Art Debut: "Summoning Strength"

(Fun time-laps video a little further down.)

"Summoning Strength" 
24"x18" bas relief on wood canvas, American Southwest & Petroglyph Series

The last few months I've been working on small items (I'll share those in a separate post), but today I'm excited to share a larger piece with you: "Summoning Strength."

In January I will be displaying my work at the Archaeological Institute of America Conference in San Diego! (I can't wait.) So I switched gears recently to making a few larger pieces, and this is the first completed.

I wanted to revisit my bear paw print, which I originally made at
5"x5" for my Little Works collection, but I wanting to go BIG and with gravitas, so work began with researching images.

Many cultures have petroglyphs bear prints, but when I looked at the images, none of them had the impact I wanted; although beautiful, they were all highly stylized.  None of them struck me as much as the photos I found of real bear paw prints – so I ran with the real thing.


Creating "Summoning Strength" from start to finish, time laps style.

Technically this piece isn't a petroglyph; but it's in my petroglyph style and it was inspired by them, so I'm calling it a petroglyph. Much of art is about creativity and interpretation anyway; even realist artist have their own distinctive styles.  

Where I did strive for realism is the size of the prints. They are slightly larger than my rather large hands, making this only a medium sized Grizzly bear! Nerd that I am, I even researched the distance between prints based on stride and worked in the relative distance.

This piece carries the same name as my little 5"x5" version because it captures the essence so well. The name "Summoning Strength" derives from Anasazi/Fremont petroglyphs found at Newspaper Rock, Utah. In native American cultures, the bear represented strength. Creating animal prints was considered a way of summoning the power of the animal.

The next large piece I hope to finish soon is a take off on this one, and is titled "Give Me Strength." You'll know why when you see it!