Sign Builder Illustrated Contributor Jim Hingst writes: Images of men emerging from vegetation have been a common artistic motif for more than two thousand years. Some scholars believe that the image of the “green man” is somehow linked to the ancient Dionysian fertility rituals and the natural process of rebirth, which occurs in Spring. But what do these academics know?
Whatever the roots are for these carvings, green men evolved into decorative architectural ornaments used to adorn castles, cathedrals and public buildings from the medieval and Renaissance periods until today. In England the image of the green man was even a common artistic motif used on pub signage.
Among woodcarvers and artists today, the pagan image of the green man has survived the ages of enlightenment and industrialization.
I can’t explain what possessed me to carve a green man. Perhaps I was possessed by an uncontrollable Jungian impulse inside all of us. After all, who hasn’t carved a pumpkin, arguably a form of green man?
To read more, check out Jim Hingst’s blog at: http://www.hingstssignpost.blogspot.com/2012/12/carving-green-man.html.