Over a year ago, on Nov. 3rd, 2011, I posted this illustration from a stranger in Roanoke, Virginia, which I titled “The Amulet.” Then just earlier this week, I received the above illustration from XianJaguar which seems to display a similar theme and which shares an identical title. It’s funny how things sometimes come full circle.
But then again, it’s certainly not surprising that an artist would associate wolves with magical powers or mystical objects such as amulets. Often heard but rarely seen, the wolf is a creature that has long been mysterious to man. His ways are curious and obscure, and what we do know of the lives of wolves seems gritty and yet somehow romantic. And just as man seems to either aggrandize or vilify what he does not understand, he has done both with the figure of the wolf. The animal is one that is often held aloft as a demigod by those who seek connection with the regal beast while it is simultaneously reviled and maligned by those who see the creature as nothing more than a demonic and bloodthirsty savage.
Luckily, for worshipers and disparagers alike, the realm of art creates an equal playing field and common ground where both supporters and detractors can come together and appreciate the stunning rendering of a creature that is both wild and beautiful. Both camps can express appreciation for the talented hand of man that is able to capture the figure of such a noble savage. Love the wolf or hate it… no one can deny the magic of XianJaguar’s enchanting painting…
From Hannah in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Seeing as how Christmas is right around the corner, I couldn’t help offering up a special gift of 3 wonderful pictures courtesy of Hannah. It’s true that Hannah sent these pictures to me and now I’m passing them along to all of you, but please don’t consider this a “regift.” If anything, I hope these wonderful illustrations whisk you away to a world of wonder as we all celebrate the magic of the holiday season. Best wishes!
From Jan in The Netherlands
It’s easy to be in awe of many of the talented artists who contribute their drawings/paintings to this project, but since I, myself, have almost no artistic talent whatsoever, it may be easier for me to become enthralled than it is for an average viewer. However, I think that novice and expert alike can appreciate the multiple talents of the remarkable Jan from the Netherlands. About a year and a half ago, Jan sent me this picture, which I posted all the way back in May of 2011, the very same month that wolvesbystrangers.com was officially launched. Then just today he sent me the wonderful images above that depict a leather cuff which he made by hand for his nephew. Remarkable! To have a talent with a pen and brush as well as with leather works is something to truly admire. Maybe if I’m good next year I’ll get one of these for Christmas as well (hint, hint)!
While wolvesbystrangers.com doesn’t usually feature photography, I simply couldn’t deny the “cool factor” that emanated from this funky photograph from Nilesh. So much lupine pride in one picture… it’s almost too much to handle.
While we’re busy ushering in the holiday season, this pack of hip wolf enthusiasts busts on the scene like a warm coastal breeze. With a pair of classic athletic shorts and stylish lupine tank-top, you can’t go wrong, and these young pups help to prove that fact better than anyone. Sure it’s December, but why not bare those sexy guns and throw on a lupine tee of your own. Let your inner wolf howl and the spirit of the lobo will always keep you warm…
From David and Elaine in Cleveland, Tennessee
If you’ve contributed to the Wolves by Strangers project or written to me personally over the past couple of months, I’m sure you’ve realized that my correspondence has been less than consistent and that my feedback is in serious need of a tune-up. Also, my promotion of the project has generally suffered lately, and as a result the submissions have slowed. While this is disappointing, I know that it is all a result of a recent lack of discipline on my part. Other personal commitments have keep me tied up, and… well… there’s really no excuse, I guess.
Today I declare that I am turning over a new leaf. A wave of dedication has slowly been building over the past several weeks, and the result is a surge of devotion that will manifest itself in a renewed dedication to promoting this project and responding to contributors in a more timely manner. I’ll start by going back through my archives for the past couple of months and sending out a generous helping of WBS stickers to those who have been kind enough to send me their artwork. In truth, I had run out of stickers a month ago, but a fresh batch of 1,000 just arrived on my doorstep earlier this week. After this, I will personally respond to David and Elaine and then engage on a local flyer and sticker posting campaign. It’s time to take this project back to the streets. With all of this being said, I ask for your support and patience. If you have sent me artwork over the past couple of months and haven’t received any WBS stickers, let me know if you don’t receive some by the end of this week.
Coincidentally, I can’t sign off without mentioning that yesterday marked the 20 month anniversary of the rental of the WBS post office box and the 18 month anniversary of this website. I never thought we’d make it this far, but now that we have, I’m dedicated to riding this train until the wheels fall off. Remember… with your help, there’s no telling what we may accomplish.
Send your original wolf artwork to..
Wolves by Strangers
P.O. Box 17417
Chattanooga, TN 37415