“Blessings Meet Between Earth and Sky”
21” x 31” x 1 ¾” oil on canvas
This painting evolved over the last year beginning with a 11” x 14” plein-air study of a cliff edge mesquite tree, growing out of rock in the middle of the desert. I felt like my small canvas did not do justice to the dimensions of the tree but transferring the sketch to a larger canvas I began to explore concepts of patterns in nature and life cycles.
There are 3 overlapping circles placed within the composition representing eternity but also stages of life. At the base I placed the tortoise, a symbol of knowledge, time and bearing the burden of the earth. In the center of the painting is the owl, guardian of wisdom but also symbolizing man’s goal for insight. At the top of the painting the vulture symbolizes death and rebirth. It soars on the edge of the top circle as not an end but continuing aspect of the life cycle.
Bottom left, along the line of the lower circle, is a deer who is a symbol of regeneration and spiritual connection. There are two quail playing to the right of the owl, along the line of the upper circle, representing family. Also along the circles are 2 cardinals symbolizing mindfulness and faith and three dove symbolizing love and peace. High in the tree, hidden against the trunk, is the king snake. As a predator to rattlesnakes but not dangerous to people, the king snake is a reminder that we should not always fear the unknown. Also along the circle lines are a gila monster, a javalina, a lynx, a squirrel, a roadrunner, and a bull snake.
For myself, I am continuing to learn there is beauty and life in even the harshest of landscapes, just as during the darkest and most uncertain of times there is still cause to hope and celebrate.