Archive for February, 2010

The Legend of the White Buffalo

So here it is. In case you missed my last post I’m going to try again with her. It will essentially be the same painting just pushed back a little farther to allow for more of a buffalo profile so it’s more clear what I’m actually painting.

I also hope to start a new Raven, but once again they are predicting more snow this weekend. Oh Spring, Where Art Thou!

The Legend of the White Buffalo
The legend of the white buffalo tells of an ethereal woman who comes to the Sioux tribes and offers them them the sacred gift of the pipe. She taught them how to use it and talked about the importance of woman and children and their connectedness to the earth. She said that what they do is as being as important as the warriors. As she left she promised she would return someday. And then lay down and rolled four times and turned into a white buffalo calf.

The white buffalo is seen as a highly sacred symbol to many of the American Indian Nations. It is seen as a symbol of hope and renewal for humanity and for harmony between all peoples.

A white buffalo calf (named Miracle) was born in Wisconsin in August of 1994. Since she was not an albino, she was considered to be the first white buffalo calf born since 1933.

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Believe it or not we yet again had a storm that kept me on the farm for a couple of days. This one was just a few inches of snow but with horrible winds. So as soon as the lane was cleared it drifted right back in. Soooooo no new art to speak of.

The good news is I’ve had a Swedish massage every night since Mike returned (twice last night.) I’ve never had a Swedish massage before just the usually kind. It was totally AWESOME! Seriously run, don’t walk and go get one. It may even be worth all the money the class is costing.

About the Buffalo

I did finish the white buffalo and will post her next. However I am not totally happy with her so I plan to redraw and do her again. I think I need to push back a bit. She is too close to be obvious it’s a buffalo and being white just throws that much more confusion on top of it. So it will be pretty much the same image just a little smaller to allow for more of the profile. Anyway I’m hoping that will do the trick. My Red Buffalo seems to me to obviously be a buffalo despite being red. So that’s what I’m going for. Other than that, I like her.

Winter Photos
The photos are from one of our outbuildings which had a new steel roof put on it this summer. I just love the weird little twisty ice fingers it’s developed. We’ve been in this repeating cycle with all this weird freezing rain, (not common this time of year) followed by nasty blizzards. I guess this is the result.

We’ve got mountains of snow in the yard and Chicory’s paddock fence, which normally he can rest his chin on, the top board is now only running across his chest. The snow is so hard packed he can actually stand on top of the drifts. Frankly if he was so inclined he could hop right over it his fence with little effort. Fortunately for me he is happy enough where he is most of the time and only wanders off if a gate is left open or the deer tear up the electric fence.

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I've Been Blessed!

But do I want to be a giant squid?
Okay, so a couple of my lenses were blessed recently and because of that (or so I’m assuming. Who knows maybe it’s because “I’m special”) I was invited to join in the Become A Giant Squid group which kinda mentors and helps writers along in reaching their goal of 50 lenses.

Perhaps I should explain the whole concept a little more clearly.

Squidoo is a place where you can write small webpages which they call lenses. Unlike many places the focus is providing quality information but also offering the writers to partake in earning money. This is done in a couple of ways.
1. Monetizing. This means including Amazon and other affiliate links. People click through you get paid. People buy you get paid more.
2. Squidoo Rankings. Squidoo pays out money depending where your lens ranks.

There are 3 payout level.
Tier three: Your lens needs to rank under 85,000
Tier Two: Under 10,000
Tier One: Under 2,000

Two of mine are Tier Two but close to Tier One and 15 are Tier Three. Two completely out of the money.

Currently there is like a million lenses (not kidding there) and so a person writes a lens and then waits for it to rise in the rankings so it can start earning it’s keep

In order for a lens to get ranked higher there are numerous ways.
1.Other squidoo members Star rank your lens.
2 Comments left by either members or non members
3.Clickouts. How often someone clicks through to affiliates
4. traffic. How many people visit your lens.
5. Becoming a Giant Squid Which is having at least 50 quality lenses.
6. Creating Over 100 lenses
7.Squid Angel Blessings. (which is the reason I wrote this post) Squidoo has a group of volunteers who go around looking for lenses that are well executed but may not be ranking highly. When they bless them which helps them temporarily raise in the rankings and so hopefully get more attention from the ranking systems and thus elevate the lens.

In theory you can get a high ranking lens with just any one of these ranking tools but it usually requires all of them working together to make it happen.

Okay so anyway back to the point of this post. Do I want to be a giant squid? Yes . . . someday. Frankly I thought shooting for 20 lenses this year was pushing it for me but I have already surpassed that (a couple are still in the building stage) and it’s only Feb. Can I really do 50 before the next deadline? Doubtful but possible.

We shall see.

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The Newest Totem: White Buffalo

Initially I had thought I would simply flip the image of my red buffalo over and create a white one. I wanted to make them similar enough to be a possible set. In the end I selected another cow bison that was posed very similarly. I like to think all my critters are distinct so I really didn’t want to just redo my previous bison. I wanted each to be a distinct personality. Well as much as one can when it’s a piece of paper.

The background is going to be different from the previous totem paintings. I am thinking I may do something similar with Raven and maybe Wolf so they all tie in. But we’ll see. Not gonna tell you what it is because . . . it’s a surprise.

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Just in time for Easter.
I’ve been hard at work getting my website updated and wanted to announce that A Family Resemblance is now available in print at the Wild Faces Gallery website. For more information on sizing and pricing just click here to visit the website.

Upcoming Post
: White Buffalo Totem

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So here she is. Her chest and leg area need to be sorted out yet and I want to dark the background around the cat. But I was so excited to move on that I did. I plan to go back to her in a day or two. It always helps to rest a bit and then come back.

Wild is always wild.
When I was working at the zoo people would see me walking amongst the critters and form the wrong opinion. When in with the wolves as they were bouncing around me like a group of very happy to see me dogs trying to lick me or or when in with Sam the cougar and she was acting all kittenish and rolling in the grass, they would often comment how much they seemed just like their pets at home. My saying under no circumstances are these critters tame did little to change that opinion.

It wasn’t until I threw some leg of something in the enclosures (when I was safely out) and the predators did what they do best, fell upon the carcass with the most scary snarling and clawing that they got my true meaning. Wild is always wild. Even when you raise from a few days old with a bottle, which is what this park did.

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So What's Your Totem Animal?

Totem animals come and go in our lives. You may have some for awhile that later disappear only to have new ones replace them.

Or they may stay with you always.

A few days back Angela Finney asked me if cougar was a totem of mine. Though cougar is not, it got me to wondering if any of you have totem animals that you would like to share.

Robert Sloan had mentioned his was cougar Also Lorie recently made a request for Raven as it’s one of her favorite critter.

Anyone else want to share? I may just get inspired to add your critter to the series.

My Muse Has Thwacked Me Hard With Her Inspiration Stick

I’m all a flutter with ideas. I had been pondering my series thus far and like what I’ve got but I don’t want 15 to 35 paintings all the same color and concept. So I pondered this and slept on it and woke up to all sorts of ideas.

I now have a plan for Horse and White buffalo as well as (possibly) Raven and Wolf.

I am also currently building a Squidoo lens about totem (and spirit guide) animals which will include information about the significance of each animal. Hey I warned you I am kinda new agey.

That being said I find this all very interesting. A curiosity. But much like I don’t put a lot of store in my being a Libra . . .so it goes with this.

My Totem Animals Are. . .
(appearing in the order of significance.)

1 Bear. This one has been with me for a very long time. Between the ages of 16 and 25 I often dreamed I was a bear and I still remember them vividly. Also my personality is very bear like. I’m loving and amiable but if someone pokes me . . . well, let’s just say things turn ugly.

2. Raven/Crow. Raven came to me about 5 years ago when I was exploring imagery regarding my health. I have more than one condition, though they do not really effect my daily life, they will undoubtedly shorten my life and do on occasion cause me distress.

So I was doing some healing visualizations and Raven and Crow came to me. Rather unexpectedly. So much so I was startled out of my meditation. Since then they have been a part of any healing imagery I do. I consider them a sign of good luck when I see them in real life.

Also last year at an art fair I was looking at another artist’s work and commenting on how lovely her things were. Her art was packed with strung beads and baubles. I said”I do love the dangly and the sparkly” She smiled and said that I was a Raven in a past life. I looked at her and smiled and thought “Whaaaa?” But that thought kinda stuck in my head.

3. Horse. I would have thought horse would have ranked higher but I’m not totally sure of this one anyway. The horse plays prominently in my life and I am very passionate about the animal. Also I was born in the Chinese astrological year of the horse and for the most part embody what it stands for.

Discover Your Birth Animal Totem

Interestingly, last night as I was doing research for my totem lens I decided I wanted to incorporate other totem lenses into mine and I ran across this one. Discover Your Birth Animal Totem

I found out that what while I’ve known about my zodiac sun sign (you know like I’m a Libra) that I also have a moon sign. According to that I was born in the month of the crow/raven. And that my spirit keeper (not sure what that is) is Grizzly Bear.

Huh? What do ya know.

Also Bev, the author of the lens also has a blog about animal totems and spirit guides so if your curious to know more check it out.

BTW the finished (well almost finished. She’s up to the tweaking stage) cougar will get posted next.

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