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Posts Tagged ‘totems’

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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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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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.

Disclaimer
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.

UPDATED:
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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Cougar Totem Painting Continued

Meet Samantha
(Sam for short)

I always love the intensity of big cats eyes. Even when at rest they have a stare that (perhaps because we humans are prey animals) speaks to the very primal mind. Here she is a sub-adult though in the wild she would be old enough to be on her own by now.

Sam is giving me a good stare because she is trying to discern whether I might be smuggling some haunch of elk or something. (I was not.) Mostly she slept out of view so zoo goers were often disappointed. Part of my job was to talk with people so I often would call her out. Of course she always came. After all she wouldn’t want to miss a meal on account of being anti-social.

The person I replaced was attacked by a mountain lion. Whether it was Sam or not, I do not know. They fell into the electric fence and that is pretty much what saved the keepers life.

I had only one “really” scary moment with Sam when she wrapped herself around my right leg and started chewing on my boot. Fortunately I had my trusty garden hose and all it took was a spritz to end her making a snack of me.

About The Painting
The body area is not done. Considering I’m not a fan of yellow I certainly have allot of it here. I am moving onto to the background now and then may play with the coloring of the cat again.

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I Interrupt this blog for some gratuitous self-promotion.
I promise it will be brief.

Red Buffalo and Yellow Bear have now been added in their own special Totem Series gallery on the Wild Faces Gallery website. (And yes, I updated it all by myself.)

I really enjoyed doing these brightly colored expressionistic critters and plan to flush out the series with at least 5 more totem animals. (Including another try at Raven.)

If you are interested in purchasing a print or would like more information please click on the title in the box next to the critter of your choice.

Both prints show the deckled edges of the handmade paper in the Limited Edition version of the print. The smaller, open edition prints do not.

We now return to you to the blog.

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