Yeha-noha

The Gardner family presents their paintingsI tend to not paint very much between January and April. I don’t know why. It just sort of happens that way each year. Maybe to give my hand (and head) a rest, maybe just the winter blues tampering with my chi and dampening my motivation. Then as the snow melts so does my hibernating mind, and the ideas start to flow. Then more and more ideas come, and my head explodes into torrent of inspiration and I can’t get to a canvas quick enough.

The catalyst that sparked me out of my winter coma and into my painting frenzy this year was Lori and John. I am very fortunate to have so many people who believe in me (through acquaintance or just word of mouth), that (similar to a few other clients), when they purchased their new house, they told me to come over before they had moved any furniture in and “pick a wall.” They didn’t care what went up on the wall, they just wanted me to paint “them” however I saw them.

Their entire house has marvellous deep taupe walls and rich hardwood floors. For me, taupe is the “universal donor” of back-drops because not only is it calming and “earthy” (along with the hardwood), but it goes with just about every colour in my personal paint pallet.

The name for this set of paintings came from a song I listened to (repeatedly… of course) while designing the five individual paintings that represent this extraordinary family. Yeha-Noha is based on a chant of the Native Americans meaning “Wishes of Happiness and Prosperity.” It could not be more appropriate for the new house under whose roof these five amazing spirits now reside.

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Hanging 3 – untitled

This was the first commissioned hanging and the third one I painted. My friends Tracy and Murray saw the ones I’d created to cover up spaces in my house and wanted me to paint them one. I decided to do one for their wedding present (since I became a marriage commissioner for a day and presided over the ceremonies and actually married them 8 months before – and… yes, sheepishly I admit I hadn’t actually gotten around to getting them a present yet). Quite an honour for me!

There are Runes all along the border of this one representing fire, earth, mountain, wind, heaven, earth, lake and wind. Ace and Muzz are very outdoorsy people, and I wanted to represent that throughout the hanging.

The three people dancing under the sun (in view of the mountains) are Tracy, Murray, and Murray’s son Jeff.

Tossed in a hummingbird (for native symbol of love, beauty, intelligence, spirit messenger: and the symbol of a deep and abiding love) coming out from a pair of healing hands (represents the presence of man (or woman.. let’s be politically correct here), his or her work, achievements and legacy. It also represents the direction of the creative spirit). Tracy is also a huge kokopelli fan, so that is just for her.

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