The Inukshuk

I felt I needed to tell the story about how this painting came about.

There is something about how it came about and the meanings I am putting with it.

First the inspiration.  Back in the spring, I was driving home from the cabin in the rain, I had already seen a moose and something else, when I came around a curve and up on rock cut was an inukshuk with two ravens sitting on it.  I remember thinking how amazing this was and I had the biggest grin on my face after seeing it and it just felt so good.  The thought as I drove on was, I should paint that.

It really stuck in my head and I kept thinking it was so weird that these two ravens were sitting there.  It got a little weirder when I went up to the cabin again and again and could not see where I thought the inukshuk was.  I have travelled that road so much and I am still not sure I really saw what I thought I saw.  Then I began to doubt myself.  It was raining, I must have imagined it. (No, there was no alcohol involved).

What I decided was, it really doesn’t matter if it was “real”, there was something about that scene that stuck in my head.  I still felt the pull to paint it.  A little about me.  I don’t always feel I am good enough to paint something without having a reference close by.  Be it my photographs or a picture of something I can change to be my own.  Because I did not have that picture to come back to, I used my photo of the Inukshuk at the cabin, I found pictures of ravens and the background kind of just developed on it’s own.  Some might say it is intuition, but I find I need to give myself permission to allow and trust that creative part of me.  Ok, so.

It ended up taking me a bit to actually start the painting and even when I did, I did not finish it right away.  It is only now, in November, that I came back to it and finally feel it is complete.  I’m happy with it for now.  Fun thing about your own paintings, you can always tweek them again later.

Back to what I saw or think I saw, I believe it has meaning and I have been trying to make sense of it ever since I saw it.  So here is my take at this time.

There is significance in the inukshuk.   The one I used as reference was built in memory of my friend John and as a symbol of remembering our friendship.  When built in the likeness of man it is called an Inunnguaq. One meaning we have adapted to the inukshuk is: “A symbol to remind us of our dependence on each other and the value of strong relationships” or “As a guide for a safe journey through life’s travels.”

The original inuksuit (this is plural) were built in the Arctic by the Inuit for all kinds of reasons, they showed direction, they marked hunting spots and the shapes had meanings too. Most did not resemble humans.
We have seen them pop up all along the trans Canada and side roads and out around the lakes here, but they did not originate here.  It doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate them and build our own, I just like to give credit where credit is due. 

Now there are the Ravens.  Not usually the bird that shows up for me. Some keywords associated with the Raven are: courage; knowledge; magic; creation; rebirth; life without fear; messengers; renewal; reflection.  At least those are the words that resonate with me and seeing two, maybe means times two.

Whatever the meaning, I did a painting I am proud of and like to look at it above my desk. I will continue to look at it as having a meaning for me, it might have more to tell me yet.  I hope you enjoy it too.

If you would like to come enjoy some time away in my studio, message me, I'd love to make that work.

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Vermillion Bay, Ontario