La Fée Verte

06 April 2014

"La Fée Verte"
(water-soluable crayons, watercolour, graphite, and ink on A4 paper)
Like a lucid dream at twylight, emerging from an absinthe glass,
 La Fée Verte awakens from her slumber.

Stemming from the 19th century, La Fée Verte (French, for "The Green Fairy") is a popular euphemism for absinthe.

I'm an infrequent drinker, but absinthe is one of my favourites. 
I'm fond of both the flavour and its digestive qualities, and it does, as purported, induce a sort of lucid drunkenness, which makes it an excellent companion to late-night painting and musical swoons.

“Absinthe is the only decent drink that suits an artist."
-Paul Gauguin 

For those of you who gasp and fret, worry not: it's been proven that absinthe is actually NOT hallucinogenic, nor dangerous (when reasonably consumed.) 

Absinthe's foul reputation for being a hallucinogenic and madness-inducing drink is mostly due to the toxic colour & flavour additives that were used by cheap brands in the 19th century. Additionally, absinthe is a very strong spirit, with a high alcoholic content, so it's effects, when overly consumed, are no different than any other intense alcoholic beverage; it was a popular favourite amongst 19th century alcoholics, and certainly, abusing any strong drink will lead to illness of the mind and body.

You can read all about absinthe, here:

And now, back to the art . . .

The sketch:

The work-in-process:

The finished painting:

“Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives... and to the "good life", whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman

Sprigs of grande wormwood spring up from her temples ...

“In a moment, when I throw myself down among the absinthe plants to bring their scent into my body, I shall know, appearances to the contrary, that I am fulfilling a truth which is the sun's and which will also be my death's. In a sense, it is indeed my life that I am staking here, a life that tastes of warm stone, that is full of the signs of the sea and the rising song of the crickets. The breeze is cool and the sky blue. I love this life with abandon and wish to speak of it boldly: it makes me proud of my human condition. Yet people have often told me: there's nothing to be proud of. Yes, there is: this sun, this sea, my heart leaping with youth, the salt taste of my body and this vast landscape in which tenderness and glory merge in blue and yellow. It is to conquer this that I need my strength and my resources. Everything here leaves me intact, I surrender nothing of myself, and don no mask: learning patiently and arduously how to live is enough for me, well worth all their arts of living.”
― Albert Camus


Lucy Chen said...

Is this the drink that VVG drank too much of the cheap version of and that caused damage to his health?

I love your green fairy, Bonnie!

And maybe I'll try this drink.

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