Angel in progress – digital illustration

This is my second attempt at this piece. Many more layers to go. The falcon at the top is still just sketched in.

I’ve had several dreams of falcons and sightings of real ones during the past year.  And for some reason angels have been coming into my work and consciousness.

My kids were kind enough to pose for a photo shoot a few weeks back. Mostly I was after their hands but I had my son do this pose and this piece just kind of flowed naturally out of it.

The falcon, amongst other things, is significant as a symbol for life’s purpose. My dream falcon was very large and white – I’ll try to make this one look like him once I start filling him in.

One thing I really like about Photoshop is that if you just don’t like where you’re heading, you can save the file under another name, delete whatever layers aren’t working out, and keep going with the original drawing or whatever you had that was working – like going back in time and taking a different route.  (Physicists now tell us the concept of progressive time is an illusion, and being able to work this way makes that seem plausible!) 🙂

My first attempt was started before my daughter opened my eyes to some of the possibilities of the medium. I was liking it until I realized how I could have approached it – then did the time warp trick and came up with something I am liking even better!  I’ll post again when it’s done.

Angel illustration, unfinished
My first (primitive) attempt at the angel.

Did you enjoy this post? Anne

Deer Painting: Forest Spirit

Deer painting in watercolor
"Forest Spirit", watercolor deer painting

Last weekend we spent some time on a rural property we own in southwest Wisconsin.  One morning I bushwhacked to the far corner of the property to pick nettles and came upon two deer in the woods.  The doe looked at me curiously for the longest time, even after the buck had gone with a flash of white tail.

I’ve noticed that deer are often quite curious about human visitors to their domain.  Last Spring Equinox I attended an early morning ritual in the woods on Rib Mountain near Wausau.  On the way back down afterwards we came upon a similar small group of deer.  They, too, were extremely curious about these strange creatures on two legs and didn’t seem at all alarmed at our bemused chatting.  A cheeky red squirrel’s chatter, however, sent them bounding out of sight!

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Tiger Painting

Tiger painting in watercolor
"Tiger," watercolor on board, 20 x 16"

The tiger represents power, strength, royalty, and ruthlessness.

We often think of ruthlessness as being a negative trait, but a certain degree of it is necessary to survive and thrive in the world.  Tiger energy can help us do what needs to be done.

Although it is a formidable creature, the tiger is also a devoted mother and can be a guardian or protective figure.  It’s also a symbol of wealth in some cultures.

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Animal guides – spirit and otherwise

Me and my dog Jasmine
Me and my dog Jasmine. This was taken last summer at Seney Wildlife Refuge up in Michigan's U.P.

In my life, animals figure most often as spirit guides.  They come to me in dreams, as premonitions, and of course through my art.  They help me decipher the mystery of my own psyche and guide me through the swamps and deserts of life’s journey.

But it’s pretty hard to relate this way to spirit animals without inviting flesh-and-blood ones into one’s life.  Right now the Michelsen roof shelters two goldfish, a couple of hooded rats and two rescued dogs, 15-year-old Pavlov and a goofy Lab-Boxer mix named Jasmine (a.k.a. The Lummox.)

This morning Jasmine proved to me that spirit animals aren’t the only ones who can guide us to what we need.

I realized the other day that it’s coming up on three years since we moved into our house and I still don’t have a full-length mirror.  Which doesn’t bother my husband but darn it, it’s just not right for me! (Or my daughter Clara, who at age 11 is intent on developing her own personal  style. )

(As a side note, I wonder if the mirror thing has any significance: I read somewhere that men tend to look at themselves from the face up, while women favor the full-length view.  How does it affect people spiritually to consistently  see only fractured images of themselves?)

Anyway, darn it, I need a long mirror!

Well, this morning my dogs and I were returning from our morning walk when rather than accompany me on a loose lead round the last corner home, Jasmine suddenly pulled to the right.  I don’t usually let the dogs drive, but this time I thought, “what the heck” and went her way to make an extra swing around the block the long way.

Well, we’d only gone a few paces when I looked down and saw it- a perfectly good full-length mirror someone had left out with the trash.

Good dog!

The mirror had a broken frame but was otherwise in perfect condition.  And I think I know a gal who can figure out how to install a frame…

Landscape painting from Seney Wildlife Refuge
No critters in this little plein aire of the Seney Refuge - but Jazz Dog helped me paint it!

Did you enjoy this post? Anne