Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Year of the Goat"

4" x 4" linoleum cut stamp, printing with black oil-based ink on Stonehenge paper and hand-colored with watercolors.

Lo! the baby opens its mouth
Even when 'tis shown a flower. 

-Kubota Seifu-Jo

I made this stamp for a friend who is having a baby soon! The family of this child possess a great love for the natural world, appreciation for artistic expression, and identify profoundly with certain totems. Coming up with a suitable image was daunting at first as it seemed like such a tall order. But then this simple image of a stalwart goat guarding an egg - a symbol of both fragility and fertility - came to mind. A winter rowan tree expands behind the goat to honor the new child's mother. Green grass and the rising sun signal that winter will soon give way to spring and a new generation.

1 comment:

  1. The capture of symmetry and yet off center weight calls to mind the amazing and stunning power of the mountain goat, with its ability to seemingly rest anywhere. The goat's backward gaze appears more alert and scanning, deeply meditative and watchful in the same moment. The Rowan branches seem to move and vibrant, protective and a barometer of the changing atmosphere. My son will be born (likely) in the Year of the 'wooden' Goat and perhaps even under the ram'ish Mars solar cycle...mythologies aside the symbolism is rich even while Chinese mother's are trying to rush their pregnancies as the goat is viewed as inauspicious - believing that the child will be too 'soft' in nature, too compliant and meek, to sensitive. I hope my son will have the simple balance of his parents and the gift of a life full of passionate and expressive people, where he can find a way to cherish the life he has and the world he is lucky enough to belong to. Thank you Martha for your intuitive and strengthening gift. Its wonderful!