Never say never.
Never tell me not to do something…I met Scott Alexander King who has created some wonderful animal decks and books. He is seen as an expert in knowing what people’s companion animal is. It was an interesting conversation. After telling Cheryl Millie she was a bird eating spider , the other lady was a sting ray and then he came to me. I was wearing a wolf and an owl so was displaying what I linked to. He asked me what I thought I was and I said a wolf. The wolf has been a dream guid for me for decades. Scott said that he would not tell someone if they were a wolf and then suggested I choose a lesser dog like a marmot. He said that a wolf was one of the 5 in the hierarchy of animals and as a teacher it meant I would need to learn the lessons it offered. He then said he saw a squirrel with me. I could relate to the gatherer…a natural attribute of the creative soul but it did not resonate in any other way. Perhaps a wise person knows that if you are meant to do something you will overcome any obstacles put in your way including being told not to go there by an expert in his field. Either way Scott did me a favour as by telling me ‘no’ he pushed me towards where I needed to be.
I felt frustrated and within an hour had bought a beautiful white wolf wallet. Why was I so frustrated? I knew I disagreed and that I was a wolf as this guide had been with me for so long. As I pondered my frustration I realised that it had always been the wolf that led me out of danger or guided me. The black wolf appeared in my dreams in younger years and later by a white wolf. Now both are present, In essence the wolf was my artistic soul and was the place that enabled me to create so is an undeniable part of what makes me, me.
The interesting thing was that being told not to go there had the opposite effect. If you knew me at all, you would not be surprised. So now I have strengthened this link and am exploring it in my paintings again. Over the years, the black wolf has made the occasional appearance in my art and now the White wolf. I love the image of the woman and wolf or the girl and wolf.
The wolf as a symbol,in my art and life
Historically the wolf is seen as a vicious animal to be feared by western man. I connect to the traditional American Indian view of the wolf as a guide and teacher.
The wolf for me is a benevolent guide and teacher that walks beside me and always has. So I have begun a series of girl/woman and wolf paintings. They are intuitive, explorative and fun. They focus on the white wolf at this point but I also relate to the black wolf as they create balance. They are dream and fantasy images that hold a sense of magic and connection that intrigues me and encourage me to keep playing. These images are simplified, whimsical and gentle. This powerful wolf holds a sense of safety and protection and is about kinship and belonging. The young girl has no fear as she lovingly snuggles into the wolf fur or walks beside the great white wolf. The maiden accompanies the wolf as an equal as she has stepped into her power and recognises that she is part of the pack. With the pack she is no longer a lone wolf and this powerful connection of kinship gives her strength.
The red the girl is wearing links to red riding hood but the meanings tend to merge. I love the interpretation of red riding hood as a shape shifter as seen in the fantasy series ‘Once Upon A Time’. I am aware that the original red riding hood story was a feminist story and see the link of the wolf and the girl as empowering. I know I am twisting fairy tales a bit but the intertwining of understandings is what creates my own personal symbology and this is a glimpse of my meaning making process. The scattering of red flowers (or the blossoms on the trees) are hope and a promise of the good things to come.
I started with a larger piece but have found that I needed to step sideways and work on some smaller works on paper as I continue to learn through the process of creating. I am not sure where this wolf journey will take me but I am having fun exploring the possibilities. I am blocking in colours, shapes, basic composition and playing with proportions and seeing what happens next. Perhaps part of it is to loosen up and enjoy the simple shapes and contrasts. Really enjoying the texture in the wolf and playing with my modified fur brush. I am aware that I am simplifying but am enjoying the possibilities of this playful approach. The girl and wolf pieces are in process and the ideas are developing along the way. There is a sense of whimsy and a use of distortion and simplification of forms that I would like to keep the essence of as I refine the art works. I keep being reminded that it is the journey not the completion and it is a good journey so I will see where the journey takes me, I will get back to the larger maiden and wolf piece but the smaller works have stories to teach me before I can move on and complete the larger story.