Aqua oil on canvas, 48″x48″

This is the first painting I did in the series called a Tribute To Venus. It was inspired by a real encounter I had with five coyotes, and you can read the whole story below. The amazing gift from this experience is how five coyotes brought me into a deeper connection with my feminine self. When I tell this story sometimes, people find it hard to believe that a woman surrounded by coyotes would result in a choice that she sings to the coyotes. But then, what other choice did I really have? There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

 

Original Painting

Giclee Prints

 

This painting, She Sings to the Coyotes, tells the story for the inspiration of my Tribute To Venus series.

In late October of 2003, I went for a long walk on the ranch where I was living. It was a warm Indian summer afternoon, and I stopped to rest in the shade of a lone Juniper before heading back home. I dozed off, and when I awoke, I was surrounded by five coyotes. Three of them were sitting, one was laying down and the other was pacing back and forth me making me very nervous. I was definitely scared. Though I had never heard of anyone being attacked by a pack of coyotes in these parts, my mind was racing with all sorts of morbid thoughts as to the outcome. I decided the energy of fear might attract one of those unpleasant outcomes, and it would be best to stay calm and wait it out. I closed my eyes, took some deep breaths, attempted to get quiet inside and before I knew it, I started to sing. I sang all my latest favorite songs by Eric Clapton, Moby, Everything But the Girl, Gregg Brown, and Patty Griffin. I sang and sang. Though my fear did not completely subside, it felt right to be singing over anything else I could do. After about twenty-five minutes or so, the coyote that was laying down got up and approached me, gave me a long, deep stare, then turned to go followed by the others. I quickly got to my feet, and ran the whole way home. Still shaking, I grabbed a bottle of  Tequila with a few swigs left in it, and calmed my nerves in the hot tub.
Over the following weeks, coyotes came around to visit me, hanging out in my yard and on my lawn chairs, perching on the rocks outside my studio and howling close outside my door at night. I was never able to determine if these were the same coyotes I had encountered. Finally, they stopped coming around when my son came to visit and brought his big yellow Lab dog.

I share this story because clearly something magical transpired between myself and these coyotes. What exactly that was doesn’t see to matter. What mattered to me as a painter was the vision I received of singing to the coyotes which came to me in a dream. As I began this painting, I realized the significance of the response to a potentially dangerous, life threatening, fearful situation. There was magic in that. And what was birthed in me from this experience was a deeper, more profound acknowledgment of the gratitude, honor and respect for the feminine spirit that had guided and protected me. I began to trust and open more to this part of myself, and to search for the beauty of this energy in everything. The more I looked, the more I found that inspired the rest of the paintings. This lovely, soft energy was always available, and in everything, everywhere. As such, I am certain there are more paintings to come in this series.

These paintings are a tribute to Venus, to the feminine spirit and all her gifts, to all that is love and beauty, to the most brilliant star in the night sky. Interestingly enough, this most brilliant star, Venus, had recently transited in front of the sun on June 8, 2004. She had not made this transit since 1822. It is hoped, by all who understand the significance of this transit at the time, that the gifts of the divine feminine will grow stronger on this planet now, and gain the honor, respect and trust that is so desperately needed to balance and preserve the ever increasing fragility of all sentient life. It is my hope that these paintings will inspire both men and women alike to embrace, embody and become all that is love and beauty in this world before it is too late. God forbid we lose what is most precious, and have to live knowing the solution wasn’t just about how much tougher we needed to become, but how much softer.

Annie Horkan
June 22, 2004