selkies by Claudia Dingle

2010, watercolour

Seal sunbathing near Plockton in Scotland

Selkies are seals that can shed their skin to become humans. The legend apparently originated on the Orkney and Shetland Islands, where selch or selk(ie) is the Scots word for seal (from Old English seolh).
Selkies are able to become human by taking off their seal skins, and can return to seal form by putting it back on. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. Other times the human will hide the selkie’s skin, thus preventing them from returning to seal form. A selkie can only make contact with one particular human for a short amount of time before they must return to the sea. Examples of such stories are the ballad, The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry, the movie The Secret of Roan Inish and Ondine.

Art gives me the opportunity to create and to process what I see, hear and think about. Sometimes I paint, sometimes I take photos or write.
My primary focus is always on the light and its ability to turn the ordinary into the captivating.

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  • Marriet
    Marrietover 4 years ago

    Nice work. ")

  • Thank you

    – Claudia Dingle

  • Kate Eller
    Kate Ellerabout 4 years ago

    Well, look at this fat little fella…..or lady. What an interesting story…….a little like mermaids…..if there were such things. Very lovely painting Claudia.

  • Thank you for the lovely comment, Kate.

    – Claudia Dingle

  • Val Spayne
    Val Spayneabout 4 years ago

    Great story and Lovely painting

  • Thank you, Val.

    – Claudia Dingle

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