The Spear of Nimue
soft pastel and ink on Pastelmat
Custom Framed to approx 13 x 15.5 inches
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“The Spear of Nimue”. I chose to do a few ladies of the lake, or women from the Arthurian tales in this show. I have done multiple versions of most of them over the years as I have a deep love for those stories. Some myths you just feel deep in your soul, and the Welsh myths resonate with me.
Nimue is often portrayed as an evil enchantress that was the downfall of the great magician Merlin. You can tell that the Patriarchal leaning scribes of this ancient myth were perplexed that a woman could overcome the greatest magician that ever lived. Of course she must have done it with her overpowering evil sexuality!
I think the deeper truth is that Nimue was Merlin’s greatest student and his chosen successor. The myth claims that she imprisoned him in an oak or sometimes a cave. The oak tree is a very sacred tree to old Druidic cultures, often thought of as a doorway into the Otherworld. Merlin wasn’t necessarily imprisoned, but rather became the oak tree. He transcended time and the material world and became the oak. In the painting I have the oak represented on Nimue’s shawl to represent her own deep connection to this tree and to Merlin.
I decided to include 2 different birds to represent Nimue in this work. The first is the Grackles that you see in the background. Grackles represent emotions. Grackles are birds that look past the emotional turmoil and find joy in the smallest of things. Black is the color of the inner and the feminine and the purple and bronze coloring about the head usually indicates that emotions are coloring the thinking process. Nimue had to overcome her emotions to become the star pupil of Merlin.
The second bird represented is the Blue Heron. Heron represents the Holy Spear, and the concept of spear magic. It represents the extreme focus that we all need to obtain our goals.
Nimue was a great and powerful being who must of had extreme focus and presence of mind to become the successor of Merlin. I hope that looking at this piece you feel that focus and intensity, and maybe she will help guide you to find that focus needed to obtain your own goals.