Posted by Francesca Gagliano on Sunday, May 21, 2017
The Weeping Willow is known for its flexibility, Adaptability, and Resiliency. The tree thrives under pressure, living in difficult conditions--weathering storms by bending branches to the ground but not snapping. A willow's breaking point extends beyond measure. It is a tree that teaches with "go with the flow" wisdom. It's long branching strands: protect, disguise, inspire and sooth.
I created this spirit tree for a patron who I've yet to meet in person but who feels like family. Her name is Glenda and she has commissioned spirit trees for both her daughter and husband. When she asked me to create a Spirit Tree for herself, a weeping willow came to the forefront of my mind. When I asked Glenda if she had an idea for which kind of tree she would most enjoy--she said the weeping willow.
Glenda is a pilot and she stores and flies her plane at the airport that my brother works at and also flies in and out from. She and I became friends through his connection via social media. From our online friendship we became witnesses to each other's lives and I saw her plane, Lima Lima, and wanted to include it in the painting. I also saw a photo of Glenda's Granddaughter holding a three to four foot paper mache golden dragon that she had created for a school project. Glenda's granddaughter and her dragon inspired me and I included it in the painting as a source of inspiration, guidance and protection. It is also symbolic of the importance of creation, love and family.
Dragons are conflicting symbols depending on where you are in the world--but universally I believe--they are respected, ancient creatures that are deeply intwined with earth's natural elements. There are water dragons and fire-breathing dragons, dragons that live in the earth and fly through the air. If you were to be walking through a meadow and saw a dragon flying above you--you might become speechless and stop in your tracks. This is because dragons are: majestic, dynamic and inspiring creatures that are also: dangerous, protective and fierce. A person who might look to dragons as a source of inspiration might be or desire to be courageous.
Once I finished painting the dragon, it reminded me of a grasshopper, and I wasn't alone. Once Glenda received the tree, she asked me, "What's with the grasshopper?" Though I intended for the painting to look solely like a dragon, it also resembles a grasshopper--and having dual meaning excites me.
Grasshoppers never stay in one place for too long and are considered good luck as well as creative because of their ability to create 'sing' and 'dance'. Grasshoppers are patient and take large jumps telling you to take a leap of faith with an idea. A grasshopper is full of encouragement to express yourself.
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