David A CherryMedeaImage size: approx. 16 x 12 inches
Framed size: approx. 26 x 22 inches
Medea, the enchanting princess who helped Jason of the Greek legends obtain the Golden Fleece from her father, King Aeëtes of Colchis. She was a niece of the famed enchantress Circe, having inherited some of her power as a sorceress, and used her divine magic several times to help Jason and save her future husband's life. Although her tale ends in tragedy, here she is in her prime, reclining in noble airs with the Fleece, as though it were a common piece of household décor.
In a time when education for women was confined to domestic crafts and superstition and ignorance ran rampant, this woman lived a life of service to her community as a healer. Using medicinal and herbal lore passed down from her elders she could speed healing, reduce swelling, halt a fever, and perform small surgeries. Jealous priests who could not equal these feats said she must be allied with evil powers and called her a witch. She was, instead, a great hero. This was the illustrated cover of vol. 8 of the German edition of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, titled Die Schwarze Schwesternschaft.
This painting always makes me happy. It reminds me of happy days when I used to drive from my place in Edmond, OK down to Real and Muff Musgrave's place near Love Field in Dallas. Usually, Real and I would drink coffee, smoke our pipes, and tell each other stories until the sun came up. Muff was incredibly patient with me. Little by little, she and Real were teaching me how to set up and run a viable operation as an artist. Why? Just because they were good people and I needed to be taught. This began as a doodle on one of those long lazy evenings.
This is my portrait of Muff Musgrave. Wise, brilliant, and beautiful, she is every bit the Enchantress, as anyone who has met her will attest. She and her husband, Real, have been special friends, encouraging me to trade law for art back in the day and giving me advice and support along the way. They are magic people, and they shared their magic with me. For that, I am eternally grateful.
When I was little, my father told me that many people would call to me in my life and that the ones which were most attractive were likely to be the ones I should mistrust the most. I had to think on that for a while. I did not want it to be true, but even as a young man I began to see the wisdom in his words. As an old man now, I can attest to it. All that glitters is not gold. The Beautiful Lady of the Rocks is a siren. Her form and call promise everything, but deliver only emptiness.