Rabbits... Sometimes I prefer to call them bunnies... I'm shifting my obsessive painting from the little bird to the bunny and have some great stories that explain my fondness for this animal as an image source.
First, as a child I loved the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. This is one of the few stories I remember reading as a child, or having read to me as a child. For some reason I think it was my paternal grandmother that shared this book with me - but I don't know if this is true. There are other fictional rabbits that stick out in my memories - Peter Rabbit and the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland come to mind first.
Second, two bunnies served as my first pets; Thumper and Princess. They lived in a hutch outside and would come in the house to play. All I really remember is how soft they were and how they would always poop on the floor while hopping around the living room. Then, Princess, or was it Thumper, bit my mom. This caused a panic of "is the rabbit rabid?" and the next thing I knew, my bunnies were going to "live on a farm" despite the fact that I lived on a farm... Years later I learned the truth about the fate of those bunnies - let's just say it wasn't pretty and the poor thing lost its head over being in heat...
Third, I recall having a thing for rabbit's feet as a kid - I must have bought a dozen disembodied feet in various colors from Santa's Secret Workshop in elementary school. I find this really odd since I also had live rabbits and clearly this was a foot from a once living animal.
Fourth, the first time I remember visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art I was drawn to the Neoclassical still life collection - specifically the compositions that included dead animals like rabbits and birds. Still life that include dead animals remain some of my favorite images in all of art. This really isn't a morbid fascination, it is a long standing tradition in art - here's some PROOF!
Lastly, and possibly most oddly, for some unknown reason when I was a senior in high school, I started sleeping with three pastel-colored Beanie Babies bunnies. I took those bunnies with me to college and always made sure they were in my bed. I took those bunnies with me to my first home, where I lived with my now ex-husband. The bunnies are not the reason I am now divorced, but wouldn't it be nice if they were? I have no idea where these bunnies are now.
I recently asked google about the symbolic meaning of the rabbit and I find the results fitting. There's also an interesting article about the use of the rabbit as a symbol in art. The rabbit is said to symbolize:
Apparently I am not the only artsy-type who is thinking about rabbits, and once again I find myself in pretty good company while I explore my current obsession. Check out this article on rabbits in art if you would like to see more examples of the rabbit as an image source.
Lora Marie Durr
During my undergraduate studies, I spent a great deal of time in the painting studio working with traditional oils. Teaching middle school art for the past 12 years has taken me away from those roots. This "one a day" project is aimed at re-inspiring that creativity and technique.
Other "one a day" painting blogs to check out:
Kellie Marian Hill
The usual Subjects