I was asked recently about my thoughts in creating "Coming Home", and then asked again by another person shortly afterwards which got me to thinking... that I should post my thought process behind these pieces more often, not only for interested parties, but for myself to gain clarity as I move forward.
"Coming Home" has the initial surface presentation of a snowy landscape with the migration of deer. But the symbology contains so much more.
One must remember that symbols point or hint toward something but can't explain directly, instead they can hint to that within... but I shall do my best to explain what I feel that some of what the symbols are hinting at.
All the elements chosen to be painted: migration, journey, rocks, snowscape, landscape, deer, moon are symbols that point to deeper material that flows from the collective unconsciousness.
It is about the Big Journey to Self. We are ALL going home, however we define it, we are ALL returning home, to ourselves, to that which is the sacred, the essential core of how we really are. And so the snowy sky represents the separating of the veils that present themselves between this reality and other realities. The deer have seen between and know who they are and they journey through the realities... and are finding their way home, to the purest, most holy part of themselves.
The moon represents the yin qualities of the feminine, the places in-between places, the holding places and the places of unknowing, because we do not know this journey home. We only go when we are called, like instinct, like a migration. The moon is full, representing the circle, the circle of completion.
Why deer? To represent what is the pure part of ourselves, that which we are returning to, that purest part that never changes. In the painting they have exaggerated antlers, elongated antennae, receiving guidance from the ether, from the other worlds. Again, we do not know the journey itself, (and it is not always easy, hence the rocks) so we must remember to incorporate ways to be receptive to guidance.
The deer at the bottom right, is looking back at those behind him. This one is the guide, for we all have a guide on this journey of ours, whether we have discovered this for ourselves yet or not. (In my other paintings of this theme, he is in the centre of the herd, for often the wise elders among us, guide from the centre, with the ability to look forward and back.)
Yep. There are many layers in this one painting, and I suspect that it is for this reason it spoke to many people.
For myself, I am always amazed, grateful and curious to see what emerges from the canvas.