Happy Chinese New Year! Today we transition from the Rooster, to the Year of the Dog. According to the Chinese zodiac, the Dog has a strong inner life, and a relatively restrained outer lifestyle. More apt to live a serious and careful existence, a Dog is someone who will get the job done but rarely go beyond the scope of what is asked of them. This is because to them, there are more important things to do than spending their time trying to impress others, and they would rather enjoy what they choose to do than sacrifice their freedom for a little monetary gain. Amazingly, the current President of the United States, was born under the Sign of the Dog in 1946. The above description doesn't seem to fit his personality profile at all, but in light of ongoing revelations of promiscuous behavior, one thinks that he definitely could be characterized as a 'dog'. Anyway I got in the wayback machine for the art here today. At the time I was doing people portraits and I swore I would never do animal portraits! Wrong dog breath! As a trade for some energy work, I did a small 8x10 oil sketch of my practitioner's pups: Scotch & Cinder. Note the burnt Sienna tones go well with this year's dog's element (earth). Also at bottom, I did another more fun portrait of her other pet, Wadsworth the goat. An 18 x 24 oil.
Scotch & Cinder 8x10 Oil sketch on canvas board
Wadsworth the Goat 18x24 Oil on canvas
"Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is
simply necessary to love."
-- Claude Monet
Monet's Le Printemps (Springtime) Oil on canvas 1886
In the Celtic calendar, the first of the four fire festivals of the year is Imbolc.
It is celebrated on the 1st or 2nd day of February.
The divinity acknowledged in these early Spring rites is the goddess Brigid, the queen of heaven. She is the greatest of the Celtic divinities and is closely associated with the land. She is the protector of the wells and springs. She is the guardian of nature, and therefore agriculture. As a fertility goddess, Brigid is also the patron of the poets, artists, and others who create. (The word Imbolc means literally "in the belly" in the old Irish Neolithic language.) Hence, her name is invoked at childbirth.
Brigid's protection of agriculture and poetry underscores the need to tend our inner fertility. Tending our forms of creativity is crucial to a fulfilling life. The ancients believed that gifts of expression were only on loan. We are reminded to remain grateful, and to be good custodians of artistic talents.
So, let us honor the Great Mother, the Queen of Heaven.
May we be open to her many gifts of inspiration in this season of renewal.
(Excerpted from Imbolc - A day for the Queen of Heaven by John Young)
Queen of the Heavens 12x12 Acrylic on canvas sheet