Gemma’s moon

oil on canvas¬† 5″ x 7″

began December 2016 – completed January 2017


I painted this as a gift for my niece, Gemma, for her second birthday. It shows the Moon as it appeared in the sky at the time of her birth. Astronomically the Moon appears in the contellation Virgo.


More information about the meaning of the painting is below.



Gemma’s moon


My niece’s natal Moon is in the constellation Libra astrologically, but due to precession of the equinox (a gradual shift in the Earth’s axis caused by a gravitational pull) her moon appeared to be in the constellation Virgo at the time of her birth. I have also painted her moon in the same phase as it was at the time of her birth.

The large star just next to the Moon is Spica (the star representing the wheat being held in the hand of the virgin) and the constellation Corvus is in the bottom right corner.

I chose to model this sheep on the Suffolk, one of my favourite breeds, but I also wanted to have a contrast of black and white on the sheep to reflect the black and white of the night sky.

My intention with this sheep was to represent uniqueness. The sheep is standing alone overlooking an abundant green expanse. She is not afraid to be on her own away from the heard and she has a look of contentment on her face. Instead of just grazing with her head down, she chooses to gaze, look up, and notice the stars and Moon overhead.

It is a call to be unique, to not be afraid to be yourself, to not be afraid to break away, and to always remember to take moments to look beyond what is immediately in front of you. A call to be curious, to ponder, to gaze at the stars, and to look up.