Monday, November 25, 2013

American Indian Inspiration

Coyote Listening
Some of my best paintings are from the period when I was working on the American Indian stories. The watercolor painting above depicts Coyote as he enters the village of the Wolf People who have stolen his grandsons and tied them to the centerpole in their roundhouse. His grandsons hold the light (they're "enlightened"), and the Wolf People have no light (they're ignorant and caught up in "group think"), so have kidnapped them and Coyote is there to rescue them.

Coyote's Village
This watercolor depicts village life around Clear Lake, which is the territory where the American Indians lived (and still live close to), whose stories are so wonderful. It is amusing to me that I made a mistake in drawing the fish and didn't realize it until later. When you catch fish and cook them like this over a fire (Internet wasn't available for easy research when I did this painting and I didn't think to check on this), you would probably run the stick through the gills of the fish, so that they would be hanging tails down. I have the stick running right through the middle of the fish, which is most likely totally wrong.

However, I forgive the error, as the picture is nevertheless able to convey the beauty and sense of community in the way these people lived. Everyone has a task and tasks are accomplished together. They didn't live with the "every man for himself" mentality that seems to riddle through many facets of American society today (especially political, medical, and commercial/business enterprises); they believed in doing what was "good for the whole." This is what I love and admire about many "primitive" tribes. I have learned from them that they were/are a lot less barbaric than many aspects of our society today.

Coyote's Grandfather passes to the other world
The watercolor above depicts Coyote's grandfather passing away, and in it I've tried to convey the belief of these people in the continuance of life. It amazes me that in their stories their teachings are pure and unadulterated--they understood energy in ways that we are only beginning to discover, including the energy of people--physicality vs. other planes or levels of existence. We think we're discovering new things through science and interdisciplinary sharing of information when all along it's been there if only we could be humble enough to listen instead of overrun.

So my new directions are taking me into the exploration of the threads of gold that run through all cultures, all religions--the good, life sustaining teachings that keep us whole and in community with each other.

I know I want to be a part of this understanding and work in support of it, though I'm not yet sure what my contributions will be, but am thoroughly enjoying the journey.

I lately find that the quote that is uppermost in my mind is the one that goes "if you are not part of the solution you're part of the problem." I'm spending time connecting with as many people as possible who are actively what I consider part of the solution (which includes many in the educational fields, as education helps to change lives for the better, and enables people to get out and make a difference).

With my art I'm asking myself what I can put out into the world that will add beauty, lend strength, will not clutter it up with useless, meaningless plastic garbage that just contributes to the pollution of our beautiful delicate planet--we'll see how this all arranges itself. For now the journey is pretty interesting.


No comments:

Post a Comment