Ok, so it’s more of a drawing than a “sketch.” But I guess once I got going, it was hard to stop. I’ve been studying Proverbs for a couple weeks now and, amidst all the expected wisdom, I was struck by her counterpart – folly. She is personified throughout the book as the “loose woman” and the “adventuress.” And beside lovely Lady Wisdom, wife or sister of our youth, we find juxtaposed with her virtues the stark seduction of sheol; Folly. Here is Proverbs, chapter 7 to describe the adventuress:
“My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live, keep my teachings as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend; to preserve you from the loose woman, from the adventuress with her smooth words.
And lo, a woman meets him, dressed as a harlot, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward, her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with impudent face she says to him: ‘I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. I have decked my couch with coverings, colored spreads of Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.’
With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its entrails; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.
And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for many a victim has she laid low; yea, all her slain are a mighty host. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.”
Folly uses seduction as a means to an end. She distracts from the good sense and discipline of Wisdom by pulling us down a different path – a path that shrouds the senses in amusement as it separates the heart from God. In my rendition of Folly, I have chosen to give her the kind of enticing features one would associate with a “loose woman,” as well as some suggestions of her ultimate plan; she bears deadly nightshade along with adornments that hint at a slightly darker pass time.
For whatever reason, certain things in sacred scripture inspire me rather immediately – this was an example. Hope you enjoy.