AnimalScapes art show opens tomorrow!

Greenwood Side (Created for “Animalscapes of the Sierra Nevada Foothills”
30″ x 24″ watercolor on Aquabord
© 2016 Margaret Sloan

I was fortunate to be selected, along with 54 other (excellent) artists and writers, to create a painting for a show called “AnimalScapes of the Sierra Nevada Foothills.” This show was a huge undertaking for the arts councils of our tri-county area, and it was with the generosity of many donors that it happened at all. As one of the artists, I’m very grateful.

Tomorrow (Saturday, January 16) is the first opening for the art show at Ironstone Winery in Murphys, California. The paintings, sculptures, and writings will be at Ironstone until February 15, then will move to Hotel Sutter in Sutter Creek (Feb. 17 – March 13), then will move once again to Black Oak Casino Hotel in Sonora (March 15 – April 3). If you are near, I hope you’ll attend, drink some wine and view (and maybe buy) some art. I think it will be worth it.

A couple of the organizers voiced their hopes that this large group show might help our area heal in some small way from last summer’s nightmare Butte Fire. I hope that it might, if art can help in that way.

Here’s the official press release: ““AnimalScapes of the Sierra Nevada Foothills” is a Tri-County Project of the Calaveras County Arts Council (CCAC), Tuolumne County Arts Alliance (TCAA), Amador County Arts Council (ACAC) and its 2 other major partners: Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife. This project is partially funded by the California Arts Council (CAC) through a “Creative California Communities Grant” and the National Endowment for the Arts. The $23,200 CAC Grant is a “matching grant” dollar for dollar. There are also opportunities once more than half of the match has been made for in-kind donations.”

The supermoon brings the deer to the roses

White deer in roses
Hart in the roses

Watercolor on paper
© Margaret Sloan 2013

July’s supermoon kept me awake for the third time this year, and my wakeful night inspired this watercolor sketch for a painting of a hart in the roses. In North America, the full moon of July is known as the full buck moon, when deer have antlers (some say the antlers are still in velvet. Any readers out there know for sure?)

I’ve been a gardener for many years, and I don’t find deer as thrilling as an un-gardened person. But a hart  in the roses, edged silver by the supermoon is a magical image. The hart (especially the white hart) is a mystical being in many cultures. A white stag led Arthur and his knights on hopeful quests, brought Hungarians to their homeland, gave Frenchmen pain from unrequited love, and made  Native American brides beautiful on their wedding day. The white hart even became the Christ in some Christian countries. And it was the white stag the children hunted in the first Narnia Chronicle that led them back through the wardrobe into their own non-magical world.

I live in an urban area, where deer are few and far between. So if I saw one in the garden, I think I would have to follow it. Until that time, all I can do is follow it with my brush and paint. It will have to be enough.


For more about the hart in mythology, you might try these sites:

Terri Windling’s Wonderful Blog, Myth and Moor
Protect the White Deer
The Sacred Hart Moot
The White Deer