View Full Version : Snake Dancer, crow quill pen and ink

08-09-2018, 02:26 PM

I NEVER copy others' artwork, but made an exception for this one.
It was drawn by hands over a thousand years ago, considered a "Chaco-era" glyph. It is one of over 100,000 glyphs carved into large lava rocks on the side of a mesa on the Wells Petroglyph Preserve.
This drawing was a big deal for me, never attempting such before. I learned a lot.
First, the difficulty of using stone tools to peck little dots into shapes on a rock would require great skill and a large amount of time. Multiply that by 100,000 glyphs, and you can imagine this is an important site. Intentional.
Second, after studying Chaco for several years, I know that there are absolutely no coincidences, no accidents. I also know that absolutely everything is symbolic and imbued with deep spiritual significance.

Several times while drawing this, my pen refused to let the ink onto the paper. When I doubled checked the shape, I found that I was about to make a mistake. This has not happened to me. Ever. The more time I spent on this, the deeper I got into it. There are levels of meaning here that I don't know, or know yet.

Last, everything is a circle or a spiral. Chaco continues to expand. Lasting, beautiful, connected.

Charlie's Mum
08-09-2018, 03:04 PM
My Goodness! The whole ethos of this is quite amazing and prompts me to find out about the culture/history you mention here.

As for you own drawing - I don't know what was guiding you but the outcome itself is amazing (and I don't use that word lightly!).
All the nuances of those tiny pen marks Gary - incredible.

How big and how long did it take?

Actually, you also make the point of why copying from Masters is beneficial and teaches us a great deal!

08-10-2018, 02:05 AM
Oh my gosh! Is this Newspaper Rock? This looks more like those petroglyphs than a photograph would. Except for the color, this looks like one was chipped into my display. Amazing!

08-11-2018, 11:29 AM
Wow! Thank you! Means a great deal to read your words.

This is from a petroglyph in the Wells Petroglyph Preserve in New Mexico. It is a Chaco-era glyph, probably 11-12000 AD.

The size of the drawing is about 17 x 19 inches. It takes me about 2 hours per square inch, so do the math...

I've been studying and writing music about Chaco for several years. The Pueblo People (Hopi, Zuni, Tewa, many others) have much we could learn about how to treat each other and the earth... it has truly been a 'journey of the spirit' for me.

08-11-2018, 07:54 PM
OK, when you mentioned the great number of petroglyphs in the area, my mind leapt to Newspaper Rock up in Utah, near Canyonlands and Arches national parks.

When I wen5 to the library today, I made sure to look at your drawing on a display larger than this dinky phone. Yes, I am legally blind :), but once again, it was uncannily like looking at a rock surface!

08-11-2018, 10:20 PM
Legally blind? Oh, my!
My gratitude for spending time with this!!!

No matter what I draw, i always think of the subject matter (tree, stone bridge, landscape) as a person getting their portrait drawn, but with this one, it went much further.
I wanted to get it as exact as I could, knowing that the artist/shaman took so much time and effort... it's my way of honoring his artistry.

All of the places you mentioned are related to Chaco Canyon, NM, their 'center place.'

08-13-2018, 01:42 AM
My experience of petroglyphs is limited mostly to a short stay in Moab, Utah. Arches National Park is there, and also lots of BLM areas where lots of amazing glyphs are very easily gotten to. Some of the really eerie (to me) imagery is very accessible. With your respectful and serious interest, I hope "eerie" doesn't sound offensive. Maybe "otherworldly" would be more appropriate. Very powerful stuff, some of it. I think there was at least one of the kokopelli figures in that area. He was kind of the rockstar (yes) of petroglyphs for a while there. He was a flute-playing trickster/maize wizard, depending on who you asked. And rightfully popular, IMHO.

All I meant by that remark about eyesight was that even a guy with (hopefully temporarily) scrambled eyesight can see what a fine job you did with the Snake Dancer. I was excited to see it on a proper monitor at the local library, instead of this little phone.

We stopped at the Newspaper Rock site as we were leavingt Moab and Arches. It was amazing for the sheer number of glyphs in one small area. It was also very easily accessible.

Anyway, I look forward to more of your drawings!

09-05-2018, 04:16 PM
You nailed this.