Looking online at Art depicting witches is not very alluring. You find images of Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps and Alexandre-Marie Colin who both drew Macbeth witches. Frightening, wrinkled, fearful, they are not enticing, but more evil. Francisco Goya, Frans Francken, David Teniers de Jongere and Nikolai Ge also painted witches, but the colors are dark, forboding, and the scenes are brooding and of witch trials, blackest backgrounds, or gathering around an animal god. They made us into hated, crazy, scary women, outcasts of society, hardly the stuff of a children’s book or anyone’s wimsy. But then I found Will Moses.
Witches just seem to go with the Halloween season of October, and seeing as Autumn is upon us I thought I would share my favorite Witch artist. I don’t even remember how I found him. He’s the great grandson of renowned American folk artist Grandma Moses. Anna Mary Robertson Moses, known by her nickname Grandma Moses, painted scenes of rural life from earlier days, which she called “old-timey” New England landscapes. She is like a female Norman Rockwell to me. Today, Will continues to carry on the family tradition. He even paints in the 200 year-old farmhouse and his studio, where his legendary great-grandmother began her career.
Although his style is reminiscent of that of his celebrated great-grandmother, it is distinctly different too. Shadowy foothills dotted with traditional white farmhouses; weathered red barns tilted haphazardly on broad patchwork sweeps of green and hay-gold fields; small clusters of black and white cows grazing placidly in the distance…and there are full moons and Witches.
His witches are laughing, frolicking, there are pumpkins, cauldrons and little English cottages. His images are like a Dept. 56 village you want to step into. Dining Alfresco is one of my favorites of his and the image I share with you here. Other’s have names like Girls Night Out, Old Cronies, Angling Ladies, The Garden Club. Each of these is full of merriment and beautiful colors of Fall.
His witches seem to come to life and as I view each scene I can hear the crickets in the still black of night. I can smell the ripe earth under the moon and feel the coolness on my skin, biting it’s welcome.
His conjured comraderie of friends, deep down soul connection of spirits joined. They dance in the night to their own tune. A merry Coven of sisters. In Will Moses’s Witch’s world we can take off our masks, be one with nature, love in it, breathe it in, where no one will judge or have an opinion. His ladies do as they like. They invite us to also live our own truth. Where with mind, body, souls rooted, we can find our inner wild person, even howl at the moon!