New Work: Plant Spirits

I've been working on-and-off on my series of Plant Spirit images for several years, posting some earlier versions previously on this blog. Ultimately, once I have enough "inventory," I plan to produce a set of divination cards from these based upon journey work to commune with each particular plant spirit.

Below is a sampling from the current batch / current versions of images. The latest versions will also get posted to my Shaman Dreaming site under the "Plant Spirit Medicine" viewer link.

Black and Blue Sage



Redwood grove

Salvia Divinorum

Reworking Stuff

Even with digital work sitting around the studio (actually, filed on the computer), there comes a point when one just has to "face the music" and rework images that have grown to be bothersome - not quite what was envisioned, somehow awkward & improperly resolved. The digital equivalent to taking out the palette knife and scrapping away part of a painting...

With that in mind, I thought I would offer up two examples from the Plant Spirit series which show how the earlier work was modified into a better result. Or at least I think so. Mostly this consisted of simplifying the primary colored energy fields. I still haven't decided which version of Mugwort will be the "official" one. (You can add a comment below as to which version you prefer and why, if you'd like. I'd be interested in hearing your opinions!)

Mugwort - current version (?)

Mugwort - current version (alternate)

Mugwort - earlier version

Brugmansia - current version

Brugmansia - earlier version

New Work: Pachamama

While working on new Plant Spirit imagery, I've been listening to some podcasts by Dr. Bruce Damer recounting his new myth about the 'Great Mother' and the evolution of our Earth's biosphere - a hyper-conscious intelligence embodied within and emerging from the neuronal net of plants (root brains), bacteria, and mycelia fungi. (His podcast is called Dr. Bruce's Levity Zone - or you can subscribe via iTunes. Look for episodes from 2013, esp. those recorded at Symbiois festival or at Burning Man.)

Out of this, I began playing with a few elements imaging Pachamama (Great Mother). A couple of examples below.

Rorschach Re-Imagined: Native American GIFs

Nicholas Galanin (b. 1979, Sitka, Alaska) is a conceptual artist inspired by, and extending, generations of Tlingit creativity. His work strikes a balance between the traditions of his heritage and an incisive contemporary approach to manifesting ideas visually.

To coincide with the exhibition "Your Feast Has Ended" at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Galanin collaborated with Seattle-based artist and designer Christian Petersen on a series of animated GIFs that "deal with the ideas of psychology and interpretation" and how ideas (symbols) transform over time. The traditional Native American imagery created by Galanin transforms into the ink blots of the Rorschach test.

Original article: Rorschach Re-Imagined: Artist Nicholas Galanin’s Native American GIF Psychology