Fox in the Wren House

Mixed media collage-18 x 18 3/4 image, 29 x 30 framed

The Story


It was a dark and starry night when the SS Wren, a barely-worthy sea-going ark, set off for the Isle of Blight. There was a muffled silence as it stealthily moved away from the quay into deep water.

It was an odd looking vessel: a lapstrake built 100 years prior to sale. It had become a rather seedy, old migrant ark renamed the SS Wren by a gang of birds selling black market seed. They had risked dozens of hazardous trips back and forth during the years 2006 to 2017 moving illegal barrels of black oil sunflower seed and millet from Mudford Quay at Christchurch across the water to the Isle of Blight. (Originally, it was named the Isle of Wight, but after eleven years of depositing illegal migrant birds and barrels of seed for resale, the shores and land inevitably became dotted with dung)


Migrant birds had been fleeing overcrowded lands and gull-bullying in search of calmer seas and more hospitable landscapes. Therefore, they were easy prey for unsavory types like the Good Captain Crow, who was eager to accept exotic feathers, eggs and cash for a little bird smuggling. Birds, feathers, eggs and seed were to set her up in a comfy retirement nest on the northern coast of Washington state in the U.S.A., where she could live easily disguised amongst her many relatives and other fine feathered friends.


By 2004 Captain Crow had steered the vessel many times and knew the Dover Ditch and all the vagaries of ocean tides and swells off the coast of England. She was a brilliant navigatorand clever skipper, so the short trip from Mudford to the Isle was easy-peasy. Besides, the booty was a bonus in spite of the danger of illegal passengers and contraband. Certainly worth the risk!


This  led to how she accepted the biggest and last bribe of her sea-life, and it was nearly her undoing. It was on that dark and starry night that the little ark was stuffed to the gunwales with passengers plus one extra (that came aboard covered from head to toe with a feather boa wrapped and re-wrapped around its body). It was one odd and rather large bird that moved silently, belly close to the deck, and settled in amongst a bevy of its fellow travelers.  


Captain Crow had already accepted and pocketed the bribe. She was so preoccupied with seed and avian loading plus keeping everyone silent while easing the Wren out of the quay, she did not glance twice at the oversized bird with an odd gait. If she had, she would have written it off as an illegal migrant in disguise, one that crept more than hopped. But Captain Crow did not.


The trip was only an hour in the light, but at night to avoid the Petrel Patrols on watch for illegals, the traverse took twice as long. They had to remain as close to the shoreline as possible and only venture out into open water between patrol shifts.


The SS Wren finally hauled onto the sandy beach about 3 a.m., and every bird that debarked was relieved and glad to arrive.  Captain Crow was thrilled that this was her last trip. With the “fees” she had collected from the illegals plus the feather, egg and seed sales, she had banked enough cash for her long flight to the American West Coast.


She was in her cabin examining her world map and laying out a flight plan when one of the crew came flying in, highly agitated. Only half the passengers were debarking and the rest were no where to be found, except for the oversized, odd ball bird, that lay snoring in the hold.


Captain Crow rushed below. Half the boa-feather disguise had come off the bird’s body exposing a wet black snout, fat red tongue and wicked sharp teeth attached to a two- eared head— which in turn was attached to a very furry red body.


The Captain, like many animals before her, had been hoodwinked by a clever fox. It had consumed enough bird in two hours to last its lifetime even if it never ate another bite of anything. But this fowl deed had blown up the fox to twice its size, and it had fallen into a deep sleep.


This was a good thing. The remaining crew and clever captain dispensed all the seed on the shore, closed up the old SS Wren, and set it adrift in the harbor, fox aboard and fast asleep. Each still-fearful crewbird flew off with its share of the booty and never considered black-marketeering again. Captain Crow headed west, more or less.


No one has seen a fox steering a rickety red lapstrake in the Dorset area, and we can only hypothesize that the SS Wren drifted out to sea with him on board. Or, perhaps it landed on the Isle of Blight. Oh oh.


If you wish to anchor your vessel and go ashore, be forewarned: Look up. If there is a fat crow wearing a tattered sea captain’s hat and preparing to land on your little ship, best to either post a guard or skip your dinner altogether. Remember that Captain Crow is a brilliant navigator and clever old bird, even wilier than a fox—after the fact. She just may be bored with her retirement and on the lookout for a new adventure.


D Snow, ©2017

Mixed media collage: The two 8 x 8 inch book boards are recycled covers from a sample art book never completed,

Mounted on black rag board as a diptych, matted in white, and then framed in a black wood frame under glass, it measures  19 x 26 1/2


There is a narrow black separation in the center of the two boards and the black frame is near invisable on the black website background but is slightly over an inch and a half wide and one and a quarter inch deep. The quick shot above showing the diptych separation was taken handheld with glass reflection. Sorry about that.



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Enter Text

Fish Ferry Fugue

The Story

The Fish Ferry Fugue

Two Ancient Book Covers


The Flying Fish Ferry was thrilled to have a beautiful flutist aboard on his long journey plying the Pleiades. He frequently visited the Seven Sisters, nibbling at star krill and catching up on heavenly gossip.


It turned out that the flutist was the Eighth Sister, never recognized and destined to ride the Fish Ferry for an eternity. ‘An’ eternity sounds like there will be a second one. Well, perhaps there might.


Anyhow, her name was Pleionia after her mother, the Oceanid Pleione. Her father, the Titan Atlas, was not her sweet baboo. He was a fierce dad and abandoned her to The Fates. To make a long myth short, it was The Fates who took pity on the little babe. They gave her the remarkable gift of music (of the spheres) which she played on her flute throughout the heavens and into the depths of the ocean.


It was Pleionia who gave the whales their resonant calls and the birds their musical trills. Sadly she had forgotten the crows.


Pleionia’s story was written in a single handmade book, which she carried with her at all times. Then during one thunderous storm, it fell into the ocean. Over centuries all the pages were turned to coral. All the text was lost and became tiny fish. But the two covers which illustrated Pleionia’s flights on the Flying Fish Ferry remained intact.


In 1958, two very old fisherwomen were out snagging what they could catch for their dinner when their net came up with not only two fat fish, but the two covers of a book, fore and aft. They knew a good catch when they found one and immediately sold the covers to an oceanic antique dealer named Salty Waters.


Salty had the covers float-mounted (of course) and framed and sold it for a small fortune. Since then the art and antiques market has flattened, and so dear reader, you might consider grabbing this stunning piece of old art for a song. Or if you play the flute, a tune.


The End.


Donna Snow © February 18th, 2017

Flying With Cranes, Swimming With Koi

Collage/mixed media - image 14 1/2 x 19 3/4

6 inch mat in wood frame - 28 x 33 1/2

Story in the works, so stay tuned

Flying With Cranes, Swimming With Koi

Enter Text

The Story

Flying With Cranes, Swimming With Koi


Mixed media collage

image- 14 1/2 x 19 3/4

with six inch mat in wood frame 28 x 33 1/2


Who hasn’t dreamt of flying like birds or swimming like sea creatures? It is not a coincidence that you are longing for such a rare experience and are reading about it just now.


Keep your eyes riveted to the six mythical souls in this painting who have actually flown with the cranes and swum with the koi, and will now come to take you — yes you my friend — on an adventure beyond any you can imagine.


Hang onto your hat because the adventure will happen this very night. Go to bed in your warmest clothing. Skip p.j.s. Wear a coat with heavy lining and a hat that ties under your chin. If you have them, wear aviator goggles and your warmest wool socks and boots.


You will, given proper GPS alignment, soar through the night clouds, up into the stars and away (missing all the electric wires). Or if you wish, down into the depths of the oceans to see a world of deep-sea creatures and fabulonomous, iridescent fish people.


Truly. And for the deep sea trip, decorative wetsuits and fins graciously provided. This is magic. You will not need to wear an air tank.


Donna Snow © 2/2017

Story to followTe

Gramma Navigator's Annual Meeting and Picnic

Mixed media collage

image- 9 1/4 x 11 1/2

Matted in black wood frame 16 1/2 x 18 3/4