This past August Rhonda and I visited a local Shaman just outside of Calgary to participate in our animal naming ceremony. I was intrigued to have my animal symbol given to me since I am often offering up my idea of other people’s symbols in my paintings, it would be nice to see what someone thought I was. I’ve been drawn to many animal symbols in my life, specifically the bird, otter and whale. At the end of the ceremony, Rhonda is a Bear, and I am a Red-Tailed Hawk. Our friend Heather also went a few weeks later, and was also a Bear.
Heather and Rhonda have been lifelong friends, and I consider Heather a part of the family. Thus, I decided to surprise them with paintings of The Bear for each of them. I wanted them to be similar, to symbolize the bonds of their friendship, with one slight change to Rhonda’s painting which includes the smaller bear within the larger bear which related to the point in her life (moment of her birth) when her animal symbol first appeared to her.