The goddess and her cat

Note: For the first time ever, I’m offering paintings for sale online. These paintings, to be specific. You can find them on Etsy.

This series of paintings popped into my head one night as I sketched in pre-sleep drowsiness, having just finished Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

The liturgy at the congregation where we celebrate the High Holy days does not give G*d a gender, or rather, the gender is floating, sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes nothing. So I have chosen to portray the earth’s protector as a feminine entity, a Goddess, if you will, in comfy clothes (she’s a goddess; she can wear sweat pants if she wants!), with a cat (you can make the cat a symbol of something if you want. But really, it’s just a cat. And isn’t being a cat enough?)

Earth Mother Protects

 Earth Mother #1: Protecting
7″x 5″
© Margaret Sloan 2013
Watercolor on paper
Earth Mother Sleeps Earth Mother #2: Dreaming
7″x 5″
© Margaret Sloan 2013
Watercolor on paper

Earth Mother Plays

Earth Mother #3: Playing
5″ x 6.5
© Margaret Sloan 2013
Watercolor on paper

My Etsy shop, in case you don’t like to click is: etsy.com/shop/MargaretSloanArt

 

Night terrors and books

I was a fairly brave child during daylight hours, but the sleeping little-girl me often ran through dream woods chased by half-seen threats and shadowy monsters.   (No, I was not an abused child, but I did have a propensity for watching The Twilight Zone and reading scary books.)

Girl running from monsters in the Woods

One night, while running from dream monsters, I chanced upon a boat floating in a dream river. I jumped into the boat and cast off from shore.  The boat floated across the river, leaving behind the snarling night creatures (who evidently didn’t swim).

Escaping by boat

The little boat landed on the shore of an island. I followed a muddy path and found a house with its windows glowing and door ajar. In that weird way of dreams, I knew I was welcome. I crept in and found a house full of books.

Lighted house beckons in the dark

In the heart of the house was a comfy armchair in front of a fireplace made up with a perfect fire. A floor lamp cast a pool of light over the chair. And I knew I was home, and a happy home at that. I was in a place where no monsters could get me as I curled up in the chair and opened the nearest book.

Girl reading by fireplace

After that dream, I learned to control my own night journeys, often making them into movies by directing them. It’s amusing to see the frustration of a slobbering slagrothlockeling (made up dream monster name) when you make him do the 12th take because he wasn’t believable enough. I got some good performances out of my dream beasts; however, I almost always was victorious in our dream battles.

I still love books, and my dream house has become my real-life house (okay, not so nice as in my drawing). I still feel safest surrounded by stacks of  books, comforted by the smell of paper and ink, the whisperings of the printed word. And this is why it’s been so hard to weed my “library” for our upcoming move. But I’m doing it.

If you’ve got time (about 25 minutes) you can watch an episode (about a book worm!) of The Twilight Zone here, but I’m warning you, most frightening of all, there are commercials (and they’re not well placed either).

Late at night we dream of mice

Symbols in the wee small hours
Dreaming of mice
© 2009 Margaret Sloan
Graphite

I watched a lot of b-grade horror flicks when I was a kid. My dad loved Creature Features, and he and I would stay up late together watching the old movies. We didn’t agree on much else in those days, but we both loved Dracula.

The thing the mouse is pulling is a symbol. It appeared in a dream that woke me very early one morning. I’m well acquainted with the small hours of the morning; I’ve never slept soundly, and I wake often. Not because I want to, but because anxiety drives me from the mattress  to the drawing table. It’s a perfect setting for a monster movie scene.

I imagine this frantic mouse is bringing light to a corner of an old stone kitchen. Christopher Lee has just commanded, “Light, quickly! She’s fainted.” The beautiful ingenue is slumped gracefully into a carved wooden chair. The mouse sits up,  chittering in worry while dreadful shadows leap across the kitchen walls. They assume shapes we can only just recognize. She wakes, screams, then faints again. A window bangs open. The candle is extinguished by a damp wind.

Cut to a commercial.