Sunday, January 3, 2010

Strength and Love United!

"Strength and Love United"

I finished this painting a few days ago. I got an eagle sculpture for Christmas and thought it would be a perfect model to paint. And besides, it seems to represent strength, something I continue to work on within myself. It would not fly away, shift poses, look bored or anything. A captive audience.Maybe quite not the challenge of going down to Starved Rock and painting the bald eagles flying around, but that's for another time. Perhaps the sculpture is really just a fossilized eagle from times long ago. Okay, there goes my imagination.....I do admire those who sculpt or do pottery and other 3D creative pursuits. Those classes just never grabbed me back in art school. Oh, and those who model in life drawing classes, by the way (what patience)! I so admire their stamina!

In the old days I would have painted every feather on a bird, every scale on an alligator, etc. Now I just do impressions, little dashes and swirls here and there. The rest can be filled in by the viewer. After I completed the watercolor above, I looked more closely at it and then something Elena had posted once on her blog came to mind. She talked about finding hearts in the world around us, in inanimate objects, if we just open our own hearts and soul.
Well, the wings on this bird look like a heart, don't you think? And how perfect, to have strength and love together, represented in the eagle and its heart-shaped wings. To be strong, but not so strong and tough that love is shut out. That sounds good to me!

I then grabbed Jamie Sim's Medicine Cards book and thumbed through to see what the eagle symbolizes. An overall summary with what I thought were key points follows:
"Eagle medicine is the power of the Great Spirit, the connection to the Divine. It is the ability to live in the realm of spirit, and yet remain connected and balanced within the realm of Earth... to look higher and to touch Grandfather Sun with your heart, to love the shadow as well as the follow the joy your heart desires"

So I really do believe in the power of creativity. I saw the heart emerging from the eagle as I painted it and then Jamie's words reaffirmed with words the connection of it all. Synchronicity, another word that comes to mind. Maybe I am putting even more of my own heart self into the image and it emerged in a visual way. Hope so.

Yes, I must admit I almost donated the eagle sculpture to goodwill. I have so many tokens and tidbits already and in my decluttering state of mind, nothing is safe. But then, I would not have painted the bird, which pushed me to new levels regarding meaning and symbolism.

And yes, Carol, you are right; it really does matter what we paint and its personal affinity to us. It's not just a little bird on a fence post, but a magnificant eagle that represents so much more. Love, strength, balance, flying to new heights, leaving the old behind, more intentions and more messages for me to embrace as the New Year continues to unfold.......Thank you, Eagle!


Miki Willa said...

Wonderful eagle. I love the impression of the feathers and the colors you chose. Very nice.

Suz said...

WOw again Bev
I live your birds and your painting

Doris said...

It is really a great start for the New Year! All the strength and devotion shining through. Love it!

butterfly woman said...

Yes, I put my strength into the eagle painting with the intentions that the strength will manifest into other areas of my life.
I am glad my feelings are coming through in the creations....
Yes, my first "strong" bird (in my mind) with a dash of love thrown in!

Elena said...

So so cool Bev. I've always loved eagles, wolves and horses. And yes, I do see the heart. I love the strength in your pieces lately. Keep it coming.