Blessing Way 18 x 24 Mixed Media on Canvas
There may be some tweaks in this painting's future before taking the official photographs, but there is a lot I really like about this one. I managed to get sheep into a painting that is not of a church. I first put Navajo women in a painting called the Guardian this winter.
I like the combination of the goddesses in the canyons with the people of that land, but it raises all sorts of issues about scale and perspective. I don't want to lessen the grandeur of the cliffs and monuments but I don't want the women to pale into insignificance. A friend raised the question about the facelessness of my goddesses and people. I told her I don't want them to be a specific woman. Too much detail and they are no longer every woman.
The other question raised by Blessing Way is ownership of what may be termed the Native American Spirituality. Here in the southwest we are swamped by Wannabes. I am not Navajo and yet I have always felt an infinity with their spiritual path or blessing way. I have decided I have come to that path not from a desire to wannabe like them but through the land as they have. There is something about the Colorado Plateau and its vast empty spaces and awe inspiring sandstone monuments shaped by the wind and the rain that leads you away from ownership of the land to being its partner through your journey. By putting simple people in the paintings with my goddesses I am trying to convey that marriage of body and soul, of land and spirit.
Churches are ever so much easier to paint.