Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thunder Woman & Bird Grandmother

I painted this image in a time of severe difficulty. I didn't intend to depict a rock & a hard place, but there it is.

The story that this Blue Coyote series illustrates often gives the sense that spirit & animal guides are all around, ready & willing to help us.

In this 15 x 11" watercolor, Thunder Woman looks stunned, maybe overwhelmed by challenges whose solution eludes her. Bird Grandmother steadies her, brings her endurance to see a way.

A small plant & many birds connect her to life & happiness, even in this barren place.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Buffalo Dreamer & Thunder Woman

Thunder Woman first appeared while I was recovering from major surgery. Months passed before I recognized her as the spirit of Native uprising--the reemergence of Native values & paradigms in diverse circumstances.

Buffalo Dreamer leapt off the page while I was preparing for a featured artist show at Sebastopol Gallery. He seemed iconic in himself. But then he started showing up in the company of other characters from the series.

In this watercolor, 15 x 12", Buffalo Dreamer & Thunder Woman are crossing a river. Maybe he is helping her, maybe she is giving him courage. Some unknown is before them, some transition occurring.

A mature psychotherapist with a deep spiritual practice burst into tears when he saw this painting. Felt like a miracle to me....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Old Man of Mosquito Lake

You can see that this character has a very different relationship to Yellow Moose than our impetuous Coyote. Old Man of Mosquito Lake is--so far--the only character in this series based on a real person. When I was 9 I saw an Indian outside a campground in Maine. I've told the story of how our 10 minute encounter changed my life at Aqus in Petaluma & at Sebastopol Gallery.

Whoever this man was, he had power to awaken a little girl. In this series he is calm, grounded, shamanic, & playful. This painting, Old Man of Mosquito Lake & Yellow Moose, is watercolor, 10 x 8.75".

Who exactly Yellow Moose is, what she represents...I'm waiting for you to tell me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blue Coyote & Yellow Moose

This watercolor, 10 1/2 x 16", shows Blue Coyote biting off more than she can chew. I think we all know this feeling--starting off jaunty & full of energy, sure we can do it. At some point our Yellow Moose turns around. By the end of the day we're run ragged.

But tomorrow is a new game....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blue Coyote Says

Below are the words playing hide & seek on this 24 x 24" canvas. They came to me from mystery as I worked on my first large painting after a big cancer surgery, like a get-well card sent from coyote. A great reminder of how to be healthy. I played with the letters, with deep, rough texture, with splatters & wild color. Some people hate this painting. Some people love it. When it was hanging at Sebastopol Gallery, some people took one look & laughed out loud. I love those moments, & the happiness this crazy painting continues to bring.

coyote is the trickster

blue is the loyalty

blue coyote is loyal

to our need for humor

to take ourselves lightly

offer lightness & paradox

to our overburdened sisters

& brothers over & over

invite play as the cure

both internal & external

in meeting difficult challenges

which can open as an oyster

of opportunity & good

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Changing Woman & Blue Coyote

One summer day I sat at my drawing table asking to paint an image of deep integrity. Imagine my surprise when this primitive & unexplainable watercolor emerged! I called it Changing Woman & Blue Coyote, & wondered who they might be.

This first image soon became a series. There are now about 20 of them, & they're still coming. They seem to illustrate a story, but what story? It's not my story.

The way I work is by opening in a focused way to what nature spirits might want me to paint. These pictures come from that source.

Imagine living in a world where everybody is respectful & in love with all forms of life. Reverent & excited by the cycles that make life possible. A world of ecological peace & happiness.

For a few months I puzzled over these paintings. I listened to amazing things people saw in them. Now I think the nature spirits are telling us a story of how we grope our way back to harmony. A story whose words are different for each person looking at them.

Always there’s a sense of challenge. Always there is help being given by ancient spirits, animal companions, and sometimes plants.

I'm no longer embarrassed by their cartoon-like character. This is way too serious a story to approach without humor. The playfulness is a gift.

I’m grateful.