Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pysanky, Annie

Egg, Wax, Dye


about the piece.
Pysanky is the Eastern European art of egg decorating. Ukranian pysanky is the most famous. The name comes from the verb to write, as you use a stylus (called a kistka) to write with wax on the egg shell. The process is similar to batik.*

Annie describes her piece, "This pysanky, my own design, is a representation of the contrast between how most people see pregnancy and birth (full of joy and vibrance, something beautiful) and how I now see it after suffering multiple losses and infertility. Pysanky are full of symbolism - there's the symbolism of the egg itself, symbolism in the design, and also symbolism in the colors.

"The egg represents birth, new life and fertility.

"The  design:
  • Calendula (orange) - grief, despair, sorrow
  • Nightshade (purple) - deception, danger, death
  • Weeping willow (green) - mourning
  • Forget-me-not (blue) - remembrance

"The dominant colors:
  • Orange - endurance, strength, ambition
  • Green - hopefulness
  • Black - darkest time before dawn, death, fear
  • White - the color of birth, light, and rejoicing is notably absent"

about the artist.
Annie blogs at Cradles and Graves. "Cradles because I have two living children, ages 6 and 4. Graves because I lost two sons, Jeremiah and Miles, at 21 and 18 weeks respectively, both due to cord problems," as Annie describes it. "After these losses, I was diagnosed with endometriosis and secondary infertility, had another loss at 5 weeks, and am currently desperately trying for a rainbow baby."

* Description from the website Learn Pysanky, written by Ann Morash.


  1. amazing! i love this type of egg art anyway and to see the meaning behind this one for! it is beautiful!

  2. This is so beautiful. The detail is so exquisite and the symbolism very strong. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a stunning egg with a wealth of meaning. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  4. Lovely and the details are amazing! Very, very beautiful.

  5. Being Ukrainian, and a baby lost mama, this beautiful egg means even more to me. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  6. Absolutely stunning. Thank you so sharing the meaning of the colours and the design. x

  7. I somehow missed this post when it first came out...I love knowing that the colors have such strong meaning behind them. That adds so much to the beauty of your work. Thank you for sharing with us.

  8. This is incredible. I LOVE it. Very inspiring.

  9. I've always been intrigued by pysanky, the beauty and the symbolism. Thank you for sharing the meaning behind color and design in yours. I've tried my hand at this; it isn't easy. Yours is lovely.


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