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Among most Native American tribes all important plants and animals, as well as forces of nature like wind and rain, had their own distinct spirit. Typically, such spirits could manifest themselves in their native form or in human form. Thus, if Bear Spirit wanted to appear in a vision or dream it could assume either bear or human form. This concept of transformation has been central to many of the prints I have made since I started working in the silkscreen medium.
Among Southwestern tribes such nature spirits are often phrased as “Kachinas”, or as the Navajo know them, “Yei”. In my Canyon Spirits series I have developed a generalized human figure that, like the Kachina, represents the human form that a particular plant or animal spirit can take.In the last few years there has been increasing confrontation between hikers and Mountain Lions in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. Because this poses a danger to the hikers several of these great predators have been shot or relocated to another area. In this print I try to express the power and fascination of these largely nocturnal hunters and my sympathy with their plight as humans gradually restrict their necessarily large natural ranges.