Totem Animal: Polar Bear

I am very pleased with the outcome of my polar bear totem. Using blue ink instead of black helped to give the bear that “icy” look. I was very free spirited (see what I did there) in my approach to the designs on this one. The back section looks like bear claws to me. At first, this was unintentional but then I just went with it. Blue is one of my favorite colors (and also green) so I always enjoy playing around with the values and different hues of the color. I remember in high school drawing a green giraffe and I loved getting the different shadows using the same shade of color. I felt the same joy when creating this piece. I have more ideas for single color drawings that I will be playing with in the near future. Now, on to some polar bear symbolism!

Bear claws? Icicles? What do you think?

Polar Bear Symbolism

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What a powerful totem the polar bear is! They are the largest land carnivore and quite possibly the toughest. Polar bears are solitary animals. They hunt alone, live alone and come together only to mate. They survive one of the harshest environments on Earth and they do it with their own willpower and independence. This is their first lesson. Stand on your own two feet. If polar bear has presented itself to you, it may be time to become more self- reliant. You have the power to make it on your own. You have the capability to get through any hardship, no matter how big, without the hand of someone else to pull you out. Find your own strength and pull yourself out!

Polar Bears are so impressive that the Inuit have a great respect for them and their mythology has many tales to honor the polar bear. It was believed that the polar bear was a god and the master of all bears. He could walk on two legs like a man, he was immense in size and so, his soul was just as immense. He protected the other bears and would watch the hunters to ensure they respected the bears they had hunted, with a special ceremony, and to also use every part of the creature. This great respect was appreciated by the polar bear god and in return he would ensure the hunter’s success on the next hunt.

The polar bear, however, is a target for no one. They have terrific camouflage, blending right into the environment. They “disappear” right before your eyes. They are the masters of cloaking themselves. Perhaps you should be doing the same. It is always important to stand out and be unique but the polar bear could be telling you right now is a good time to blend into the background. Become unseen and step back. Observe what is happening around you, quietly and patiently. Only when you have a full understanding of everything around you, can you emerge with an incredible power that no one saw coming. It is okay to take time to collect ourselves, understanding ourselves and our environment. This will ensure success in our own hunts!

Polar bears are also a strong symbol for mothering and preparing for new life. The only time a polar bear will hibernate is when a female gives birth to cubs. Polar bears are fierce and protective mothers. The cubs stay with their mother for around two years until she has taught them everything they need to know about surviving on their own. This could be a sign telling you to start preparing for a cub of your own. Or perhaps you have a new project or responsibility that needs your utmost care and devotion to see it to completion.

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The polar bear has much to teach us and should be greatly respected as a powerful guide and totem. What do you think the polar is saying to you? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by this week and I hope you enjoyed my latest totem drawing. Check back next week for a unique post about animal symbolism. This one will be like none I have created before!

Take care, free spirits!

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Related Posts: Bear | Ice Bear WIP

Sources:

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Ice Bear WIP

I had so much fun making this one. With each piece that I do it becomes easier and easier for me to “let loose”. I have always set up “rules” for myself, forcing myself to stick to a made up guideline when it came to my drawings. Since working with zentangle and my totem animals though, I am feeling more like a free spirit than I ever have before and my work is better because of it! This piece was fluent. I have been wanting to do a polar bear for a while now but unintentionally waited until winter time to create it. I am still lacking in black ink since inktober happened and so I decided to go with blue. This is the first time I have used a color other than black for the outline and I think it came out pretty cool. I wonder what kind of affect I will get when I add the colored pencil.

Although, I have to say, it looks good in the black too. What do you think? Should I experiment more with different color outlines or just stick with black? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by today! Check back later this week to learn about polar bear symbolism and to see the finished drawing!

Take care, free spirits!

Zen Reindeer WIP

 

BW Reindeer WM

I finally finished the ink for my reindeer totem. It felt like it took forever. I could have kept going too but I stopped myself. Sometimes I get too carried away with the ink that the color turns out funky. Either that or the color takes away from the ink. Neither are good.

I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with this piece, though I never do. I did know I wanted it “decorated” to incorporate Santa’s sleigh. I started out with a fancy harness in mind and just went from there. This is the result.

I rushed the body. Their hair is so fine and smooth; I wasn’t sure how I wanted to incorporate it. I attempted a braid-like pattern which I feel I could have down a lot better on. I spent so much time getting the face the way I wanted, though, that I didn’t want to take another day or two to finish the body. So I will have to practice this more in my spare time.

I hope you enjoy the piece so far. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by. Check back soon, my next post will showcase the completed totem piece and the symbolism behind the reindeer.

Take care, Free Spirits!

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If you like the Reindeer, you may also like Deer and Moose!

Totem Animal: Skunk

Skunk WM

This totem drawing is unique from my others. I was really worried about the black over powering the tangles or the entire image in general. I didn’t want the skunk to turn into a blob so I incorporated different colors, shades of blue and purple. I like how it adds to the “flower” look and it helps break up the skunk’s body. When I first started this piece I wasn’t confident, especially when I had to scrap the first attempt and start a second. Then, with the color, I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. It just kind of happened. Sometimes you have to let them ride out that way and in the end, it’s worth it. Plus, it makes it exciting to bring art to life piece by piece. With that being said, let’s see what guidance the skunk has to share with us.

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Skunk Symbolism

The skunk is a symbol of self-respect. Everyone knows skunk. Everyone steers clear of skunk. This respect seems effortless on skunk’s part. The skunk is nonchalant; it struts around without a care in the world. Skunk has asserted itself in the world, confident. The skunk shows us we must carry ourselves in a way that demands respect. By carrying ourselves in a confident manner, our energy resonates to others around us and respect will follow naturally. The skunk has no need for violence and aggression. It can live a playful and carefree life because it is assertive and has self-respect.

Skunk has the power to repel and attract others as it desires. The same scent that repels creatures that mean harm also attracts a mate. The skunk represents sensuality and sexuality. Use your power to attract like-minded individuals while warding off the people who will only drain you of your energy.

Skunk teaches us how to control our energy flow. Be careful not to portray yourself as “available” if you are not. If the skunk has crossed your path, you will be attracting the attention of others. Make sure you are aware of where your energy is directed. Use it constructively to assert yourself, instead of wasting it on energy vampires. You have the skills, that’s why people are attracted to you. Stop worrying if you are “good enough”. It is up to you to walk the walk and show that you deserve that respect, respectfully.

The skunk is peaceful yet steps aside for no creature. At first, many would literally turn their nose up to them but they are a strong totem to have. I now understand why the skunk has been following me all year. Assertiveness, self-worth and self-respect is something I have been working on. I’ve made great strides by using my art as my voice and I am thankful I have the skunk to guide me through my journey.

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I learned a lot from skunk. It’s funny how in the beginning of this piece I was not confident in my work but by the end, I felt really good about what I had created. Coincidences like this just make me want to study animal totems even more! I hope skunk was able to offer some insight on your journey as well. Thanks for stopping by this week! Check back often throughout December for a month filled with Christmas and winter related totems!

Beati pacifici, free spirits!

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Sources:
Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson

 

 

ZenSkunk WIP

 

BW Skunk WMI just finished the ink for my latest totem, the skunk. I am very pleased with how this one came out. Though, this is actually my second attempt. My first attempt was not working at all. The tangles were messy and rushed. The drawing was not flowing and I couldn’t “see” what I wanted to do with it. It stunk! (see what I did there) So I accepted defeat and started a new one. This is the result. Much better. I used flower related tangles because I always think of the skunk from Bambi:

“He can call me flower, if he wants to.”

Next is color, what little color there is. It will be more or less shading. That makes things easy yet difficult. It’s easy because there is not much to it; it’s difficult because the detail can get lost in the black. I will share the finished piece later this week and we will check out the symbolism of the skunk. I am very interested to learn skunk. I have never looked it up in the past and I see them frequently. I wonder what lessons are in store for us!

What do you think about skunks? Have any funny stories? Share them in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.

Cura te ipsum, free spirits!

Totem Animal: Turkey

Color Turkey WM

Today is the day to honor the turkey. I am happy with how this piece turned out. I used prismacolor markers along with colored pencils on this one. I think it turned out a lot better than my past totems. The colors pop and the shading was easier to accomplish. I’m surprised it took me this long to incorporate my markers. I am going to start using them with all my pieces from now on.

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Turkey Symbolism

The turkey is a huge symbol for connecting with nature. It is known as the Earth Eagle. The males have fleshy growths that hang over their beak called “snoods” that they use when challenging other males. This “snood” represents for the third eye. It is time to open our own third eye. Mother Earth will share her wisdom and guidance. Turkeys are a symbol of the harvest and using the land properly to nourish ourselves. Turkeys live in large groups representing abundance. They live full lives with full bellies and we should be doing the same along side our family.

It can be easy to get lost in the materialistic battle to “get ahead” but it is time to stop thinking that way. It is not about how much stuff you have but rather how many lives you have touched. Instead of focusing on personal gain and keeping everything to ourselves, we must share what we have with others. We shouldn’t be greedy but instead have an open heart and be sure that everyone is taken care of. 

The turkey is a powerful symbol for Thanksgiving. They are the biggest teacher of self sacrifice and giving. The turkey sacrifices it’s life to feed us. We must show respect for the turkey. We should be willing to make sacrifices, as well, to help others in need.

Let us remember to give this Thanksgiving and help anyone who may need it. The holidays can be difficult for many. It is important to look out for each other. Give away!

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Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have a lovely time with your family and get stuffed with yummy food! What is your favorite Thanksgiving food? Let us know in the comments below. If it’s turkey, remember to show your respect.

Until next time,

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

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Sources:
Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson
Ending quote by Maya Angelou

 

 

 

ZenTurkey WIP

BW Turkey WM

I was originally going to start working on skunk as my next totem. I saw so many earlier this year and even though the temperatures are growing colder, they are still appearing to me. They must have a message that I need to receive! I apologize skunk but I will have to complete you next week! I figured this week was appropriate to honor the turkey and discover what lessons they have in store for us. Some of their symbolism is obvious, some is not. I will go into more detail on that in my next post on Thanksgiving Day. The turkey’s symbolism will be accompanied with the completed drawing in color. For now, I have completed the ink portion of the piece. I am pleased with how it turned out. I didn’t have to go to work today, another rain out, so I had a lot of time to myself while my son was at school. I put on some headphones, listened to some tunes and zoned out into my art. That’s the best way for me to do great and efficient work. I get so “in the zone” that when my husband tries to get my attention he scares me every time! I don’t even realize he is there. Luckily, I have grown a super power to not let bumps and jerks affect my drawing hand, so no drawings were harmed in the process.

I hope everyone is ready for Thanksgiving. I know I am! I am going to stuff myself until I pass out! Thanks for stopping by this week. Check back in a couple days and see the completed turkey totem!

Until next time,

“The more you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for.”

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Ending Quote by Norman Vincent Peale

 

Zentiger WIP II

Now that Inktober is complete, I can get back on track with my totem animals. I left off with Tiger. This piece is just about finished. I haven’t touched it in a month and the funny thing is it will probably only take me another 20 minutes to complete! Once I have it finished I will share the finished piece and the wisdom that Tiger has to share with us.

Thanks for stopping by! Check back soon for more!

Until next time,

“Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one’s sensations.” ~ Paul Cézanne

tigerwip-wm.jpg

Totem Animal: Mourning Dove

Morning Dove Totem Color

My latest totem piece is a gift for my grandfather. It is a mourning dove with my own personal symbolism attached to it. You can check out that story here. I am very happy with how the final piece turned out. The pose is unique and active. The wings were my favorite part to draw. Creating feather patterns and following the elegant curve of the wing fascinates me. I have always loved wings and feathers. It’s as if I use to have my own and dream to have them back.

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Mourning Dove Symbolism 

They are a symbol of feminine energies, motherhood and nurturing. They feed from the ground showing us to stay connected with Mother Earth. The dove is a messenger from a higher power. You can hear their call more often at dusk and dawn. This is when the veil between the physical realm and spiritual realm is the thinnest. They bring a message of love and peace. It is time to put your mind to rest and remember to love yourself and others.

The mourning dove is a symbol of new birth. Remember your creator, your Mother. Her energy can help create a new life. A new you! The mourning dove can guide you down a fresh path. No matter what burdens our past we must “mourn” and move forward towards a brighter future. A future full of compassion and comfort. Native Americans use to listen for the mourning dove, knowing it would bring them to water. Be at ease and let the water carry you to a new adventure.

If the mourning dove has flown across your path today, it brings peace and hope. Let go of what has passed and make room for more love. Connect with nature to take advantage of the nurturing energies she provides. This will give you a regenerative boost in the right direction. Fret not and let the waters gently carry you to your next chapter.

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Thanks for stopping by this week! I hope the mourning dove has brought you at ease as it does for me, every time I hear that call. Have you seen a dove recently? Share your story in the comments below!

Until next time,

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.”

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Sources:
Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
https://www.whats-your-sign.com/dove-symbolism.html
Ending quote from the movie “The Notebook”

 

 

 

 

 

FSM Updates: Mourning Dove WIP

Morning Dove Totem BW

I finished the ink for my latest totem drawing. I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I usually have my Zentangle book handy so I can use official tangles in my work. This time I created my own tangles and was happy with the results. I want it to be 100% original and unique since this is a meaningful gift for my grandfather. I can’t wait to see how it will pop with the color added.

I want to start a realism piece very soon. I have focusing a lot on my totem animals and Zentangle as a way to clear my mind and work on my time management. It has been a while since I have created a realism piece and have decided it is time to get back in the saddle. Speaking of saddles, it will be an equine related piece, which is another subject I have neglected. I can’t call myself an equine artist if I don’t have any equine work!

I will also be working on my website. I have a lot of fun playing around with the customization and will be working on making everything neat and easy to find.

Thanks for stopping by. Check back next week to see the completed mourning dove piece and the symbolism behind this beautiful creature!

Until next time,

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” -Will Rogers