Contemporary Hare Painting by Tandy Pengelly

Hares are widespread geographically, so hare stories are widespread culturally. Yet hares take on a surprising variety of roles in folklore, myth and legend. 

Around the world, there may be as many magical hare stories as dragon tales, and probably more than unicorns…

In Primitive Beliefs in the Northeast of Scotland by JM McPherson, I discovered stories about witches transforming into hares. The idea of humans becoming hares fascinated me, and I learnt more when  I read an old tale in Sorche Nic Leodhas’s Thistle and Thyme about a woman who was turned into a blue-eyed hare by a witch. That image stuck with me for years: a young woman transformed into a hare, not by choice, not as a power, but as a terrifying trap and a dreadful fate (and yet, what a form to be trapped in: the fast, elegant form of a hare!)

There are hares as goddesses and the companions of goddesses, hares as messengers, as fertility symbols, and as tricksters. Hares are associated with Easter and eggs, with madness in March, with the moon, with the elixir of life, with the last corn standing at harvest-time, with sacrificing themselves in fires, and with shapeshifting and witchcraft.

I loved painting this beautiful animal and bringing it to life watching us with his wisdom and secrets.

50cm by 360cm Acrylic

Cotton Canvas Board

Varnished and ready to frame

Price: 285 Euros