Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Totem Series...

...Is complete!

To date, I think this was my most ambitious series of paintings to tackle.  For several reasons. 

The least of which is my handling of human subjects, not to mention the abstract concepts/themes I chose and how to unify them across multiple compositions while still maintaining a sense of independence for each.  How about articulating exactly what you were trying to convey?


[insert crazy cackling here]

 Here are the three in order of creation in their entirety: 

"Goat Totem"

"Crow Totem"

"Wolf Totem"
Its pretty interesting to see all three together.  The execution of the concepts I was trying to convey are obvious to me, but may not be so for the general audience.  I'm sure most viewers will take these at face value individually...

"Oh cool, a goat head."

"look at that crow on that girls shoulder - I like the space wings."

"Neat wolf headdress."

...but together, it broaches a greater conversation I think.  A conversation on the internal struggle for balance within ones self on a spiritual and mental level.  And before you give an eye-roll to that "hippy-ish" statement, just hear me out.

In "Goat Totem", the depiction of the goat dominates the composition and the girl is an afterthought.  She is flat, as if she is being absorbed; her ear the only part left visibly human.  This represents someone who is influenced to hold onto an idea or concept at the cost of themselves. There is no sense of self, only this thing, this "Totem". 

In the "Crow Totem", The woman is presumably looking off into the distance with a black crow on her shoulder.  At first glance, you would assume this is a take on the classic concepts of devil vs angel; you can clearly see the woman being influenced by the crow and crows mean bad things right?  
Within the themes of this series, however, I use the crow as a symbol based on the context of spirit animals or guides;  the woman is gaining a higher perspective.  Her eyes are opening to possibilities.  She's looking towards the future. This piece is meant to show a sense of transition.  

Lastly, we come to the "Wolf Totem".  The woman is wearing a wolf hood, one eye piercing the viewer in complete confidence.  The wolf and woman are two halves of one whole; they both share an eye and a canine tooth.  The wolf's galaxy eye is a representation of the "third eye" which provides perception beyond ordinary sight, such as intuition or "gut instinct".  With this piece I wanted to convey a sense of strength, balance and acceptance of all the unique pieces of oneself [good and bad].

So there you have it. 

My Totem series explained! 

And this took me all afternoon to figure out how to say... I was never great with words, just the pictures ;]

Back to painting for me!