This is a painting I completed a few months ago, and is part of my Masters Degree project in Shamanic Intuitional Practices which I received from Venus Rising University. I’ve included the writing piece I did about this painting, the process of creating it, and what I observed through the process.
The painting, entitled Shaman’s Cave, is a gift to my dear friend and mentor, Linda Star Wolf, in gratitude for her teaching, support and friendship.
This painting is an example of taking a less than satisfactory work from its dark place in the back of the closet and looking at it with new eyes, fresh energy and a fresh perspective, and then finding that the painting takes off in its own direction. I originally relegated it to the “maybe I’ll take this up later” pile because of dull colors and an awkward composition. I brought it out again recently, brightened up the palette and added some additional elements to the design in an effort to redeem it.
I usually have difficulty naming my paintings. I just paint them, and only name them if they are being shown, and something needs to be on the card. This one was different. I saw from the beginning it was a shaman’s cave. The interior of the cave was in darkness—kind of a black hole in the center of the picture, which artistically wasn’t desirable. As I worked the texture and the color, standing back to look at the effect, I noticed two eyes emerging, in perfect placement.
The “walls” of the cave became her headdress; she became a shaman goddess. The darkness in the depths of the cave became light. Color, form and features appeared. And, as so often happens, she became me. The cave is within me. The inner shaman emerged. The painting took form in its own time, as the artist was ready to be the instrument of its emergence into form. In the same way our own inner shaman appears out of the dullness and awkwardness into the fullness of light and beauty that is its destiny.