When you never tell girls they can’t, part 2

Medicine bear drawingThe weekend before last I was in Milwaukee for a holistic fair. While there I had the pleasure to meet Dennis (Rocky) King, a medicine healer from the Bear Clan of the Oneida nation.

I’ve had a lot of bears come into my life lately – in dreams, in my art, and, just a few weeks ago, a bear crossed twice in front of me while visiting my aunt’s cabin near Manistique, MI. So naturally, we got to talking.

By the end of the day, we had arranged a trade. He gave me an awesome Bear Medicine healing, and I am working on a piece of art for him, featuring Medicine Bears. (The sketch above is a preparation for the final piece, which will be in watercolor.)

So, anyway, while we were talking he told me a story about two little girls.

Rocky worked for several years as a teacher’s aide on the reservation. He had a special relationship with the kids because he would listen to them and take them seriously. But one time two little second grade girls claimed something he just couldn’t bring himself to believe.

“Rocky, we can lift you up!” they said.

You have to know Rocky. He is literally a bear of a man. Tall, and big. He has to weigh at least 250 pounds. (Here is his picture, modeling for the bear painting:)

Native American Healer“No way,” he said. “You can’t lift me up.”

“Yes, we can!” they insisted. So finally he gave in and let them try.

“They each grabbed me around one of my knees,” he told me. “I grounded myself and made myself really heavy, but they just looked at each other and said ‘one, two, three!’ and on three they lifted me straight up! I couldn’t believe it! What those two little Indian girls could do.”

He said he told one of the teachers later about it and she just looked at him and said, “Rocky, you’re so funny. Tell me another one.” But when he told his medicine man mentor, the man looked serious and said, “Well, of course. Children can do amazing things, before anyone tells them they can’t.”

When Jesus said, “become like a little child,” perhaps this is part of what he meant.

Believe in yourself. You are more powerful than you know.

Did you enjoy this post? AJ McKay

Digital Art: Wind Woman (in progress)

I’ve had the idea for this one kicking around for a while. A spiritual piece whose working title is “wind woman.” Actually it dates back to a piece I did way back when…

Did you enjoy this post? Anne

I’ve had the idea for this one kicking around for a while. Actually it dates back to a piece I did way back when, just out of college, with a woman’s silhouetted profile and leaves blowing in the wind.

Now she’s back. The picture here is the initial “sketch” in Photoshop. I suspect I’ll be changing the landscape a bit and maybe adding a few wind turbines. I’ll post more as she progresses.

 

Did you enjoy this post? Anne

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

Work in Progress: Horse Painting

horse watercolor painting in pregress
Painting in progress

I have two diametrically opposite ways of approaching a painting.  One is to make preliminary sketches and plan it out.  The other is to splash a bunch of paint down and then see what comes of it.  This piece belongs to the latter category.

It was a piece of paper that’s been sitting around for years.  I think I’d done something crazy like puddle on a bunch of paint and let it dry covered with plastic wrap.  Although I liked the results, it always seemed too, well…dynamic to make a good background.  So it always ended up getting shoved back into a folder.

This time when I pulled it out, though, the horses appeared.  So I started painting them in…

Not sure how it will turn out but it’s fun to work on.

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More work on the cherry bowl

There’s nothing like watercolor to come up with effects you’d never dream of yourself!

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Putting in the background
Putting in the background

The cherries are starting to look less appetizing in real life, but I’ve pretty much got them down.

Now for the background – the fun part!  I started out putting in the line of the table but didn’t like it, so opted for a real dark ground, very wet juicy.  I used Payne’s gray, Prussian blue, a little pthalo blue, and lemon and Indian yellows, dropped wet into wet.

There’s nothing like watercolor to come up with effects you’d never dream of yourself!

Did you enjoy this post? Anne