Lone Mountain

Pale as the moon casting amethyst and indigo shadows,
Distant as a dream, yet close as light,
A mountain shines through the whispering boughs of a twilit wood.
 

Photography Prints

© F.T. McKinstry 2014. All Rights Reserved.

It all started with a mouse….

The dormouse is found mostly in Europe. A romantic creature, it has a long furry tail, beautiful markings and can hibernate for a remarkably long time. It tends to show up in fairy tales and fantasy stories such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

This dormouse, perched in a ivy-covered tree in autumn under a frosty moon, was inspired by a short story I wrote called “Pattern Sense,” in which the nocturnal activities of said mouse cause a woman to discover magical powers in the stitches of her latest knitting project. “Pattern Sense” appears in the print edition of Wizards, Woods and Gods and Tales of the Talisman, Volume 10, Issue 1.

Photography Prints

© F.T. McKinstry 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Fish Kingdom

Fish Kingdom

I am very fond of my aquarium. It’s not that large, but exists as its own little universe, green, fluid and tranquil. I keep freshwater fish and live plants. At one with the water, fishes fascinate me in a primordial, archetypal way. Each kind has its own personality; some are laid back, some are skittish and shy, and others are belligerent. They coexist peacefully, though now and then someone will feel the need to act rude.

Shy Little Fish, by F.T. McKinstry

I love to grow things in the earth world, so naturally I wanted to try my hand at water. In this realm there is a delicate balance between plant, water and fish that’s more obvious than that of the earth because it goes awry easily and when it does, things get bad in a hurry. It took me a while to get the balance right and now I’m vigilant about keeping it. This has given me a renewed respect for nature, which does this seemingly without effort.

Danios, by F.T. McKinstry

The watery realms provide an interesting metaphor for painting, as the creative process when I’m moving oil paint on a canvas is watery in sensation and feeling.

My fishes would approve.

© F.T. McKinstry 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Kali the Ribbon Snake

I once kept a ribbon snake named Kali. She ate live goldfish. She would hover over the water bowl for some time as the fish swam around in there and then she would dive in a flurry of writhing, splashing and mayhem. And that would be the end of that.

Baby SnakeI didn’t know Kali was female when I got her. The name just fit. But now I can confidently refer to her as “she” and not fall back on having named her after a romantic assumption. One morning, I came out to say hello and noticed a little head peeking out of the shadows of the greenery. Kali had given birth to seven babies. Once this might have been considered an auspicious omen. In any case, I was impressed.

Snakes are beautiful and fascinating. In traditional animal lore, the snake is a symbol of transformation and rebirth. They live underground, in dark places, and as they grow they shed their skins and are renewed. It’s like an initiation rite. During this time their eyes cloud over and they get aggressive, as they feel vulnerable in the in-between state. Now and then I’ll find a snakeskin in a woodpile or a stone wall. I like to keep them as a reminder that dark or restricting times herald the forces of change and that the sun is still shining up there somewhere.

Photography Prints

© F.T. McKinstry 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowshoe Hare

Snowshoe Hare
Here’s a classic spring critter: a snowshoe hare. A creature of the threshold, it turns white in winter, and its big hind paws help it over the snow; hence the name. This painting shows the hare in its warm-weather coat, nestled in spring flowers.

© F.T. McKinstry 2014. All Rights Reserved.