The wolf is my spirit totem animal. When I am traveling, no matter where I find myself, the wolf is with me, by my side, and when I am in tune with the wolf I am in line with nature. Ever since I can remember I have exhibited wolf like tendencies, I even have wolf like features and so when I encountered a shaman several years ago he picked up on my totem sprit and provided me with insight to take with me and explore. So I did. Now there are many ways one can learn about their totem animal. For instance you can google it, you can read books, or watch movies, and trust me I sank my teeth into as much as I could. I also went out into the wilderness and had some incredible moments, I never actually saw a wolf, until it dawned on me I was the wolf. The shaman also made it very clear to me I am a lone wolf, and that’s when I had this incredible epiphany, where I saw my whole life flash before me and came to a realization. I have often been called a black sheep in my family and when I discovered my totem I had a self actualization of my behavioral tendencies that for so many years I had fought with, and in some cases even hurt myself, or my family, in attempts to fight the very thing I am, how crazy was I, which is funny because I get called ‘crazy’ all the time, or my favorite ‘madman’. Looking back now a lot things make sense and I feel as I continue living I am embracing my totem, and subsequently I am finding packs to be with, where I feel at home with and can let the wolf out without being judged or shot at, metaphorically. If you didn’t know, wolves have historically been not very well liked by humans, they are considered to be dangerous, nuisances, and a pest. They have been hunted and in a lot of cases to the brink of extinction. It is a very misunderstand animal and has taken the brunt of human ignorance. An interesting note is that it is said that Ghengis Khan studied wolf packs and developed strategy based on his observations. There is a great book out there called ‘Wolf Totem’ by Jiang Rong that tells the story of the wolf packs and the interactions with humans in Mongolia, a great read for anyone interested.
It is tricky writing about my paintings because of just how in depth I am willing to go to research and get the content that gives a painting that special something, that in my opinion is missing from the bulk of the art I have seen. This is not to say that there is bad art out there, or that my art is better, I am saying that I go to great lengths to make sure I make great art, and that I can back with my life experience. Half the stories I tell people are not quite sure what’s real and what’s not, trust me it’s all real, it’s a charmed life I am living as for as long as it happens I will make art that reflects the experience. Art school, books, films, music… It’s all good, if you want to produce and make impacts you have to be willing to let that all go and go deep, go far into your own soul, follow your heart, be aware of your mind and what you think you know versus what you actually know, while doing it well without reverting to the old cliche habits of the artist way, ie. booze, drugs, and all the other stuff that has held back artists from fulfilling their greatest work. I am not an advocate for any behaviour that negatively impacts the art or most importantly me. I am for any experience that will charge the art and where there is energy that can be channeled. The painting below called ‘Wolfman’ is a self portrait I made last year after epic adventures in British Columbia, at festivals and in nature. I was blessed to have some choice encounters with various power animals that were medicine and whose spirit I was able to channel into my work. I employed all of my techniques of painting that I have spent the last ten years developing, so if you think this stuff comes out overnight you are seriously kidding yourself, this stuff takes time, patience, resiliency, endurance, stamina and will, there is no way around it, drugs won’t do it, nothing will except by doing it and sticking to it. The style of the painting is quintessential ‘halts’, my nickname and did come out easily only because I had all the tools I needed to make it work, without wasting time finding the right materials and all of the logistics of painting, if there is one thing I think makes or breaks a painting it is the knowledge of the media and medium you use, it is one thing to trust in magic and happy accidents, it is another thing to do it and know that it came out of you because of the mastery of your tools, and I am close to that, because I spent the time doing it, if that doesn’t matter to you, that’s cool, it does to me, and it shows both in the work and the impacts it has on those who view it. Mahaloness until the next…
Ps the painting was recently purchased by an art patron, Dave Rack, a good man and the aka to Dave’s radness I have been fortunate to continue on the artists path and he owns a great painting a beautiful thing indeed!


1 thought on “Wolfman”

  1. When I saw this paining, I had a gut reaction. I trust my gut. I trust Shane, I run with Shane, like a wolf through the night, chasing the eternal woman, moon, howling after her beauty. Mahalo, Shane. Mahalo Wolfman

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