ANIMA PACHAMAMA: Moto Perpetua
Updated: Mar 29
Art is the proper task of life.
- Friedrich Nietzsche
General. As with all of my art the general idea for this piece came to me during meditation. I had listened to radio interviews of people attending the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, which was held just outside Cochabamba, Bolivia. The conference was an international effort, which brought together people concerned with environmental issues from all over the world.
Hearing the voices of these people filled me with inspiration—these voices spoke of the beauty of Nature and the need to honor and cherish the natural world. I begin meditating on the profound beauty of the Earth and the idea of the Essence of the Earth being essentially feminine, divinely feminine. The material image of this idea sprang forth and danced a beautiful sacred dance of birth and fertility across my Consciousness. She remained faceless but beautiful in her anonymity—the Divine Feminine principle has many faces and manifests differently to each person. Along with this image came a rush of twirling, swirling colors—a perpetual motion of color.
Music. I listen to various types of music when I paint, but when working on this painting one piece of music particularly influenced its creation: Joaquin Turina’s Three Fantastic Dances Opus 22. While working on the background I fell into an almost trance-like state, the eurhythmic beauty of the strings making my paintbrush dance across the board. By the third movement I was overwhelmed as the spirit of Nature danced through me, the feminine power of Creation coming forth as imagery.
Media. I am extremely limited when it comes to art materials. The only paints that are sold are elementary school watercolors that cost $1. But I create: I make my own paints using all types of materials. I might read about an indigenous tribe in Latin America whose Shamans use seed oil in making their paint for sacred art; then I’ll, perhaps, crush up peanuts and heat them up and mix the peanut oil with watercolors—I make all kinds of homemade paints. I also have to make my own brushes because the $1 watercolors they sell come with a little plastic brush that just cannot be used.
There are also flowers in this piece. Interestingly, when I was working on this painting I received a letter from a friend of mine and she included some small Heather flowers in the envelope. I’ve read about how prisons in Europe allow inmates to have plants and flowers—in Texas prisons both the former and the latter are considered “dangerous contraband”. The flowers were fresh when she placed them in the envelope so they stuck to the bottom, hiding from the ever-searching, overzealous grasp of the mail-censors. It’s really quite amazing that they made it through and when I saw the flowers they seemed to me to be the most beautiful thing imaginable, a gift from Mother Earth herself.
Study. In order to experience the idea of the Earth as Mother more deeply I studied up on various traditions that honor the Earth as a living, breathing divine feminine entity Hindu, Indigenous Native American, etc. I also vibed on some of Pablo Neruda’s poetry from his book Canto General. One of the most enlivening things I read was a transcription of a talk by Vandana Shiva for the National Radio Project, called Shakti: Feminine Power for Change. I absolutely love this woman—She is a scholar, physicist, author, environmentalist, and social justice activist.
When she speaks it’s as if Sarasvati (the Hindu goddess of learning) is speaking through her. In this particular talk—which is essentially a call to stop the assault humanity is carrying out on the Earth—Vandana mentions how Mother Earth naturally provides the healthy food and water we need. It’s really quite profound to think of that and then think of how man has created such perverted forms of food saturated with unnatural chemicals and processed and reprocessed in almost macabre ways.
Yoga. In addition to my regular Yoga routine, I spent extra time experiencing Child Pose (balasana). At one point when doing deep pranayama (Yogic breathing) while in the pose I felt Shakti, the Anima, the Divine Feminine Energy within my Self awaken. My Consciousness soared through time, back, back to the womb, back to the child state.
I was in the depths of Mother Earth, surrounded by Her purity. There was no Corruption of Nature, only raw beauty. She called to me and I felt enhanced desire to respect the natural World and an increased devotion to honor all of Creation. She took my hand with a gentle, loving, sweet, sweet smile and said: “Shall we dance?...” And while vibing on that theme I quickly scribed out this little poem:
Come with me and let your Earth Soul free.
Let’s dance a cosmic dance.
Let a nature born love soar
deep into your Soul/and/
grow wings/then fly through
the Universe/from the dawn of Humanity
to the twilight of Eternity
from pain to pleasure.
Gravity is the enemy.
Life our sacred Love.
Imagine: A world free of exploitation.
The heavens are our limits/and/
the dance has just begun.
Mixed media with flowers on illustration board
40 x 15 inches