November 03, 2008

Something In Motion

I concieved of this piece when my daughter Katie showed me a drawing that she did of a unicorn, and the flying mane on the withers reminded me of a bird lighting on the horses back. The idea swam around in my head for a few days, and within that time a small flock of magpies began to visit the farm every morning when I was feeding. I began noticing magpies everywhere, crossing my path while I was driving, outside my home. I decided that I needed to put a magpie on the back of the horse in my painting. But, I thought, I've never seen a magpie on a horses back. Usually the little black birds (I think starlings or maybe grackles) hang out with horses.

Within a few days, I picked up a brochure about a wild horse sanctuary in South Dakota, opened it up, and there was a photo of a magpie on a horses back. A few days after that, I walked out of the goat barn at the farm and there was a magpie perched on the butt of a new pony who just moved in the previous day.
It was all so serendipitous, and it reminded me of a concept in a book I'm reading called "Hanta Yo" about the traditional life of a Lakotah tribe a few hundred years ago. Their concept of god or life force was very holistic, it could be summed up in the phrase 'something in motion'.

As I was working on this painting, as it 'popped' for me (really came to life and excited me) I decided to call it "Something In Motion".

Believe it or not, as I was finishing this painting, the magpies had congregated in front of the motorhomw where I've put my new bones from my trip last weekend. I hung several skulls and bones on the fence outside my window. As I was working I looked up and saw a bird perched on top of one of the skulls. I wish I had a camera!!!

The finished piece

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