Selkies are part of my cultural heritage and lately my kids and I have been drawing them a lot. A couple of my kids incorporated selkies into their creative responses to our Winslow Homer lesson and I painted one a couple of months ago for a Life Book lesson. I knew one would turn up in my altered book sooner rather than later.
My favourite selkie story involves a fisherman who sees a selkie sloughing off her skin and takes possession of the hide so as to have power over her. He marries her and they have children together, most of whom have the selkies dark black eyes. One day one of the children find the hide hidden in the croft and tells the mother. Released from her bonds by the recovery of her skin, she returns back to the water to live as a seal again and all the dark eyed children follow her. Only the child with his fathers eyes is left when the fisherman gets home.
I sometimes wonder if we were supposed to feel sorry for the fisherman, abandoned, having lost his wife and children, but I always felt sorry for the selkie, tricked, trapped and yearning. I tried to convey some of her sadness, her solitude, her strangeness in my painting. Hopefully I have managed that to some degree.