Julie Paschkis Catkin illustrationFebruary 10th is the first day of the Chinese New Year, and 2013 is the Year of the Water Snake. Julie Paschkis from Imaginary Menagerie

Snakes are often feared and disliked, but they do have some good qualities.

Here is a family portrait with snake by my husband, Joe Max Emminger.Joe Max Emminger painting

Snakes are fun to draw. This pen drawing was done by John Coates in 1916.John H. Coates snake 1916

Snakes move beautifully. This illustration is by Ivan Bilibin.The pattern gives the snake direction and dimension; without it the snake would almost be a blob.bilibin snake Snakes fit into small spaces.wolfli snakeThis drawing is by Adolf Wolfli who fills up every space.

Snakes survive in harsh environments, and they take care of themselves. J. Paschkis 2006Colonial Americans had a flag with the slogan “Don’t tread on me.”. This is my 2006 version.

Here is a poem by Julie Larios which celebrates snakes, dumplings and the street food of Beijing. I illustrated it with cut paper. I painted the paper before creating the paper cut.Paschkis and Larios

So in honor of reptilian virtues let’s welcome the Year of the Snake. Please comment with your thoughts about snakes in life, snakes in art and what the Year of the Snake will bring.

13 responses to “Snakes

  1. When I first moved to my new home in rural central TX I was amazed at how ready people were to tell me their snake stories; seeing them while swimming, rattle snakes in the yard and house, the width and length of snakes they’d shot…and on and on. It was a sort of initiation into local culture. Needless to say, going on 3 years here and I have a stash of my own first hand snake stories.

  2. The snake images are beautiful! Happy New Year to All!

  3. Growing up in Montana I learned to have a mortal fear of rattlers. At least I can look at these beautiful illusterations without getting shivers!

  4. I’m SO glad we don’t have any poisonous snakes in Western Washington so I don’t have to worry about treading on one while hiking! I love these images, Julie–especially yours! Thanks for sharing them.

  5. I’m usually fearful of snakes, but the images you shared are beautiful! Love your papercut of Julie’s poem (her dumplings made me very happy today), and Joe Max’s family portrait especially :).

  6. Do you know DH Lawrence’s poem about the Snake? I think it is called just “The Snake”. Lots of nice sexual connotations, ash you would expect form Lawrence.

  7. I have nightmares about them, usually the same recurring nightmare.

  8. Love snakes – grew up with them in the house –
    Looking forward to the Year of the Snake – I better read all about it!!
    Beautiful images – you and the others !!
    Have a great trip – watch out for “worm bites” — OX – M

  9. Beautiful possssst.

    Thanks! I will share this with the kids in my library. I have been a fan of Adolph Wolfli and loved seeing his work in this snake context.

  10. A Family Snake True Tale
    When mowing the lawn (push mower of course) at our Whidbey Isle cabin, 6-year of Matthew came running into the house with tears streaming down his face…he had accidentally run over a snake. He grabbed the bandaid box and carefully applied a bandaid to the open wound and felt satisfied that he saved the snake. Older brother later asked (quietly) what would now happen when it came time for the snake to molt its skin?


    Bilibin and Paschkis forever….mip

  12. Really enjoy the papercut of the children refusing to eat the scorpions on a stick in a Beijing market, opting for delicious dumplings! Such a terrific illustration of the poem surrounded by snakes and, yes, heart shapes!

  13. Is the first, cat with snake, from a book, Julie? This is a wonderful post, love to see all the snake art.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s