|Cardinal Totem Original Painting Bookmark by Jeanne Fry|
Friday, May 24, 2013
Recently I have been very attracted to the Cardinal Totem, especially since I have a male and female couple that have taken up residence nearby and come to visit me every day. Watching the tender care they give one another , and the special balance they exhibit between being assertive and being passive have given me many contemplative mornings.
Their beautiful red color represents vitality, strength, and standing in one's own power. They remind us not to be afraid to be ourselves, and when we're feeling spent and burned out, there is always tomorrow to try again. They are definitely a "follow your passion" totem.
We live in a woodland area where there is an abundance of birds, but I have become very attuned to the cardinal voice. The female is just as vocal as the male, which is not usual among most birds. It calls to us as women to speak our truth, and to do so with grace.
The cardinal is a beautiful totem to work with, teaching us balance between Passion and Responsibility, between Assertiveness and Grace, and to never give up.
This morning while painting, I decided to create a Cardinal Totem on a few bookmarks. If Cardinal is your totem, or you want to work with the Cardinal totem, and you would like to adopt one of the paintings you can find them in my Artfire Shop here
I continually marvel at (and am grateful for) the ability of Mother Earth to adapt. We two-legged ones have not been very kind to her over the last several years. We have put undue stresses on her and been disrespectful to this place that we call home. She will occasionally tantrum, and yet she still reaches into her heart and finds away to work around our chaos.
|"The Regeneration of Mother Earth", Contemporary Folk Art Painting by Jeanne Fry|
She leaves answers for us in all of her work. When something is poisonous, she will have a remedy nearby. When something has been destroyed, she will heal it and bring new life.
I many times worry that she is taken for granted, and that someday her "fixes" may not be available.
This is what inspired my newest painting
"The Regeneration of Mother Earth"
|"The Regeneration of Mother Earth"|
If you are interested in adopting her, you can find her in our Artfire Shop here
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Late on a Friday evening, while burning some Frangipani incense and drinking my usual Earl Grey tea, I took to the canvas with a different kind of inspiration. My senses were in a heightened state for the room was filled with the scent of cut roses, bundles of spearmint drying in the kitchen, and the rich soil on my garden gloves lying on the end table near the door. Blending that with the Frangipani and my tea, I realized I had an impromptu aromatherapy session going on.
The creative inspiration that came forth was bringing visions of fiery reds, oranges, and yellows into my mind. Rich and Warm, vibrant and bold, the colors swirled in my belly. Immediately my mind wandered now to thoughts of an African landscape, the sun, and an elephant.
|Through the Elephants Eyes, Contemporary Folk Art by Jeanne Fry|
I knew that I had to paint the elephant. The elephant generally has poor eyesight and relies more on his sense of smell to guide him. How ironic that my sense of smell this evening led me to him.
I wanted the painting to reflect more of what the elephant totem could smell and feel, with the actual visuals being a little more subtle.
I wanted the richness of his surroundings to be dominant, with the color scheme making you immediately associate him in his own environment.
Learning more about the elephant totems symbolism gave me a much better understanding of his character, and a desire to carry some of its wisdom with me. Their size and strength is immediately apparent, but their softer compassionate side is often not thought of. They are deeply compassionate, tending to sick and injured ones as well as caring for those that are passing over. They carry great balance within themselves, bold and strong, gentle and loving. A wisdom we all need to carry with us.
The other trait that I found of importance was the fact that the females will travel in packs. Their packs are comprised of all ages and led my an older wise one, all learning and caring for one another. It reminded me of that same special bond we can find in healthy women's circles and how completing that can be for a woman's spirit.
|Through the Elephants Eyes, Original Painting by Jeanne Fry|
My hope with this painting was to be able to stimulate the viewers senses, beyond the visual and the obvious.
You can see more of this painting and find it for sale in our Artfire Shop here
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I was honored to be asked again by Mike Kai of Morris Broadband to collaborate and create a Bear for this year's Downtown Bearfootin' Bear Project. Having worked with them last year on the "Together We Can" bear, I was excited to be given another opportunity to create a bear to support a new charity and the downtown.
|Fiberglass Bear waiting to become Artful|
Each bear is a collaboration between a sponsor, a charity, and an artist. Upon completion they are placed on display throughout Downtown Hendersonville from May through October, and are then put up for auction with the proceeds benefiting the chosen charity.
Last year's bear was a Mother Bear and Cub in a sitting position, while this year's was a full standing Bear. I knew that the height factor and size would be a challenge for me due to my health issues of Lupus SLE and Spondylolisthesis in my spine, but my love of Art and the Bears and Supporting Charities urged me to go forward.
Once brought back to my studio it began with a light sanding process to even out its texture and prep for its artful journey. Slowly working through the sanding process was much like a meditation, giving me time to contemplate on the theme of the bear and his design. This year's charity is "Thrive". Their mission is to provide support and opportunities to adults with mental health needs offering community, hope and recovery. Their goal is to help those they serve move from surviving to thriving.
|Sanding the Bear...Meditation and Contemplation|
During this quiet process the design had come forward in my mind. The logo of "Thrive" is a sage green leaf branch. I was inspired to incorporate the branch throughout the bear's design, embellishing it further with birds. My artistic take on their mission of moving from surviving to thriving, would now have birds flying with the branches in their mouths. Along his chest would be a long branch that would symbolically show this process, with a bird beginning in the sitting position...to standing...to getting ready to launch in flight...and then taking off...moving toward a spiral sun that represents its aspirations.
Priming the bear with grey matte prepped my "canvas" for the painting. I used paynes grey, burnt umber, and black to give life to the bear's coat. Using a fan brush, I slowly navigated through giving him texture in his fur.
|Textured brushstrokes to give him fur|
|There were moments spent outdoors...|
|Moments spent against work table...|
|Close detail beginning on face|
|Birds in Flight toward the Spiral Sun|
Layers of paint, dry time, paint splattered on clothes, continually moving him to complete your vision, and stepping back to contemplate the process....these things become so much more than doing a painting. It's as if you are creating an entity in itself.
And so becomes "With Wings to Fly", our Bear for the 2013 Bearfootin' Bear Public Art Project.
|Front View of "With Wings to Fly"|
|Back View of "With Wings to Fly"|
"With Wings to Fly" will be on display in Downtown Hendersonville ( I believe in front of Flight Restaurant) for viewing. His auction will be on October 19th, 2013, when he will be adopted by a loving person.
If you like to learn more about Thrive, the organization that will benefit from it's auction, you can visit their website here
Thank you to Mike Kai and Morris Broadband for supporting artists and the community.
Goodbye Old Bear....I will miss our time together.
|"With Wings to Fly" and Artist Jeanne Fry|
Sunday, March 31, 2013
I often hear complaints about beavers being a nuisance, but there is much to learn from the Beaver Totem. The Beaver is a great builder. They build their "lodges" in water, and if a pond is not accessible they will build a dam to create one. Not only does this serve their living needs, but is also a source of protection. They will store their food there and use the water to move their building materials.
|Beaver Totem Architect of Life, Original Painted Greeting Card by Jeanne Fry|
When building their lodge they use mud and leaves as an insulation for winter. (Much like we humans use natural cob building techniques, their mud, leaves, and sticks will harden and freeze creating a solid structure for the cold winter months). They build canals, have places for food storage, and their lodges all become an intricate little "city" for their community.
It speaks to us about building what you need in life, creating your home, and providing for your future.They are considered an Architect of Life.
The above painting was created on a watercolor greeting card that measures 5x7. If you would like to see more of it, or adopt it, you can find it listed in our Artfire Shop here
To expand on my earlier writing of the Crow Totem meaning, I wanted to get a little more in depth on some of his lessons.
|Crow Flowers ~ Contemplation ~ Contemporary Folk Art by Jeanne Fry|
While the Crow is excellent at manifesting his desires, and has wonderful attributes to do so (vocal communication skills, use of tools, and working as a team when needed), there is more complexity to his journey. With those things in mind we should take the time to notice that Crow does not just jump into things without studying the situation. He is observant, a watchman, and carefully assesses the matter at hand. He is a thoughtful decision maker and contemplates his next move.
Can he attain the goal on his own? Does he need help? Is this the right moment to make movement?
While we all want to chase after our dreams and seize the moment, it is always wise to put some serious thought into our strategy.
Once he has considered his potential actions, he proceeds with confidence. He does not allow procrastination or fear to cloud his path, but instead trusts in himself and his community of friends.
If you would like to see more of the Crow Flowers painting, or adopt it, you can find it listed here in my Artfire Shop here Crow Flowers Painting on Artfire
One of the most precious totems to work with, along with many lessons, is the Rabbit Totem. Rabbits are immediately known for a fertility in life. This fertility is associated with a multitude of opportunities, open doors, and many paths to be taken. Not only known for the abundance of opportunities afforded by the Universe, but also for the abundance of ways to get there.
|"Leap for Your Dreams" Rabbit Totem, Original Painting by Jeanne Fry|
Rabbits are agile, move quickly, stop quickly, and when watching could move through an obstacle course with ease as if it had been planned all along. This is a lesson from them....when navigating through life, always have an alternate plan, be observant for the open doors, keep in mind that you must stay flexible and...Leap for Your Dreams.
If you would like to see more of this painting or collect it, you can find it listed in our Artfire Shop here Leap for Your Dreams Painting on Artfire