MARCH IS MARCHING on and mad March hares abound. I promised to bring you clocks and so here is The Hare Mycomusicologist Clock. It is for Andrea, who asked for hares and mushrooms and music and the Bronze Age burial chamber of Pentre Ifan in Pembrokeshire.
This March hare (for I am sure he is one even though I painted him in January) sits atop a mushroom and violins his moon-thoughts to the Welsh mountains beyond. I suppose this clock has a faint Wonderland-whiff to it, what with March hares and sitting on mushrooms and all, though that was not planned.
Things are seen from an insect-eye-view as I needed the mushroom to be more or less round for the clock face. The clock is a slice of apple wood this time, with a little protrusion where the apple tree had begun to think about a branch. Into this convenient niche I poked the ears of this shy red-waistcoated fellow.
Do click on the photos to enlarge them (though if you do you'll discover a disgraceful scattering of dust motes on the paint surface!). Hares conjure many varied folk superstitions and beliefs worldwide. There is a hare in the moon of course and I was particularly intrigued by the legend that tells of the moon in anger heating a stone and burning the hare's mouth, causing, like Shakespeare's Flibbertigibbet, a hare-lip.
"This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins
at curfew, and walks till the first cock; he gives
the web and the pin, squints the eye, and makes the
hare-lip; mildews the white wheat, and hurts the
poor creature of earth."
King Lear | Act III, scene IV
My friend Terri Windling (whose wonderful paintings are twitching with rabbit ears) wrote fascinatingly on hare and rabbit folklore too, and she quotes at the end of her essay a children's poem by Walter de la Mare, which, to add to the hare-witchery, I pass on here:
In the black furror of a field
I saw an old witch-hare this night;
And she cocked a lissome ear,
And she eyed the moon so bright,
And she nibbled of the green;
And I whispered "Whsst! witch-hare,"
Away like a ghostie o’er the field
She fled, and left the moonlight there.
POST SCRIPT : Thank you dear folks for the warm welcome back to blogland! I have since listed the original of Väinämöinen Sings a Ship for sale (EDIT: SOLD!) in my etsy shop and little prints of both Väinämöinen and A Girl Mad As Birds too.
POST POST SCRIPT for the extremely observant : One of my painted characters has a hare lip in Leg Wheel And Jew Harp.
POST POST POST SCRIPT: It seems that the hare witchery truly is abounding this March - my artist friend Danielle Barlow has also been painting lunar witch-hare tales!