In an earlier post I talked about meeting Sun Bear, Rolling Thunder and my spiritual teacher, Wallace Black Elk, a Lakota Medicine Man. From him, I had the honor of learning about the traditions of the pipe, Chanupa, for several years. In the Stone People Lodge, his word for the Inipi Ceremony, one of the Seven Sacred Pipe ceremonies, he taught me how to pray and my heart opened.

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Wallace Black Elk", drawing, 1986

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Wallace Black Elk”, drawing, 1986

He wanted to write a book with illustrations about building the Inipi Lodge. This sketch was the beginning. On it are details about the tobacco ties, number and order of the stick placement, how to lash them, layout and plan. This project did not come to pass. He wrote his book though – Black Elk: The Sacred Ways of a Lakota.

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Inipi Lodge Diagram", drawing, 1984

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Inipi Lodge Diagram”, drawing, 1984

At the Medicine Wheel Gathering with Sun Bear I met some great teachers. I am remembering Kahuna, Kahiliopua and hula teacher, Auntie Lani Kalama. They remained in the area long enough to receive transmissions of healing and Huna teachings. I gave her this painting of Lula for her Healing Center in Hawaii. The model for it was from Wallace Black Elk’s photograph of the fire spirit.

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Lula", oil painting, 1986

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Lula”, oil painting, 1986

One time I visited a pet store and was enamored by Lovebirds. They would hold still as if they knew I was drawing their portrait. They have appeared in many drawings, paintings and mobiles.

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Lovebirds", drawing, 1984

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Lovebirds”, drawing, 1984

The oil painting, “Rainbow Emergence” below, represents a rainbow seen from above the clouds with the symbol of emergence layered under the clouds. I sold it, and this is the only photo I have of it. I was intrigued by the Seneca teachings of the Rainbow Warriors, and how Wallace black Elk spoke of all tribes being beloved by the Creator. Reading Frank Waters I learned about the symbol of emergence as it was found in pictographs in the south west. I went on a series of pilgrimages to the four corners areas studying archaeoastronomy and began the search for petroglyphs that would be my main focus in the near future.

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Rainbow Emergence", oil painting, 1985

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Rainbow Emergence”, oil painting, 1985

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Woman at Otawa Crossing", oil painting, 1985

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Woman at Ottawa Crossing”, oil painting, 1985, inspired by Frank Water’s book of the same name

I always like to have a craft to work on. It helps to switch to 3D when you are mostly drawing and painting. I started making gourd rattles. Most of them like Dawn Rattle were oil painted and employed peyote stitch bead work and feathers.

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Dawn Rattle", oil painted gourd, beadwork, feathers, 1985, photo; Jerry Downs

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Dawn Rattle”, oil painted gourd, bead work, feathers, 1985, photo; Jerry Downs

Have you ever traveled to a place and felt like it was your long lost home? That was my response to visiting Mesa Verde. We celebrated my son’s 6th birthday there. The rangers were so engaging, from the stories they told us, we became completely in awe of the Anasazi who settled and mysteriously left. It was my first close encounter with ancient art and I was hooked.

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Mesa Verde", drawing, 1986

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Mesa Verde”, drawing, 1986

Kathleen O'Brien, "Eagle Feather", drawing 1986

Kathleen O’Brien, “Eagle Feather”, drawing 1986

In a pipe ceremony I learned how to make flower essences, on a beautiful summer day surrounded by mountain wild flowers. One of the ways she taught me how to connect with the plant spirit was to draw it. Bleeding Heart essence was made at a later date.

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Bleeding Hearts", drawing, 1986

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Bleeding Hearts”, drawing, 1986

Mozart, again! I love him because he lived in a constant state of creativity, plugged in.

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Mozart", drawing, 1986

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Mozart”, drawing, 1986

It was a big year for learning about healing. For five years I studied Transformational Healing with Elizabeth Frediani. I designed the logo for the Institute.

© Kathleen O'Brien, "Transformational Healing Institute Logo", drawing, 1986

© Kathleen O’Brien, “Transformational Healing Institute Logo”, drawing, 1986