The Raven and the Whale
Acrylic on Canvas, 30 x 40 in.
There are several Inuit stories of Big Raven, (both a diety, a human and a bird). In the most well-known tale, he goes into the belly of a whale, and discovers the suffering and the soul of all things. This painting is of a lesser known Big Raven tale as he tries to alleviate the plight of a beached whale, which he cannot possibly carry. He asks for help from Great Spirit, and after eating some mushrooms by moonlight in the forest as directed, he garners the strength to carry the whale back to the ocean.
The Last White Cow in Wales
Acrylic on Canvas, 48 x 60 in.
At one point, it seems, there was need for an explanation of the lack of white cows in Wales. The story goes that a farmer was gifted a beautiful white cow by the Lady of the Lake and this cow produced many calves. The farmer decides, after many years, to slaughter this mother cow, and gathers the townspeople to watch. As he lowers the axe to her skull, it will not go through, and as ear piercing screams from the Lady of the Lake resound, this cow, and all of her children, lift off the land and disappear into the ether.
Death of the Flower Woman
Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 in.
In Welsh folklore, there are various tellings (and spellings!) of the story of Blodeuedd/Blodewedd . In most, she is as much a victim as a villain and this is a cautionary tale of an unfaithful murderer getting her just dues. My take is more sympathetic. She did not ask to be conjured up out of wildflowers for use as a wife, or to be ignored by that indifferent husband. She had few options available when she found true love with another. She was not killed but instead cursed to be an owl forever.
Mary Curran, marycurranstudio.com although a native New Englander, has only recently become a “Mainer”. For almost the entirety of her artistic career, she has been inspiring young artists as a public school art educator, teaching primarily in Arizona and Connecticut. She holds a BFA from University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Studio Art (printmaking) and Art Education, and a Masters of Secondary Education from American International College. Knowing that the teaching of art reciprocally informs the making of art, she maintained a studio practice and her work is in private collections across the United States.
Retiring from the educational world and flipping what takes precedence in life, her work maintains a common focus. In narrative or decorative approaches, her work investigates, isolates and synthesizes themes of nature and human response. Her explorations in a variety of media reflect both her experience as a fine arts educator in multiple disciplines as well as an admitted distractibility.