recent paintings and news

recent paintings and news

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Full of Moons

Climate change and it's impact on farming compelled me to investigate  the twelve full moons. 

'Predicting the weather has been a human passion for ages. Farmers wanted to know what kind of a season was forthcoming -- would there be enough rain or would there be drought? Would the winter be cold or mild? How could they tell if a violent storm was coming?' 

Farmers Almanac

Full Moon Names and Their Meanings

National Geographic

One of the most dramatic sights in the night sky—and inspiration for poets, artists, and lovers for millennia—full moons captivate us like nothing else.

Every month Earth's moon goes through its phases, waning and waxing in its constant transformation from new moon to full moon and back again. Full moons occur every 29.5 days or so as the moon moves to the side of Earth directly opposite the sun, reflecting the sun's rays off its full face and appearing as a brilliant, perfectly circular disk.

For millennia, humans have used the movement of the moon to keep track of the passing year and set schedules for hunting, planting, and harvesting. Ancient cultures the world over have given these full moons names based on the behaviour of the plants, animals, or weather during that month.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012
January: Wolf Moon
Native Americans and medieval Europeans named January's full moon after the howling of hungry wolves lamenting the midwinter paucity of food. Other names for this month's full moon include old moon and ice moon.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012
February: Snow Moon
The typically cold, snowy weather of February in North America earned its full moon the name snow moon. Other common names include storm moon and hunger moon.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012
March: Worm Moon
Native Americans called this last full moon of winter the worm moon after the worm trails that would appear in the newly thawed ground. Other names include chaste moon, death moon, crust moon (a reference to snow that would become crusty as it thawed during the day and froze at night), and sap moon, after the tapping of the maple trees.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012 

April: Pink Moon
Northern Native Americans call April's full moon the pink moon after a species of early blooming wildflower. In other cultures, this moon is called the sprouting grass moon, the egg moon, and the fish moon.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012
May: Flower Moon
May's abundant blooms give its full moon the name flower moon in many cultures. Other names include the hare moon, the corn planting moon, and the milk moon.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012 
 June: Strawberry Moon
In North America, the harvesting of strawberries in June gives that month's full moon its name. Europeans have dubbed it the rose moon, while other cultures named it the hot moon for the beginning of the summer heat.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012
July: Buck Moon
Male deer, which shed their antlers every year, begin to regrow them in July, hence the Native American name for July's full moon. Other names include thunder moon, for the month's many summer storms, and hay moon, after the July hay harvest.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012
August: Sturgeon Moon
North American fishing tribes called August's full moon the sturgeon moon since the species was abundant during this month. It's also been called the green corn moon, the grain moon, and the red moon for the reddish hue it often takes on in the summer haze.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012
September: Harvest Moon
The most familiar named moon, September's harvest moon refers to the time of year after the autumn equinox when crops are gathered. It also refers to the moon's particularly bright appearance and early rise, which lets farmers continue harvesting into the night. Other names include the corn moon and the barley moon.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012 
October: Hunter's Moon
The first moon after the harvest moon is the hunter's moon, so named as the preferred month to hunt summer-fattened deer and fox unable to hide in now bare fields. Like the harvest moon, the hunter's moon is also particularly bright and long in the sky, giving hunters the opportunity to stalk prey at night. Other names include the travel moon and the dying grass moon.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012 
November: Beaver Moon
There is disagreement over the origin of November's beaver moon name. Some say it comes from Native Americans setting beaver traps during this month, while others say the name comes from the heavy activity of beavers building their winter dams. Another name is the frost moon.

© Jan Yates, encaustic on panel, 6x6in, 2012 

December: Cold Moon
The coming of winter earned December's full moon the name cold moon. Other names include the long night moon and the oak moon.

The Blue Moon
Each year, the moon completes its final cycle about 11 days before the Earth finishes its orbit around the sun. These days add up, and every two and a half years or so, there is an extra full moon, called a blue moon. The origin of the term is uncertain, and its precise definition has changed over the years. The term is commonly used today to describe the second full moon of a calendar month, but it was originally the name given to the third full moon of a season containing four full moons.

 I might add  to this series for the forthcoming exhibition 'This Land is OUR Land: the Greenbelt Dichotomy. A few installation works will also be included -am working like mad as deadline is looming, but I like the rhythm of creating when there is deadline-so much planning and problem solving-the pieces are falling into place and  I'm feeling very excited! 

This is a group show -Gordon Leverton, Michelle Teitsma and Jefferson Cambel Cooper  bring  an interesting and controversial slant on the issue of protecting green space and what the impact is on farming as well as urban sprawl.

*With gratitude to the Ontario Arts Council for assisting with this exhibition.


  1. Fascinating! Your moon paintings are very special, wonderful!

  2. Je suis fascinée par cet intérêt pour la lune. Petite elle m'a toujours intriguée... Peindre la lune... Une ouvre magnifique et magique...
    gros bisous

  3. I bet these look awesome all together--! excellent series, I bet it will get a lot of attention

  4. Thanks all-they were a lot of fun and came together with minimal challenges-for a change.

    yes Celeste they do look cool close together-not sure yet re whether to leave a wee space between them...