The finished painting of a hegdehog, and below the same painting in progress.
The hedgehog’s dilemma is an analogy about the challenges of human intimacy. It goes like this, An Array of hedgehogs are getting ready for their winter hibernation, they start to snuggle down into their nest and cuddle up to each other to conserve heat. But they must remain apart. They cannot avoid hurting one another with their sharp spines. Oh dear!
Sigmund Freud used The Hedgehog’s dilemma to describe the individuals relation to others in society. The hedgehog’s dilemma suggests that despite goodwill, human intimacy cannot occur without substantial mutual harm. We all have to have some pain from each other to enjoy some intimacy.
This painting of a hedgehog continues with the theme of animals in their natural habitat. The Hedgehog with a grassy bank depicted on his back. The clover flowers bringing out the green of the grass and vice a-versa.
I Studied Albrecht Dürer watercolour, “Great Piece of Turf”, which is a truly astonishing painting, to get some inspiration for the grass. and I continued my thread of influence of japanese prints and the arts and crafts to decorate the belly of the hedgehog.
Image © Daniel Mackie
View animal cards and prints and Daniel’s Shop, The DM Collection
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There’s a lot of ancient mythical beasts which seem pretty isolated, unique to a country’s culture, or even to a specific region. Others, like mermaids, dragons, and giants, are intercultural, being known by many. The Phoenix is one of these mythical superstars, and was known by the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, and even by the Chinese.
In the year 1500 BC, the Israelites who had settled in Egypt had significantly grown in numbers. So much so that the Pharaoh at the time grew fearful of them: paranoid that they would eventually take over. Forgetting that it was actually an Israelite by the name of Joseph - yes, the guy with the groovy coat - who had guided the Egyptian people away from famine a few hundred years earlier, the Pharaoh made all the Israelites slaves. Things then took a most heinous turn when the Pharaoh ordered the midwives to drown all male Hebrew babies at birth.