Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rabbits I have known

"Carrot Cottage" 8 x 10 acrylic on canvas board.

I realized recently when my friend who maintains the blog Painted Lady Fingers got a little pet bunny, that I haven't painted rabbits in a long time.  I used to do quite a few paintings with rabbits in them though they were usually focused around spring time, as I posted earlier this year at Easter time.

Most of us have a lot of bunnies in life early on if we ever came across Peter Rabbit, Brer Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, the Velveteen Rabbit, uh...the Trix goes on and on!  But they also have been wonderful silent mysterious moon creatures to me, inspiring things like Kenneth Anger's Rabbit Moon:

Or haunted the book that delighted my childhood with the promise of gold and jeweled riches, "Masquerade" by Kit Williams (I still have positively no idea how anyone ever solved that puzzle). (...and here is a nice blog post about rabbits, below, I found in my search for an image for that book).

Or, perhaps most significantly, in "Watership Down" by Richard Adams, the unforgettable novel that introduced us to Fiver, Hazel and the other rabbits who spoke their own language (yes, I memorized snippets of it in sixth grade) and had epic struggles and battles in the English countryside. 

This book was so emotional for me around the age of 10-14 that although I read it at least three times then, I haven't been able to go back and read it again because I know I'd cry too much.  The same thing happened with the Duncton Woods books about moles.  I drew pictures of each of the rabbits for a little project in school around sixth grade, but of course they all pretty much looked the same...still, I think that is where my basic idea of how to draw a rabbit came about.

So in realized that I have been gravely short on rabbits in my art lately, I'm going to start trying to incorporate more of them, as evidenced by my little Halloween rabbit painting up above, "Carrot Cottage."  Some will be naturalistic like thee little bunny you see above and some will be anthropomorphic and cartoonish but I will try to include them more often than Easter time as I remember how important they have been to me throughout my life.

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