Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Paint wild animals on a drum

I made a drum to honor the awakening of the world mind on October 28, 2011, which had woven into the back the sacred numbers 9 for the underworlds and 13 for the heavens of the Mayan calendar. I said that although it was small it was huge.  The little drum was recently painted, and the wild animal that came to its surface is also small and huge: the Margay, a tree-loving cat from the land of the Mayans.

The Margay is perfectly suited for life in the trees, where it spends most of its time high in the forest canopy. It has especially large eyes to judge distances at night , allowing it to leap with confidence. Its night vision is six times more acute than that of humans.

The Margay has long, flexible ears that it aims with reflex action at any source of sound.  It also has highly flexible joints in its ankles, a slender build and a long tail for fluid balance and agility. The Margay is found in the rainforests of Central and South America, and is comparable to our domestic cat in size and weight.  Just the right sort of small huge creature to escort shamanic journeys into cosmic awakening and Mayan teachings.

So how do I  paint this wild animal on a drum?  I look for the eyes.  I try not to get in the way by making assumptions about what wild animal is coming.  I use the raw earth pigments as colored dust to mostly paint what is not the animal. I trust that the color symbolism of the chromium green and red iron oxide pigments, the story of the drum, and the posture and features of the animal all will go together in ways more mysterious and meaningful than I can imagine or plan for.  And because I do not tell the wild animal how to come--it does.