Monday, February 9, 2009

Art Speak

I have been creating mandalas in watercolors to assist me in processing the recent loss of my mother. I find that during the meditative process of creating a mandala that thoughts and visual images appear. In my second mandala painting the shape of a hummingbird appeared.

The hummingbird happens to be my totem animal, and I took notice of what it might be telling me. According to Native Americans our fellow creatures, the animals, exhibit habit patterns that will relay messages of healing to anyone astute enough to observe their lessons. When you call upon the power of an animal, you are asking to be drawn into complete harmony with the strength of that creature's essence.

It is said that hummingbird conjures love as no other medicine does, and that hummingbird feathers open the heart. Without an open and loving heart, you can never taste the nectar and pure bliss of life. To brother and sister hummingbird, life is a wonderland of delight - darting from one beautiful flower to another, tasting the essences, and radiating the colors. Hummingbird sings a vibration of pure joy.

I am honored by the presence of hummingbirds; this winter as I was painting and a hummingbird showed up at the window, at my mother's funeral reception a hummingbird joined us, and while I was painting the second mandala in the series processing the loss of my mom this hummingbird image appeared.

Having just finished reading art therapist, Shaun McNiff's book, Trust the Process, I will re-frame from adding meaning to this mandala. Shaun believes that it is important to contemplate images with the attitude of withholding judgments or explanations of any kind. He says the interpretation of art can be approached as a tantric discipline that reflects upon visual qualities. He asks, "Why is it that we fell the need to respond to visual communications verbally?"

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. How cool is that? A hummingbird there to help in its quiet, yet very personal way. I will send you healing thoughts. It is so hard to lose your Mom.