11″ x 14″ pencil
People have a reliance on and a relationship with the animals that share our world. Our bodies, our natures and the very roots of our existence are conjoined. There is a natural correspondence between this ancient interrelationship and the iconic gestalt that we consider when we think “bear”, “bird” or “fish”. These creatures have acquired connections in our perception which include the cycles of life and death. The primeval forests we roamed were the domain of the bear. The water we drank has depths unknowable except for what we could interpret from the sleek silver dance of the fish we sought. The sky holds us in its terrific embrace. The birds we watched knit that sky to the earth and to the water in a manner that seemed magical in its ease and reach.
Water is the element whose physicality most observably connects the land and the air. There is a mystery about water – it can disappear and reappear. Water can reflect or absorb light. Water can swallow up and it can be contained. There is enormous strength apparent in water. A water elemental can be neither understood nor trusted. The forces of nature follow agendas we can only be affected by. We cannot impose our constraints upon these forces. We may only create our own meaning. A strong relationship exists between ideas and their symbols. A living creature used as a symbol has power. It is here, in this essence that we distill from the world we live in that connects us beyond the daily round of life.