Cryptozoology: Shrines of Legends & Lore
Sept 7-10, 2023
Here is the class description: "Everyone has heard of the Loch Ness Monster, the Abominable Snowman, or Big Foot, but it’s surprising how many types of mysterious beasts people believe to roam the planet. The technical term for such a critter, a “cryptid,” is described as creature said to exist but is … yet … unproven. In Wisconsin, there is the devilish Hodag, Mexico and the Southwestern states have the goat-stalking vampire, the Chupacabra, lurking below the waters in Western Canada is the Ogopogo lake serpent, and who could forget the red-eyed Mothman of West Virginia? By land, air, or sea, they seem to be everywhere … yet they elude us. In this workshop, in honor of our secretive friends, you will create a shrine to commemorate a cryptid of your choosing. This could be from local lore or legends across the globe. Using found objects, clay and paint, you will become artistic cryptozoologists and create shrines for our shy and beastly neighbors."
My cryptid was "the Scottish folklore, The Blue Men of the Minch. The blue men of the Minch, also known as storm kelpies (Scottish Gaelic: na fir ghorma Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [nə fiɾʲ ˈɣɔɾɔmə]), are mythological creatures inhabiting the stretch of water between the northern Outer Hebrides and mainland Scotland, looking for sailors to drown and stricken boats to sink." (from Wikipedia).
It always helps me if I work through my projects at home. Michael had mentioned that the cryptids he was working on for class samples would be done in the style of Victorian portraits. I could not get this out of my mind and settled on a huge frame I had purchased in years past that has been stored our in the garage waiting for a project like this.
The frame did not have a backing so I fixed a piece of plywood to the back so I would have space to work on.
I selected a child mannequin made of foam for my body form but I felt like I had to cut it in half in order to have it fit well within the frame.
I recently was in a resale shop in the Twin Cities, and knowing about this project, I was enamored with a folk art ship I found in the window of the store. On the bottom of the ship it says "Made Chris Westrud in USA 10-5-12."