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Thirteen Peace Signs in a Time of War

Bas-relief sgraffito painting, early 2002, 23"x13.5", acrylic & wood, by Chris Wayan

The animal goddess of peace, holding her sign, my sign, a bit defiantly perhaps, in this time of indignant militarism. It would have cost so little, a bit of foreign aid for public health, for textbooks, hell, for PENCILS in all those starved public schools around the world... nothing compared to the billions for weapons being spent now, that'll never fully stop the poor brainwashed graduates of the madrassahs. You can't stop people who have nothing to live for...

As a witch, or pagan, or whatever burnable name you Christians Jews and Muslims are using for my sort this week, I feel helpless, watching you all slide toward your nice holy war. All I can do is draw this and say I'm a gentle animal who'd like to play... but you play too rough.

Me as a unicorn girl holding a peace sign up in the night of this war-mania. Click to enlarge.
So I ring myself with peace signs and wait in the night, in your dreams, till you're willing to put your claws away. Because it was never virgins I sought, despite medieval myth. The purity I insisted on, before I'd play, was gentleness. Violence-virginity. That's all I ask. But you seem to love hate more than sex.
Close-up of me as a unicorn woman holding a peace sign.

The "painting" is made of thousands of scratches and cuts on a wood panel, through a deep-blue acrylic skin into lighter underlayers. It's inspired by the paintings of dream artist Susan Seddon Boulet, though of course she didn't invent the sgraffito technique. The effect is feathery and delicate, and I'm afraid scanning a piece this dark and fine-textured doesn't do it justice. Most of the deep greens, blues, reds and violets are lost...

Here's the watercolor sketch on which I planned the final piece; it'll give you a better idea what I look like, though the peace signs themselves are faint.

Oval sketch (pencil, watercolor) of me as a unicorn-woman holding a peace sign. Words: 'Thirteen peace signs in a time of war.' Click to enlarge.

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