Mar 20 2012

#325 Music Month (20)

From Deborah

Today’s Song/Video: “Run With the Wolf” by Rainbow

Nov 8 2011

#192 “Battle Ready”

From a stranger in Bend, Oregon.

She-Ra meets The NeverEnding Story and Link meets The Lord of the Rings in the unique fantasy ride of epic, wolfy proportions. If this work is an intentional reference to any particular story or fantasy saga, I am at a loss to identify it, but in some ways I believe the mystery makes this piece all the more appealing. With the backstory left unknown, the viewer is free to fantasize about this magical realm in which sword-wielding, battle ready Amazonian princesses gallop atop pink, vambrace-wearing wolves in a quest for righteousness. The confident gaze of the sovereign warrior and optimistic demeanor of her lupine steed indicate that this pair is surely fighting for the cause of all that is good and just and that they will ultimately succeed. And in the end, perhaps there is a great lesson to be taken from this. Perhaps all of this suggests that if we are assured in our own abilities and resources and have a stable confidence, then we have no need to fear no matter who or what our enemy might be. But then again, this is all speculation. It may be the case that just the opposite is true- that the message is simply an encouragement to indulge our imaginations in a short vacation of pure and utter fantasy without having to search for meaning. Regardless of which of these options is the case, however, this picture is still inspiring and causes the mind to churn with tantalizing possibilities.

But no commentary on this illustration would be complete without pointing out the immense skill that was called upon during the work’s creation. The lines of brush, pen and pastel are frenzied and hectic and give off vibrations that buzz with energy while the unique color palette causes the eyes to exercise their full potential and the mind to reel with wonder at the groundbreaking combination of hues. It’s truly a sight to be hold, and beyond all doubt, the artistry at work here is just as amazing as the unique subject matter.

Congratulations, stranger. You’ve pushed the limits of our expectations, and we have all been rewarded by your efforts. This is one battle with a clear and rightful victor.

Aug 7 2011

#99 “Sassy!”

from Paige in Vancouver, British Columbia

As you might imagine, the number of illustrations in my collection which depict wolves dressed as sheep are not just a few. They decorate my collection like veritable spots on a leopard, sprinkled throughout the pages of my catalogued notebooks like so many clouds in a beautifully dark skyscape. Some of these drawings display great artistry while others are quick sketches. A few depict highly original concepts and new takes on this time-honored idea while others stick strictly to the original notion of camouflage and deception.

Today’s picture, courtesy of Paige, is particularly appealing to me because it seems to combine both the traditional and the contemporary. In a sense, the picture is pretty conventional. It depicts a wolf draped classically in the pelt of a sheep. The “clothing” is ill-fitting, but that is what we would have expected; so in a traditional sense, this illustration meets all of our immediate expectations of a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. There is, however, something a bit different about this piece as well. As Paige noted in the corner of the illustration, this wolf certainly does appear to possess a fair amount of sass. Notice the head cocked high and the eyes that are shut in smug self-assurance. Even the wolf’s whiskers are raised to suggest its cheekiness and smug demeanor. The illustration captures in one still moment on the paper, but I can easily imagine this wolf prancing around, just as pleased with himself as she can be. There she goes, trotting around the wilderness like a lupine model on a forested runway, spurring the other female wolves to cock their heads as well and howl out, “You go, girl!”

Switching gears, I thought that since today’s post featured a wolf in sheep’s clothing that I would include a music video in the same vein. The mood of the video varies greatly from that of the illustration, but I thought if nothing else, the juxtaposition would be interesting. The video is for the song “Someone’s in the Wolf” by Queens of the Stone Age, and the concept can be somewhat difficult to grasp on your first viewing, so I will try to explain it as best as I can. From what I can tell, the video features a group of wolves who have abducted a young girl after apparently killing her parents and have raised the girl to adulthood. At this point, the beautiful, fully grown woman leaves the pack, and the wolves disguise themselves as sheep to go in search of her. The initial concept is sinister enough, but the video itself is truly creepy. Turn out the lights and enjoy.