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The Heart of Wolf: A W.I.P.

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I thought I’d show the progression of this painting so far. Although it hasn’t been going as quickly – or easily, as Otter, I am nonetheless having a good time painting Wolf. This is my 4th Wolf painting in the overall totem animal series. This one is for the Birth Totem Animal series. Wolf is the birth totem animal for those born between February 19 and March 20. Some of the sources I use to study totem animals say that the animal for this time frame is the Cougar. It is interesting to me that two totally different animals could represent the same birth time. But for the purposes of this series, I am painting Wolf – maybe because I identify with Wolf, who has shown herself to be a wonderful teacher in my creative life.

“Wolf is the pioneer, the forerunner of new ideas, to teach and share with others what they have learned. Wolves have an enormous sense of family as well as a strong individualistic urge. Baying at moon is wolf's desire to connect with new ideas just below the surface of consciousness, for the moon is a symbol for psychic energy.” - excerpts from "Medicine Cards" by Jamie Sams.

I started this painting a bit differently than I usually do, experimenting with laying in a dark pattern in the background. The whole painting is drawn a bit looser, freer.

In my second session, I went in and fixed a few drawing problems, then started fiddling with the background until I made it WAY too important!

When I picked up the brush the next night, I added more paint to Wolf’s body, sort of patches of color. Mad some mud and had to wipe out a bit! I decided the background was too distracting, so went in and made it less contrasty. It occurred to me while I was painting that this was one of the Wolves that appeared to me a year and a half ago when I took a workshop to help discover my personal totem animals with Suzanne Rougé.

Last night when I painted I decided to darken the background to make Wolf pop a bit more, and worked on creating more form in Wolf’s body. Also added a crescent moon…and writing at the bottom. Close to completion, but not quite there yet.

Topics: On the Easel


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