Monday, March 21, 2011

Animal Totems

I once bumped noses with a deer.  It was an extremely domesticated deer ambling about the town of Banff.  And it was more interested in the contents of my grocery bag than having an ungulate to human soul connection, but I still prefer to think of it as a spiritual encounter.  I am particularly fond of the deer.
I have begun a series of paintings called Animal Totems to celebrate some of the animals we feel inexplicably drawn to.  
Much of this inspiration comes from the work of Josh Keyes (www.joshkeyes.net) and Anne Siems (www.annesiems.com); two contemporary painters who paint wildlife from a perspective that is fresh, engaging and visionary in a way that rekindles our connection with the animal kingdom. 
As artists, I wonder how we can create more of a kinship between ourselves and the animal world.  What can we do to instil the idea that all creatures, human and otherwise, have intrinsic value?  
In the spirit of the deer, I gently nudge you to consider the animals you feel a personal connection to and also encourage you to find a way to express and share your appreciation in such a way that someone in your family or community will benefit from your insight and sensitivity.  

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