Wren Day

gouache & watercolor on paper

(I couldn’t decide which colors I liked best — the blue is a photoshopped alternate version, and the gold is closer to the original painting.)

My piece for the Animystics show at Light Grey Art Lab, opening this Friday! The show is all about the spiritual and mystical ideas associated with different animals, and I chose to illustrate the Wren because of its place in druid lore and celtic mythology.

In one tale, the wren won the title of King of Birds when he hid unnoticed under the feathers of an eagle in a race, and flew ahead at the last second. Ancient druid rituals involved sacrificing a wren at midwinter, and the tradition was carried on into Christian times, with “wrenboys” catching a wren on St Stephen’s Day, tying it to a decorated pole, and marching from door to door in the village wearing costumes made of straw, asking for donations.

My piece was inspired by the St Stephen’s Day (or Wren Day) tradition, which I first learned about from a lovely little song called Wren in the Furze, which you can (and definitely should) listen to here.

Notes

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    I would like a tattoo of a wren.
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