August red moon is also blue

August moon
Small watercolor sketch of August moon rising over corn field

The moon that rises tonight is the the red moon, the green corn moon, and the full sturgeon moon. Yesterday I made some watercolor sketches to try to capture the images floating through my mind. Those are often the hardest images to catch.

watercolor sketch of moon
Small watercolor sketch of red moon that is also a blue moon

The moon tonight is also a blue moon, which always sounds awfully romantic. That’s a tough color combination: the unearthly green-blue of a summer moon and the glowing red of an August moon (especially if you live in an area hard hit by wildfire).

Watercolor sketch of moon
Red moon 

But my favorite sketch is of the simple red orb floating over our heads in the blue-black sky. I don’t know why the moon holds such fascination, exacts such devotion, and provides such comfort to earthly denizens. Gravity? Magic? Or simply familiarity with a beautiful companion to our blue earth?

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