Monday, May 21, 2007

White Garter Snake

We have a white garter snake living in our garage. She’s been with us for at least three years now. Sometimes we go for months at a time without seeing her, so I’m always happy when someone catches a glimpse of her, to know that she is still blessing us with her presence. I've been told that she is very auspicious, and that she is a powerful totem, like the white buffalo. Snake symbolizes rebirth (shedding its skin,) kundalini (sexual/creative life force,) the cycles of life and eternity (ouroborus – ancient image of a snake swallowing its own tail.)

We never harm the snakes in our yard. They startle me sometimes, but I’m never afraid of them. Garter snakes have always seemed so pretty to me, with their stripes and cute little faces. I am so very honored to have her here!

Here are a few photos I’ve taken of her...

Last year, in the garage:

Not sure what's going on here. Mating? The other snakes were all around her. This was witnessed several times within a few weeks:

Sunday May 12th, 2007. I've only seen her outside in the daylight one other time, three years ago. Isn't she beautiful!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Backyard Royalty

Since I'm in between paintings right now, I thought I would post the story and photos of an older piece.

A few years ago, this handsome fellow came to visit me when I was in the front yard planting flowers. He proceeded to make himself at home, rather acting as if he owned the place. I asked him to stay while I got my camera, for he was just too perfect not to photograph. He struck a few haughty poses while I snapped some photos. When I saw this one, I knew I had to paint it:

Here are a few in-progress photos. Yes, I have dandelions in my yard...

Finally done! This last picture is from my scanner, which is why the colors are different. The final painting is more vivid than the scan, with the colors being closer to the WIP photos.

I've had so many comments on this one - a lot of people think it's a photograph when they first see it. After the many, many, MANY hours spent painting the grass, I'm sure I have a bit of a pained look as I assure them that it is indeed an original painting! It was an exercise in patience to be sure. Hope you enjoyed looking at it.