I finished 2 painting last week! Wolfsbane and Wolf’s Paw are available in my shop. They are gouache and gold paint on Canson 185 lb. Acrylic paper. They are each 8″x10″.
I’ve written before about how much I love werewolves. I’m also terrified of them. There’s nothing as frightening to me as losing control- although the intense phsical pain of most werewolf transformations comes in at a very close second.
I’m also fascinated by hair and what it means to us. World wide and throughout history hair signifies 2 things- masculinity and animalism. The first of these reasons is why women have usually waxed, plucked, and otherwise depilated themselves- to create (or to be expected to embody) a hyperfeminity. The 2nd reason is why both sexes have frequently shaved. The middle ages was obsessed with spirituality and a separation from the animal kingdom in order to think higher, more godly thoughts. There is a 3rd reason people have historically gotten rid of their hair- the heat (hello Ancient Egypt!).
I am not a hairy person. I have sparse eyebrows and short eyelashes which has no doubt fueled my obsession. I wanted to do a couple of paintings that explored some of my favorite themes: transformation, animal nature, and secrets.
Each painting shows a woman in an ambiguous state. Sitting placidly in their virginal white dresses and Mona Lisa smiles, we are unsure if they are about to transform or have already danced under the moon. Both wear gold embroidered dresses because silver is deadly to werewolves, and both have long rippling hair like ocean waves or fire.
Wolfsbane has a repeating motif of full and crescent moons- her eyebrows, her lace dress, her full face, and her pearl ring.
Wolf’s Paw has sharp edges- her diamond print dress, the diamond stars in her hair and her triangular palm sign. Yellow can mean sunlight, but it can also mean sickness and madness. For her palm symbol, in folktales werewolves often have hair on their palms, but the connection to masturbation would narrow and limit the interpretation of the painting. Similarly, the original symbol I chose was the “wolf’s mark,” but I recalled that the Nazis appropriated it for (big surprise) their werewolf soldiers. Long story, anyway I did a quick internet search and unfortunately the thing is still used by white power groups. Obviously I had to choose something else. I settled on an alchemical symbol for Silver, which I feel leaves the meaning of the painting fairly open.
With these two paintings I feel Winter has come to a close. I’ve already started on my Spring inspired work.