Sep 24 2011

#147 “From out of the mouths of wolves”

From Victoria

The most immediately striking feature of this illustration is Victoria’s talented use of line and shading. The marks which comprise this lupine masterpiece are delicate yet sharp. They wisp fluidly across the pages in a smoky wonder of movement that combines chaotically and yet beautifully with the image of these two majestic creatures. There is an “old world” feel here that makes one sense that this picture might have once been housed in a comfy professorial study or possibly tucked away into a cozy corner of a magical hobbit hole.

But after these initial observations, one will notice the actual scene which Victoria so artfully depicts. Oddly enough, it appears that one wolf is holding the head of another within its mouth. At first one might infer that this is an act of viciousness, that a deranged wolf has cannibalistically turned on one of its own kind. Deeper investigation, however, reveals not savagery but sentimentality. The dominant lobo in the illustration appears not to be attacking its counterpart, but conversely he is almost cradling the other within his open maw. And then, moving to examine the submissive omega wolf, one will surely see that this creature is not in pain but actually seems comforted. It’s eyes are closed peacefully; its head is cocked in a manner that presents it willingly towards the alpha. The body language suggests a comfortable state of repose and relaxation.

But what can be learned from all of this? What can be gained? Ultimately, I think the message that things are not always what they appear rings loud and clear in this illustration and that long-held notions are always worth reconsideration. So many of us imagine the mouth of a wolf to be only a fount of pain and suffering, a device meant only do dole out death and destruction. Its purpose is to maim, to kill, to shred and tear flesh. But this picture suggests otherwise. Why do we always see the worst in things? Why do we so often strive to paint our world with brushes of black and white only?

The mouth of the wolf is not just a tool of destruction. It is a representation of all that is wild and untamable. It is a unifying instrument for the lonesome, capable of producing a cry of solidarity for the voiceless. It is a restful place of peace where the weary might find rest. And… if you take a look at the picture below, it can also be a source of humor.

Question: How will you use your mouth today?


Jul 31 2011

#92 “The Doctor is in”

From Dr. Clyde Grouser, Jr.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The doctor is in…

Even though my lupine knowledge realistically approaches only a level of green-horned apprenticeship at best, I have always prided myself on being a “wolf expert” of sorts. This probably comes as no surprise, seeing as how the wonderful world of lupine wonder is one that I spent a good deal of time wandering through. Yes, I have explored a variety of dark dens and mountain canyons of wolf wisdom and have collected trophies of lobos knowledge and keepsakes as I went, snatching up these beauteous jewels of knowledge and wisdom like so many piles of wolf droppings serendipitously found on the forest floor. As time passed and I delved deeper into lupine lore and wolfly scholarship, my pride somehow surpassed my knowledge, and I became puffed up and arrogant without reason. I say this with a fair amount of embarrassment, but this is a vice that I have struggled with fairly recently. Yet this is also why I am so pleased to offer you the amazing artwork and commentary which is on display today. For the illustration that makes up today’s post and the commentary that accompanies are provided courtesy of a man who has truly put me in my place. He is the leader of the pack, the alpha-male, and I must submit to his dominance. The man behind the artwork calls himself Dr. Clyde Grouser Jr., and I can truly say that the force of the lupine is strong with this one. Examine his picture above and his commentary below and see if you do not agree.

Greetings,

Canadian wolves are of a special breed. They are much stronger, faster, handsomer, and-dare I say!-awesomer than american wolves.

There are a few key differences between American and Canadian wolves. Canadian wolves, for instance, have powerful razor sharp claws made from adamantium due to a series of experiments in the 1920s. Also, Canadian wolves are much like hydras. If you cut off a Canadian wolf’s head, three more grow in its place (in this way, Canadian wolves are also better than hydras). Canadian wolves are also capable of breathing fire, and some accounts state that some can also fly (I have yet to personally witness this myself.) Most Canadian wolves grow to be ten feet tall at the shoulder.

Some people ask how it is we live day to day in the shadow of such fearsome beasts. The answer is actually rather surprising in its simplicity. Most Canadian wolves do not have opposable thumbs, and thus we have decided to serve them as slaves. In return, most Canadian wolves maintain strict vegetarian diets.

Yours Truly,
Dr. Clyde Grouser Jr.


Jul 21 2011

#82 “The Night is Young”

As a child of the 1980s, a strong sense of nostalgia pulls me towards almost anything that represents that decade. Fashion, music, television, celebrities, it doesn’t matter. If it’s from the 80s, it holds a special place in my heart. I believe that is why I love this particular illustration so much. There is simply something about this picture that takes me back to those Saturday mornings spent watching A.C. Slater call Zach Morris a “preppy” which would then transform into afternoons practicing hopelessly on my neon yellow skateboard and then morph further into nights of listening to REM on my Walkman.

The skateboard, shades and t-shirt slogan are the elements that speak most clearly to me, and while they may not necessarily be designed to intentionally suggest an 80s vibe, I feel that the spirit of these items undeniably reference that decade of pure excess in an understated (if not overt) manner.

Also, though, when I look at this wonderful illustration, I am reminded of a very modern video that I ran across just recently. The name of this viral vid is called “Carving the Mountains,” and it features a group of very talented young ladies called the Longboard Girls Crew. I know very little about this group of hardcore skater chicks except for the fact that they have completely mesmerized me with their breathtaking performance in the beautiful Madrid Mountains.

As you can see, the connection between the illustration and the video is somewhat obvious. The wolf appears to be riding a longboard, just like the “foxy” girls in the video; and based on the fact that the wolf is wearing high heals, we can only assume that she is female. Besides this, the fashion sense of the wolf and the ladies seems somewhat congruent, and clearly no one can argue that both are just about as “boss” and “radical” as they come.

The night may be young, but alas, I am not as young as I used to be. I guess my vicarious life begins now. Skate on, wolf. Skate on, ladies. Skate for me while you still can. Skate for me so I can remember…