This piece has rapidly become a favorite for two reasons...using pages from an original but deteriorating copy of 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn' in my work gives it a new life and using the image of an arachnid (a suggestion from Colleen, one of my oldest and dearest friends, who lives in the Okanagan). This particular spider is known as the Western Black Widow.
I never thought I'd paint a spider and yet, here he is in all his glory. The handmade lace I was using in clay last week became a great counterpoint to this image, a lovely interpretation of a web. Something soft and feminine against something that could be considered quite masculine but also seem so fragile and delicate.
In many Native American traditions, the spider represents Grandmother as a link to the past and future as well as wisdom. They also represent the weaving together or beginning of creation, of mankind. Spider reminds us to use our creativity and weave our dreams into our destiny. There is also an interesting story of Spider Woman that I remember being told by Cree Grandmothers:
"In the beginning, there was the dark purple light at the dawn of being. Spider Woman spun a line to form the east, west, north, and south. Breath entered man at the time of the yellow light. At the time of the red light, man proudly faced his creator. Spider Woman used the clay of the earth, red, yellow, white, and black, to create people. To each she attached a thread of her web which came from the doorway at the top of her head. This thread was the gift of creative wisdom. Three times she sent a great flood to destroy those who had forgotten the gift of her thread. Those who remembered floated to the new world and climbed
to safety through the womb of Mother Earth."