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The crane wife by janey-jane The crane wife by janey-jane
I've been trying to develop a series of illustrations for this story for a couple of years now, and I've never been happy with my preliminary work. I've picked the project back up again - this is one of my test sketches, it isn't quite to where I want it, but it's a lot closer than anything else I've done so far.

I've always liked stories like the crane wife (cupid and psyche, and selkie stories are others in the same vein). When I bought the Decemberists album a couple years ago it reminded me how much I loved the story when I was a kid.
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:iconartandmore567:
ArtandMore567 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Student Writer
Gorgeous work - the tone is perfect!
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012
oh wow... what an amazing website! lovely!
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:icongreeninkling:
GreenInkling Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
It is stunning. I've linked it, with full credit, on a blog post here: [link] If you are uncomfortable with that, please let me know, and I'll remove it.
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:iconpurplehawaiian:
PurpleHawaiian Featured By Owner May 20, 2012
The use of blood is very interesting...both in the painting on the wall and shadowed on the floor around the woman. Hard to tell if it's just a trick of the light, or actual blood.
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:iconhockeygirl12:
hockeygirl12 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011
I love your art work:)
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:iconkathrynbriggs:
KathrynBriggs Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Featured! :heart: [link]
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011
:iconkermityayplz:
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:iconenteecee:
enteecee Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2011
Please make this available as a print. alternatively... would you part with the original?
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011
hmmm.... I'll have to see if I can find the original...
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:iconwai-jing:
Wai-Jing Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Beautiful! I love the scroll hanging on the wall, and the perspective - I feel like I'm peeking through a paper screen.

I was wondering, do you have a link or source for this story? I mentioned it in my uni thesis and I need a reference (sounds unlikely I know, but I chose my research topic well <3) but I can't seem to find a proper rendition of this story anywhere.
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011
hmm, I think its a lot like western folktales in that there isn't really an author, but there might be some compilations of folktales you could reference. The japanese name for the story is Tsuru no Ongaeshi, if that helps. Everything I've read just mentions it as a popular folktale with considerable variation in telling, so I imagine you might find it in books of Japanese folklore/fairytales...
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:iconwai-jing:
Wai-Jing Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks, I've found a few online translations - I just wasn't sure if there was a definitive 'official' version.

My uni supervisor ended up looking it up on my behalf, and he found me this really lovely illustrated version: [link]
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
oh that's beautiful!
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:iconaoi-wa:
aoi-wa Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2011
Idk why but it reminds me about japanese legend >.< About wife with beautiful long, black hair, whose husband went for a war(or sth like that). And when he came back, she smothered him with her hair ;) But I don't remember if she was just crazy, or maybe, ghost or something else...
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011
hmmm japanese folktale? probably both crazy and a ghost ;)
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:iconaoi-wa:
aoi-wa Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011
Yeah, that's what I think too ;P
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:iconroyt-yente:
Royt-Yente Featured By Owner May 15, 2011
Very lovely, especially the hair. The Crane Wife is one of my favorite folk tales, and I think this fits it spot on!
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:iconroyt-yente:
Royt-Yente Featured By Owner May 15, 2011
Very lovely, especially the hair. The Crane Wife is one of my favorite folk tales, and I think this picture illustrates it especially well.
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner May 17, 2011
its such a lovely little story...
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:iconpsyche-crane:
Psyche-Crane Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2010
oh my god! I really love this picture! I write fanfics about a woman who winds up marrying Jonathan Crane from batman and she calls herself Psyche. I just wanted to say that I got excited when I saw this because not only is it incredible but it looked like my OC from the back. I'm rambling but this is an amazing pic and its so Japanese which I love

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2010
haha, glad there are similarities that are exciting!!!
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner May 31, 2010  Student Writer
In celebration of your work, I've included a link to your page and to this piece in the artists comments of my most recent poem The Crane Wife. Just becase :w00t:
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:iconjamaicancrocodile:
jamaicancrocodile Featured By Owner May 25, 2010  Professional Writer
isn't that the story about the woman who can make silk or something and she told her husband not to look in on her making it because she turns into a crane?
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner May 26, 2010
it is :)
versions of the story vary a little, but the one I grew up with she actually used her own feathers to weave the cloth.
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:iconjamaicancrocodile:
jamaicancrocodile Featured By Owner May 26, 2010  Professional Writer
yeah, that's the one. just making sure i get the point
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:icondecodeplus:
decodePLUS Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2010
Wonderful.
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:iconelizelda:
Elizelda Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2010  Student General Artist
It's really beautiful! I like the shadowed gradiation from the top, and the way everything just 'flows' down - her hair, her dress and the feathers. The colours you use are also lovely - muted, naturalistic - it gives a calm and otherworldly feel.
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:iconakilaezasz:
akilaezasz Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2009  Hobbyist
Wow.
I want a print of this.
I love The Crane Wife
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:iconhira--akami:
Hira--Akami Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009
Ok, now I'm really interested, because I know the Psyche/Eros and Selkie stories very well... and I'm having a really hard time finding a commonality between them...
Maybe, if you do something wrong they'll go away forever? (Psyche lighting the lamp, If a selkie finds her skin)
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:iconmartinacecilia:
martinacecilia Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2009  Professional General Artist
I featured this here: [link]

:heart: Spread the watercolor love!
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
naw...thanks! *is spreading the love*
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:iconaeroplanedisaster:
AeroplaneDisaster Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2009
It's beautiful. The ubiquitousness of the appeal of this story is quite apparent here on dV where there are at least 150 different interpretations of this story.

Mine: [link]
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:iconkidugly:
KidUgly Featured By Owner May 5, 2009
I really like the subtle coloring. Beautiful!
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:iconmeanderingswamp:
MeanderingSwamp Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2009
I heard the story and then heard the song (love the Decemberists) and your picture brought both to my mind :) Lovely.
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2009
Thank you so much! I'm glad it evoked both!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I love her rivers of black hair- it reminds me so much of the woodblock illustrations for the Tale of Genji. It's a really nice little watercolor.
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2009
I'm so obsessed with traditional japanese art right now...and it really shows I think.

I'm really trying to get the hair right, and it's close, but not quite how I saw it in my head.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, practice makes perfect as they say! ;P
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:iconlovely-o:
Lovely-O Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2009   Writer
elegant:) especially her hair. all the regal-ness (lame word i know) of japanese culture is brought out in your art, here
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009
I love lameness. I think the world would be a better place if people weren't so afraid of seeming lame. Rock on.

Thanks. :D
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:iconchazkemp:
ChazKemp Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I really love the mood of this piece & the coloring you've used here really makes this jump off the screen at us. Well done. :)
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009
I feel like my ability with color has really been maturing over the past couple of years. I still find color quite difficult to work with a lot of the time. But its getting better...
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:iconchazkemp:
ChazKemp Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I feel the same way... Because I'm having such a tough time when coloring my own pieces (Some look great - others... not so much lol) I can really appreciate that statement. That's why when I saw the Crane Wife piece I HAD to let you know what a great job you did. So did you do anything specific that helped you to improve?
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2009
I went through a 5 year art rut called college. My new job is about the most uncreative thing I could be doing right now (it's like accounting on steroids) and I think a result of that rigidity is that I have this new desire to have a creative outlet. I don't know if the color thing is a result of just time passing, or because with this new artistic kick I've been really pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I think I was very literal with color before, I'm not sure if that makes any sense. I've realized that less is more, and that I shouldn't try to force it.
Lol...I don't know if any of this means anything at all...
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:iconchazkemp:
ChazKemp Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I completely understand where your coming from. I was working as a graphic designer in the corporate world for about 10 years & my last job was crushing my creativity. Now that I'm freelance I have the chance to push myself more & more.

I also get the "less is more" statement. I think I'm gonna keep that in mind when I color. I've been struggling with dissatisfaction lately, but now I'm beginning to think that you're approach could be a good one for me.

So ya - I get it. :) I can't wait to see more of your work whenever you get the chance to post it. :)
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2009
I can't wait till I have time to do some more art. I'm hoping that I don't have to work too much this weekend and I can get some time in to work on some projects. Im just so tired most of the time, during the week I work 14-16 hour days, and the case I'm on has me working weekends too, so when I do have a moment I ususally want to sleep.

I've been REALLY wanting to draw though...
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:iconchazkemp:
ChazKemp Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Well & we really want you to draw so it's a win-win for everyone all around. lol

So if it's not getting too personal, what do you do for a living that has you working such long, torturous hours? (I know you've said that it's hyper-accounting of some sort)
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2009
I'm a consultant, and with the economy like it is it means that clients are struggling and that means really long, stressful hours for us (trying to keep people from going out of business and ultimately a LOT of people losing their jobs).
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(1 Reply)
:iconsharky-chan:
Sharky-chan Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2009
Your art really suits the mood and style of the story. I'd be interested in seeing more of it! Also, *heart* the Decemberists X3X3X3.
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Submitted on
February 28, 2009
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