Totem Animal: Coyote

The Coyote Totem came out very nice. I had a lot of fun with the different tangles and matching them with the coyote’s natural patterns. The colors were also fun to play with, using the different shades of copper, tans and yellows. I also added more of a background this time. With such a great pose from the coyote, I didn’t want it to look like the coyote was floating in mid air. The background is a design I came up with to represent the tall grasses the coyote will hunt in.

Coyote Symbolism

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The coyote is a very unique totem from the others I have studied so far. The coyote is a trickster. So much so that they will even fall for their own tricks. They symbolize self sabotage and making things more difficult for one’s self. If Coyote has presented itself to you be sure that you are not blinded by the obvious. You may be caught in disbelief of a stampede coming towards you that you allow it to trample you. Not believing what just happened, you’ll look again only to get struck once more by the same stampede. It is time to be aware of your surroundings. Are you being fooled by someone? Are you fooling yourself or others? Make sure you have not beguiled yourself and others into believing you know what your doing, when in fact you do not.

Do not be alarmed if Coyote has came across your path. Yes, Coyote’s medicine can be perceived as good or bad but it is still medicine. Coyote holds a great wisdom. Seek out this wisdom when you are down about yourself. Coyote wants you to be able to laugh at yourself. It may be laughter from pain or it may genuinely be funny. If you feel as though you have a flaw, shrug it off and chuckle about it. No one is perfect. If you wish to change that flaw then take the action needed to do so but do not fool anyone into thinking your perfect. Own up to who you are and do not let it bring you down.

Beware. Coyote could also be a sign that something may backfire on you. Perhaps you feel like everything you touch is going to sh*t. Or perhaps someone you have tricked in the past is looking to get you back. Keep a keen sense about you, like Coyote, to ensure you can escape any traps laid out for you. Especially be careful not to fall into your own trap! Do not play tricks on yourself and set yourself up for failure!

They are related to everything whimsical and everything funny. They teach us to stay light hearted and remember to laugh. The reason I chose to do the coyote totem next was because I heard them singing in the woods one night. When a coyote calls it may be because things are becoming too serious. They remind us to remain playful and view the world as if through child eyes. The world is a wonderous place and Coyote teaches us that anything is possible.

If you would like to dive deep into Coyote lore, I suggest checking out the book Native American Myths and Legends by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz. There are many great stories in it about Coyote’s magical feats and incredible powers. They are the masters of many skills. Although, they will often seek out ways to benefit without having to use those skills. They are not lazy, quite on the contrary. Though they come off as crazy and foolish, they can also adapt to any situation they are in and any environment as well. They are swift and have many tricks up their sleeves (if they had sleeves) to get out of trouble urgently.

Summary

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Coyote is the wise fool. They have powerful magic that can get them out of any predicament. Though remember that magic doesn’t always work. Do not fall into traps made by yourself and do not fall for anyone else’s either. If you are known to prank others, there might be someone around the corner waiting to get you back. Stay aware of the obvious and do not second guess what is right in front of you! Use your skills to adapt to your surroundings. Remember that we are all flawed, to err is human. So learn to laugh at yourself when you make a silly mistake. Embrace the true you and stop tricking everyone into thinking your perfect because you’re not. No one is. We just are. So have fun, stay playful and fill your eyes with wonderment. Just remember to not let that wonderment turn into a vale over your head.

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I sure learned a lot from Coyote! They couldn’t have showed up at a better time. Did you know their howls can be deceptive as well? When they yip and yap through the woods, their call will bounce off the trees. This makes one coyote sound like two and two sound like four and so on. Many believe this is a tactic used to intimidate potential threats that may be close by. Just another tricky prank they like to pull!

I hope you enjoyed Coyote’s Totem piece and were able to take some Coyote wisdom with you as well. Prints are available in both my shops @ Society6 and Redbubble! Thanks for stopping by today!

Keep laughing, free spirits!

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Related Posts: Coyote WIP

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ZenCoyote WIP

Thankfully the snowstorm has passed and I can finally get back to my art! I started the color on Coyote and plan to have it finished this weekend. Coyotes actually have a diverse range of colors in there fur and it has been interesting pairing them together. I can’t wait to see what it looks like once it’s finished!

Also, I have been adding a lot of my work in my shops on Society6 and Redbubble. I am so excited with how my art looks on everything and it’s so much fun building my shop. Make sure to check it out. Yesterday I added Blue Jay Totem and I love how the tapestry turned out!

Thanks for stopping by! Stay warm, free spirits!

Sasha: Queen Shepherd

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Our heavy hearts invited the rain to stay for the entire day. Our beloved Sasha passed away yesturday afternoon. She lived a long life of fourteen years, celebrating her birthday in December. Our beautiful white shepherd was often confused with a wolf. She is much smaller than one but her beauty and grace tricked many people into thinking she was one. My husband and I could start howling and she would join in, elegantly arching her head back and closing her eyes.

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I loved rubbing my face in her big bushy mane. Her mane consisted of the long white hair that was eventually shed all over the house. Although, her regal fur coat was the perfect attire for her persona of being the queen. She got along with all dogs, as soon as they realized she was the boss. She never submitted while every other dog would. I always felt like she needed a crown.

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Though she was a royal, it did not go to her head. She was smart, compassionate, and polite. She loved children. I have never met a more caring dog then she was. When my son was an infant, she would also watch over him. Even though she had a tongue the size of Texas, she always gave him a delicate kiss on his cheek. If the other dogs around were wrestling, she would bark at them, grab them by the scruff and demand they settle down! There was no rough-housing allowed indoors, especially near the baby!

She was the greatest judge of character. There were few people she disliked but the ones she did always had a way of proving her judgement right. After the first couple times of getting “burned”, we completely avoided people that Sasha didn’t approve of.

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She loved to go swimming and was great at it. Tennis balls were her favorite toy and she would eagerly retrieve them when thrown in the middle of the creek. She had a strong paddle, swimming to the deep and back in no time. She was also one of the fastest dogs I had ever known!

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Sasha certainly was fit to be a queen. She had looks, intellect and charisma. All who knew her, loved her. Aside from being a huge sweetheart, she was a peace keeper. She will be deeply missed. The tears are rolling in like the rain so I am saying goodnight.

Good night sweet Sasha. I know you are at peace now. I know in your next life you will forever touch the hearts of your new family, just like you have ours.

Until next time,

“A heart of gold stopped beating, two willing hands at rest, God broke our hearts to prove to us he only takes the best.”

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Our kitten comforted her in her last days.

Canine Crone

Today is our beautiful Sasha’s 14th birthday! It’s hard to believe she has been with us for so many years. She has been a wonderful member of the family. She is very caring and kind, especially to children and young critters. We always refer to her as our son’s nanny.

Sasha is a white German Shepherd and often receives compliments on her wolf-like appearance. She is as loyal as she is beautiful.


Happy Birthday Sasha! We are glad to have you in our lives. Thank you for being one of the greatest dogs a family could have!

Have any of your furry friends celebrated a birthday recently? Give them a shout out in the comments below! Thanks for reading.
Until next time,

“That’s the funny thing about birthdays. They’re kind of an annual thing.”

Dog Days

I am definitely a dog person. Don’t get me wrong I love cats too. I don’t think I could live without a dog in my house though. I mean, they bring a certain cheer to the place. No db4matter what, you know that there is always a happy greeting when you get home. Whenever you are sad, they make an extra effort to make sure you know they love you. I love taking my dog with me everywhere. We go on walks through the woods. Well, I walk while he runs back and forth. DeSoto likes going on car rides with me. He’s my traveling companion. DeSoto truly is my best friend.

I have been in touch with a few doggy daycares that are interested in hanging my work at their location. I am excited. I am getting back on track with what I wanted to accomplish. So, in the near future, you will be seeing a lot of dog portraits. Here is my most recent one. It is a basset hound pup. They always remind me of those Precious Moments dolls, with the sad eyes. The reason their eyes always look like that is from their inherited characteristic of having “droopy” skin. There are a few different theories on why they are like this. One theory is their neck skin hangs low and when combined with their long ears dragging, it increases their ability to track a scent. Who knew? Saggy skin can be beneficial! If your a hound dog, at least.

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“Precious Moments” – 6″ x 8″ drawing

The expression on this puppy was, well, adorable first of all. I think it is adorable though because he (or she) is so innocent looking, so small and young. And someday, that precious pooch won’t be so young anymore. His eyes will start to sag. The patches of white fur will over power his rich color. All dogs become old dogs and all dogs leave us before we are ready for them to go.

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Dogs teach us that every moment is precious. Even the simple, youthful expression on a puppies’ face is something that can make a bad day into a good one. Give your pooch a pat and thank them for their patience with you. Thank them for protecting you and treating you as a member of the pack. And as they sit at your feet and look up at you with those big innocent eyes, remember, you have become the center of their universe. You are in control of how rich their short precious lives are. Make everyday a dog day. Without a dog, it’s just another day.

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Until next time,

“My name is Dug. I have just met you, and I love you.”

Dodger: A Big Bad Pit

Have you ever met a dog that you swear just loved to get a rise out of you? For me, that was Dodger. It was a game to him to see how much it would take to annoy me. What do I expect? He was my father-in-law’s dog! When my family and I moved from Ohio to New York, we stayed with my in-laws until we could find our own place. I was able to get to know Dodger very well during our stay. He was an oinker, that’s for sure! The couch was his throne. He wouldn’t jump down for you if you wanted to sit. He wouldn’t move at all actually. “I was here first”, it seemed like he was saying if you tried to move him.

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You’re crazy if you think I’m moving.

He was pretty lazy most of the time. With us bringing our two dogs in the house though, it gave him something to do. They would wrestle and run around outside.

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Swing your partner ’round n’ ’round!

Dodger had a hard time keeping up though. He wasn’t the fastest seeing how he had broken his leg before the humane society found him, where my in-laws got him from. It never healed right so he kind of hobbled around like he had a peg leg. They should have dressed him up as a pirate for Halloween! That would have been awesome! Anyways….the drawing I did was a classic pose for him. He had to stick that peg leg out when he sat down because it wouldn’t bend properly.

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Full view

You would have never guessed he had a bum leg though if you left the garage door open when you let him out.  I’ve had to chase that dog down the street so many times I can’t even count. If we didn’t notice right away, he would usually find a neighbor or another dog outside and go chill with them, until we realized he was gone. One time we were looking for him for 45 minutes. Come to find out he was at the neighbors across the street hanging out in the backyard. They gave him water, food, attention! Why wouldn’t he want to take a stroll through town? It’s a town of dog lovers!

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Puppy Love

Yea…Dodger and I have shared some words in the past! He knew my buttons and he would push every one of them. Then he would snuggle up to me on the couch and kiss ass until I forgave him. Jerk. But then he did something that I couldn’t forgive for the longest time. I started working on this drawing of him. I would work on my art at the dining room table. It was a nice big space and I could leave my stuff out until dinner time so I could work on it through out the day. Bad idea.

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EVIL!!!!

There was no furniture safe from Dodger. He would jump in that chair and jump right on top of the table. Why? So he could see farther out the window and bark at that “killer lady” that walks down the road minding her own business! Yep…muddy paws all over my drawing. A few indented scratches from his claws. I was about half way done with the drawing and he friggin’ gets mud all over it. My immediate thought, “I @&*$# hate this dog!”

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Nothing like a good roll in freshly cut grass!

I tried so hard to get the mud prints off my picture. I tried erasing them. I tried thinking of ways to cover it up. Nothing was working. I was furious. Well that’s it! I can’t work on this picture anymore with out being mad at that damn dog. So it got tucked away for a loooooong time. No like a really long time. I actually had forgotten I started it a couple times.

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Now don’t get me wrong, Dodger was a great family dog. My son spent a lot of his toddler years pouncing on that dog, laying on him, patting his head maybe a bit too hard and Dodger took it all.

He never grumbled, growled, whined or complained. My son was allowed to do whatever he wanted. Luckily for Dodger, my son adored him and treated him like a best friend. He taught my son what a real “man’s best friend” should be. The uncontrollable slobbery kisses in his face were a constant reminder. I couldn’t really hate a dog that was so good with him.

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Do you see Santa yet?

Another lesson Dodger taught my son was the loss of a pet. Dodger passed away this past year. Of course, everyone was heart broken. Dodger had been in the family for a long time. He was always there, causing shenanigans, and then he wasn’t. It was odd at first. After a while though, it kind of felt like he never left. For me at least. I have so many memories with him it’s like I just saw him yesterday.

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You’re seriously sticking that camera in my face, again?

I started going through some unfinished projects I had and I came across the Dodger portrait again. I wasn’t mad about the mud anymore. I was actually happy about it. Now that he was gone, his paw prints were like his signature. A little piece of him to keep forever. I realized instead of trying to get rid of them, I had to make them part of the drawing. I stuck it back on the easel and had a new found desire to finish it. I wanted it to look good. And this time, I knew it could, even if it had a little mud on it. So if you were wondering about the random paw prints throughout the picture, now you know the rest of the story.

Dodger was a knuckle-head but all said and done, he was a good dog. R.I.P. buddy.

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