Saturday, May 18, 2013

Through the Elephants Eyes and the Elephant Totem Symbolic Meaning

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.

The Original of this painting has sold, but it is available as an Art Print here
Through the Elephants Eyes Art Print

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