Latest Artwork: The Transmutation (for Niall)

In a previous post, I mentioned how I was undertaking an artwork for a friend's recently deceased son (killed in the war). I finally finished up the artwork today.

To recap some of the symbolism, birds in many cultures are associated with being spirit messengers. Niall's father had a strange encounter with a roadrunner about a month after his son died, while he was thinking very strongly about his son. He felt that his son was reaching out to him.

So I decided to make a picture of a roadrunner / phoenix  to represent the son. In researching the bird, I found that they are one of the few animals that are quick enough to catch and eat a rattlesnake (they grasp the snake by the tail and whip its body through the air until its head is smashed in on the ground). In Native American mythologies snakes are associated with death but also transformation as well as fertility. They are the guardians of the next realm.

So the below picture is mean to represent rebirth / regeneration / defeat over death / transformation from one realm to another. Note the roadrunner's one claw is encircling the the body of the rattlesnake, getting ready to grasp and whip it through the air. Meanwhile, the rattlesnake is getting ready to strike, to transform the roadrunner / phoenix into its next form. You may want to reread the previous post for more on the symbolism. I call the piece "The Transmutation". According to the dictionary, to transmute is to change or alter in form, appearance, or nature and especially to a higher form

"The Transmutation (for Niall)"
Ink / Acrylic / Watercolor on Paper
22 x 30 inches


paul sears said…
I love this, and all of your work Lynnette. I and the family really appreciate this.