earth goddess: birth of the moon 48X24″ mm on gallery wrapped canvas, 2017 $900
This new painting emerged on the day of the first of many, devastating earthquakes in Mexico City during September. I took “refuge” in my studio, as is my practice, bowing to the process as healer, centering and sending prayers of comfort, safety, healing, and peace to the suffering.
I knew I wanted to paint with my hands. I thought I wanted to paint the sky. I started with the canvas oriented in the landscape position and began to work, using cool colors, but after only a few minutes, the figure you now see began to emerge.
I reoriented the canvas and continued until the figure emerged as you see her now, kneeling.
As I always do when I am working, I maintained a dialogue with the emerging image, asking, “What do you have to say? What do you have to show me? What is your name?”
Hours later, as the painting came close to being finished, this thought emerged: Coahuiltecan.
It was not the whole, perfectly spelled word as you see it, but snippets of it, sounds within it that, as I did an internet search, lead me to it and I exclaimed, “There it is!” The word coahuiltecan refers to the Native Americans who inhabited South Texas, including San Antonio and who were the builders of the San Antonio Missions.
They roamed in Mexico as well.
Reading further in Wikipedia, I found this:
Coatlicue (/kwɑːtˈliːkweɪ/; Classical Nahuatl: cōātl īcue, Nahuatl pronunciation: [koːaːˈtɬíːkʷe] ( listen), “skirt of snakes”), also known as Teteoh innan (Classical Nahuatl: tēteoh īnnān, pronounced [teːˌtéoʔ ˈíːnːaːn̥], “mother of the gods”), is the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon, stars,…
Here is the connection: Nahuatl (also known as Aztec) is the name of the language the Coahuiltecan people spoke.
WOW! I was being spoken to in a foreign (to me) language through my painting, a voice, perhaps, from the ancestors of those for whom I most fervently prayed during its painting.
The part I love best about all this discovery is the phrase mother of the gods.
To me, it means that on this day, the mother(s) of gods, all of them, from every religion united in one voice to mourn, to pray, to heal.