  Who is Boginka? After Wikipedia: “the Boginki (Polish for “Little Goddesses”; singular: boginka) are spirits in Polish mythology. Traditionally, covens of old women would perform sacrifices and rituals for the nymphs of the riverbanks. Boginki were said to steal babies from their human parents that were replaced with Odmience – the Changed Ones. These spirits are said to be the original deities of life and predate the sky gods. They also appear to be forerunners of the Rusalki”.

“Strzyga eating candles in a church”, watercolor + ink + markers, 2012

“A strzyga is a female demon a bit similar to vampire in Slavic (and especially Polish) folklore. People who were born with two hearts and two souls and two sets of teeth (second one barely visible) were believed to be strzygas”.

“Boginka, kidnapping a child”, watercolor, 2012

“The Płanetniks”, watercolor, 2012

“It was believed in southern Poland that clouds and hail were produced by creatures named płanetnik, chmurnik, or obłocznik: they compressed fog into clouds, and fragmented ice with iron flails into hailstones. They were considered to be the spirits of infants who had died without baptism, or the spirits of drowned and hanged people.Such spirits were seen in Serbia as bringers of hail clouds; they were addressed in folk spells, with which they were made to lead the clouds away from the village.According to other notions, płanetniks were persons who flew into the sky during storms. They could fly in spirit, while they were in deep sleep, or they could fly in body. The płanetniks were friendly toward humans, often warning them about the approach of a storm or hail. They could direct the movement of clouds”.

“Cloud rider”, watercolor, 2012

“The Changed one”, watercolor, 2012




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This entry was posted on May 2, 2012 by in children illustration and tagged , , .
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