A beautiful ghost and a rather silly swan.

Over on WetCanvas in the Fantasy/SciFi forum, there was a challenge for the month of January. The theme of the challenge was to create something, in any medium, that had to do with a song.

Mine is from a Canadian singer, Loreena McKennit. She wrote and sang a song called “The Bonny Swans”. Loreena McKennit has such a beautiful voice!

The video is a bit long but the gist of it is that a girl is drowned in the river by her jealous sister. Her sister wants to marry the girl’s love. The body is swept around where the swans swim and eventually is laid out by a miller who thinks it’s a swan. A harpist comes sees the body and makes a harp of it. He is invited to the sister’s wedding to the girl’s love. At the wedding the harp sings the story and tells everyone what the sister did to her.

I’ve been looking at tapestries and have been on a medieval binge so I did this, in a naive medieval style in material ~ embroidery floss and linen. I did a quick sketch on paper and then pretty much free styled this as I went along.

It shows the sister in her wedding dress as the ghost comes out of the harp to tell of her murder and a swan is attacking the sister as well.

The swan cracked me up, it’s a silly thing.

Please ignore the fuzz by the swan, I didn’t realize it was there till after I took the photo. (and can I say how much I loathe how long it takes and the manner in which Windows 10 downloads photos)

This is on a 12 inch hoop.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018


The Pumpkin Dragon

Through triangle eyes

He glared at the night

He stared at the night

He dared the night


To try and break through

His stalwart candlelight

He had read

Of a serpent

On a medieval page

Who loathed all pumpkins

And in a serpentine rage

Would crush the life

From innocent gourds

Leaving pieces scattered about

For the rampaging hordes

latin dragon medieval

He heard the leaves rustle


And break

Oh no! It was that

Evil and Ancient old snake!


It wrapped round his midriff

And he started to shake

He found it surprisingly fuzzy

For a centuries old snake

And in that moment

As it started to lean

He realized it was only Dummy

Dressed up for Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe’en

From Sammy

And Zeus

Medieval Pumpkin Dragon ~ Ink and metallic watercolor, 11×9 inches

My rather shabby Latin reads “Beware the Pumpkin Dragon ~ It will eat your Eyes ~ Your Heart ~ And steal your breath ~ Beware!

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2017


Bird Watching

Once upon a time

There was a little bird

And it was whistling a tune

I had never heard.

It started me looking

Straining to see

What was making that sound?

Up in the old oak tree

Was it a cardinal, a bluejay, a wren, a dove?

Was it a blue heron with it’s head, held high above.

Could it be an owl

That majestic wise bird

Or was it a sparrow

Chirping that chirp that I heard

A parrot, an eagle

I surely don’t know

Except that I’m certain that it wasn’t a crow

It was driving me crazy! It had to be found!

Oh what could be making that beautiful sound?

Was it a grebe, a loon, a silly old duck?

I really wasn’t having much luck

Then I caught a glimpse

Of a back, black and white

And a crimson chest

What a stunning sight!

It was that wonderful bird

So lovely and unique.

The charmingly operatic

Rose-breasted Grosbeak.


©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2017















Merry Christmas!

I wish you all the very Merriest of Christmases and a Happy New Year!

The following were done for a trade on WetCanvas.com.

I normally do many many cards at Christmas but am having some hand issues. If you didn’t get a hand drawn one this year, my apologies!

Ink, 4×6 inches.

Virginia Taylor Spencer Art christmas-pen-reindeer-art christmas-pen-reindeer-store christmas-reindeer-pen-dance christmas-reindeer-pen-ink


©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2016


The Mantis

The zinnias are still lovely at this time of year.


The praying mantis, she finds them quite dear


Such big yellow eyes!


So many butterflies..


They’d better scurry.


For the frost is near.



©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2016

All rights reserved.





The Cage, the Clown and the Curse

Hanging in an iron cage

Above the weathered path

Was a smirking scowling

Absurdly demented

 Grinning psychopath

scary clown costume halloween.

Come here he said

With a sharp toothed smile

And let me tell you a tale

Of horror and gore

And murder and more

And such that will make you pale


Oh you macabre mime

With your twisted old rhyme

You do not scare me at all

Stuck there in your cage

With your lonely dark rage

You’ll be dead by the end of the fall


But he mocked me with glee

For on All Hallows Eve

When the shadows rode low on the ground

That evil old clown

One magic trick he had found

To free him precipitously


He cast on me

A vermilion curse

As he cackled over the boos of the hoard

To my utter dismay

I was now in his cage

And I had transformed into a gourd!


The last that I saw him

That gruesome old fool

He was dancing in the dying leaves

Cackling, spiteful

Insanely delightful


Happy Halloween!

scary clown costume Halloween.


©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2016

All rights reserved.


Happy September!

autumn palm mannequin drawing.


©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2016