Hummingbird Sanctuary is a series of nine watercolor paintings. Eight paintings are of the male and female of different species collaged onto an abstract background, sized at 11×7.5”. The first in the series, Hummingbird Sanctuary, Health and Help, features drawings of the eight species collaged onto a 30×22” abstract watercolor.
The intention imbued in Hummingbird Sanctuary, Health and Help was to support my daughter in her healing process. The idea came from remembering Grandfather Wallace Black Elk teaching me how to make tobacco ties for “health and help”. A prayer is said with a pinch of tobacco as it is placed in a small red square of cotton fabric for help, then it is tied to a long cotton string. Next the process is repeated in a yellow square for health. The string is hung in a sacred place. I symbolically painted these ties in the top of the sacred place of a fresh piece of paper.
Mysterious scripts were enshrined in robin egg blue spheres, then connected by line, like a map. Curving pathways to healing were suggested within the borders and beyond. The two areas on the side not having the spheres were segmented by Amethyst pigment whose crystals gleam in light. The center seemed to be around a triangular formation of the spheres, and from that larger circles spread. I colored those areas in yellow for health, and made it stand out with blue, a spiritual color of sky.
Hummingbird Sanctuary, Health and Help stayed in that state from it’s inception in November 2022. But it wasn’t titled that yet. Searching for inspiration when I returned to studio practice in January a book fell open to a picture of a hummingbird. Birds always call me back to the paints. I was also being called back to my long ago healing that came from hummingbird. I live and long for these moments of integration.
For the next months I painted the birds, using Birds of North America as a reference. It felt appropriate to leave the space around them blank. The background painting had lines and curves going here and there, representing flight paths, also the chaos of the outside world. Small shapes like flowers were encased in spheres.
When considering how I would collage the bird paintings onto the background, the idea of sanctuary came to mind. The sphere surrounding them achieved this. It was then that I collaged the drawings onto Hummingbird Sanctuary, Health and Help which completed the series.
My mission with Hummingbird Sanctuary is to extend this energy of healing to anyone who wants to let these ministers of joy into the sanctuary of their heart. See them for the first time at Spring Into Art Open Studio, April 22, Earth Day.