In 2015, after having struggled as a full-time artist for nearly three years I needed major shoulder reconstruction surgery. Complications from surgery left the fingers in my painting hand numb and recovery was long and extremely challenging. I wondered if I’d ever be able to paint again which left me depressed and feeling isolated.

Feeling down while in my living room one day I noticed a red-shouldered hawk circling the sky above my house. For days I watched as he ventured closer and closer to my home until one morning he jumped from his perch on a nearby tree and landed on the sill of my picture window. We locked eyes with one another and he sat there staring at me for nearly 30 seconds before taking off in flight.

I’d heard of the term ‘Spirit Animal’ before and decided to study the animal symbolism for this frequent visitor.

When hawks fly, they see things from a greater perspective. They eliminate all distractions which gives them the gift of focus.

To me, this visiting hawk was telling me that I needed to concentrate on the bigger picture by looking at what lay ahead instead of concentrating on what was currently happening to me. This lifted my spirits and gave me a new sense of hope for the future. In time I regained the feeling in my fingers and dedicated a new body of work to this messenger bird appropriately titled, Power Animals of the Planet.

Three years later I’ve completed over 100 paintings and have written animal symbolism to accompany each creation. I use bold, vivid color which is my way of capturing their spirit, what they represent and how we can relate to them. With this series it’s been my hope to connect others to the animals they feel a connection to and spread a little love along the way.

More info: Etsy

‘Spirit of Hawk’ painted as a tribute to my windowsill visitor

Capturing the spirit of the animals I paint through the use of bold, vivid color