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History of White Rabbits

Cheery new rabbits canvas and rabbit prints

When I created the White Rabbit Greeting Card I had in mind all the lovely feelings and colours of summer. My children had pet rabbits for many years, large fluffy New Zealand Whites and an enormous ginger Lionhead. Rabbits provide an interesting challenge when painting. Apart from being fluffy and cute, they all have their own unique ways, so I wanted to make sure I captured this as well. I have had many opportunities to sketch our cute little rabbits and observe their distinctive and funny personalities. So it was lovely to produce a painting from these drawings and fond memories. I’m now thrilled to share the joy these beautiful animals gave us over the years in the new white rabbits card, rabbit prints and rabbits canvas print.

Whilst I owned rabbits and then created my original art, I’ve always found there to be something quite lovely and magical about them, especially the white ones. They seem so unassuming at first, but as I continued to draw and enjoy their company, I soon found they all had their own special personalities and characters, which made my work even more enjoyable.

I thoroughly enjoyed researching this subject, and found there to be many myths, mysteries and stories which are fascinating. The most famous rabbit perhaps is the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. A curious fellow, it’s said that he is in fact a representation of the spark of curiosity that activates Alice’s spiritual awakening. It is the White Rabbit who leads Alice down the rabbit hole. It is he who woke her up from her daze since the hot day had made her sleepy. I think it’s very interesting that Lewis Carroll chose the White Rabbit for this task, but I think he manages very well.

Rabbit Cards, Rabbit Prints and Rabbit Canvas Prints for Children's Wall Art created from paintings available at www.judigloverart.com
White Rabbit Cards, Rabbit Prints and Rabbit Canvas Prints for Children’s Wall Art

Creating this new bunny print, I also had in mind what a powerful symbol many consider these lovely little creatures to be. I became more interested in the history of their talents and I discovered rabbits, especially white ones, are gifted in the luck department, which has brought great comfort and hope to many people over the centuries. But why is this? This is what I found out.

White rabbits are an ancient superstition, often dating back to many centuries ago. The first mention of them and their uncanny luck bringing abilities was by the Celts. It’s said they first associated rabbits (the whole rabbit, not just a foot, more on that later) with good luck back in 600 B.C. Since rabbits live underground in burrows, they believed they could communicate with the spirits of the underworld.

The most famous use of their talents however, is at the beginning of every month. On the first day of every month, you may hear people saying ‘white rabbits, white rabbits’. Saying this accompanied by the more familiar pinch and punch brings good luck... as long as they’re the first words you utter and they’re said on the first day of the month before midday.

It’s unknown where this first originated, although the earliest reference is in the 1909 British journal article ‘Notes and Queries’, a book which shared knowledge on folklore, literature and history. The passage reads: “My two daughters are in the habit of saying ‘Rabbits!’ on the first day of each month. “The word must be spoken aloud, and be the first word said in the month. It brings luck for that month. This ritual has continued in many households around the world and now also trends on twitter every first of the month.

The story of luck continues, more for us than for the Rabbit, unfortunately. The keeping of a Rabbit’s foot is a custom which dates back hundreds of years and is said to bring much good fortune to the owner. There’s no one explanation but many sources talk of shapeshifted witches and folk magic. Also that it must be the left hind foot of a rabbit which was shot or otherwise captured in a cemetery. Or perhaps that the rabbit must be taken by the full moon, others specifying the new moon. Some say instead that the rabbit must be taken on a Friday, or a rainy Friday, or Friday the 13th. Either way, I’m much happier painting white rabbits and enjoying them alive and hopping around!

All my fine art canvases and new paintings are created from everyday British scenes which inspire me. I particularly enjoy painting cheery images such as these white rabbits which would make a unique and special addition to any home decor, especially a child’s bedroom or nursery and they can be used for children’s wall art.
Each Judi Glover Art rabbits canvas print has the image printed on a very high quality textured cotton canvas 390 gsm. This specific quality was chosen due to its creamy white tone which offers excellent colour reproduction and vibrant colours and is Archival certified for 100+ years. Each canvas print is stretched onto 20mm deep pine bars and is ready to hang with a hanging plate.

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