In traditional cultures the shaman, the medicine woman, the witch doctor, perform
the role of healer, counsellor, psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist or seer.
This role in society is often taken up by people who are, to a greater or lesser extent,
different from the rest - loners, visionaries, outcasts.
This series of paintings is the result of wondering where in the great chain of being
the medicine man (or woman) stands.
What is the relationship between the shaman & the angel?
And is the artist too a kind of shaman?
The Medicine Angel series was painted while living
above Wood Lake in the Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada.
You can see the view from my studio in the first
painting in the series (NightBear) - those are Ponderosa pines.
The paintings are all
acrylic (some sand) on canvas
24x36 (61cm x 91.5cm) or 30x40 (76cm x 102cm)
You can download a pdf of the book by clicking on the title below:
A hardcover book is available at:
Nightbear, jester, holy fool,
reminder of what men choose to forget,
bearer of the sacred rattle, the healing feather.
Lake power, stone power, crystal shaman,
the thoughts of tomorrow speeding spinal
from base to crown,
breaking into a new day
from an old way.
Shaman Wearing a White Man Mask
The blood is red
beneath the skin.
The skin is red,
brown, black, white, yellow.
four sacred directions,
one burning heart:
I am the fire in my lodge of stars.
from the sky.
Walking on water
dancing through flame,
searching for the name,
the unspoken syllables
of our calling - home.
In the Crying Desert
Dark night of the soul,
crystal mountains of memory,
shards of memory,
the past pulls downwards through quicksand time.
But the heart,
opening to the healing sun,
draws the fragment
from the wound.
The Acquisition of Healing Hands
The gifts of solitude:
lightning in the palm of the hand,
an empty ocean full of cold love
soothing ancient fires... love’s storm.
The Lessons of Solitude
The aching heart and the floating lily
sustained by invisible root,
the iris by invisible stem.
No, Man is an Island
and the aching heart,
redeemed by Her voices,
on ancient limbs,
begins again to see
from the heart.
in buffalo robes
of forest green,
from nests of memory.
Full moon calls & the ghosteagle
flies from my heart
to the heart of the sun,
palms pouring water,
Spirit dancer, singing healer
Call down lightning,
No longer human,
what will we be?
Eye single, heart lotus,
Bearing gifts with no giver,
Singing songs with no singer.
on pure water?
in the depths of time?
Thangka for a New Age
singer from the depths of time,
Stepping into this moment
from the timeless,
Bringing stardust and pollen
bringing gifts from the mountain snow
to the valley below,
belly full of salmon,
mind full of stars.
four sacred directions in sacred skin:
black, white, brown, yellow.
Palms pouring truth
- Life is Water.
The two paintings below are not part of the Medicine Angel series
(in fact they were only painted in 2012);
however, they have a similar 'feel'.
On the left, Moss, & on the right, Lily, both West Coast shamans.
* * *
A begging bowl,
beads for prayer,
herbs to soothe my hunger,
a quiet cave to ease my lonely heart