Yesterday I set up the still life for my Monday morning drawing class. I invited Mvskoke Woman into the space. She’s a dark guardian angel, she is everywoman who carries the story of many indigenous woman, and specifically the stories of the Muscogee people and of the women in my bloodline. It was good to give her form and to meet her.
I raised the chandelier in our living room and began bringing her in on Friday evening. I gathered together my wings, feathers, reclaimed NDN paraphernalia, pieces of artwork that are in progress or complete, maps, my boots . . . . . all of the objects that carry part of the story.
The number four is very important and sacred to the Mvskoke. I used a cruciform shape made from two perspex rods to attach her to. I made a couple of rough drafts and by Sunday morning, she had taken shape.
I hung Spirit Bird inside of her and my Bird Dance Stick beside her.
She is very ethereal at the top and I wanted to ground her solidly on the earth. I got a piece of fabric from my stash and made a medicine shield for her to stand on. I wasn’t sure how to draw a big, accurate circle. Then I decided to start from the center. I made a dot in the middle and got a stick and measured from the center point outward all the way around. Then I cut it out and painted it with acrylic paints.
I sat in each direction while I painted it.
Red – South, Yellow – East, White – North, Black – West.
I just realized that I went in an anti-clockwise direction. This is the direction that Muscogee women travel during the Stomp Dance.
This is me setting her up on Monday morning. I’m also working on a mask of Cufe, the Trickster Rabbit. I temporarily added some hair to it for my still life. It was a bit tricky hanging the piece on site. I would have liked to have placed the head more carefully, but in the end I dangled it from the ceiling hook.
At her feet, I arranged some of my maps, my artwork and my reclaimed NDN paraphernalia.
These are a few of my drawings. I used charcoal, graphite, ink, pastel and acrylic paint.