This morning I was startled by a beautiful dark grey mouse that scurried under my feet in my studio. I managed to trap her under a small plastic Tupperware container and brought her in to show my seven year old daughter Ruby. After we ate breakfast with her beside us and a period of observation we took her into the green house and let her go. Ruby really wanted to hold the mouse in her hands and managed to hold her for a second before the mouse scurried up her arm and out into the garden. As we walked out of the garden a beautiful fair sized garter snake lay at our feet. We decided to have her stay for a short while with us while we drew and painted with her. We named her Snavely…. Click here to see the three videos we took of our drawing and painting session.
Ruby and the snake
First Ruby outlined her with pen and then painted.
Ruby outlining the snake
Ruby’s snake painting and a small drawing
Then I created with the snake. First I drew the snake with each hand. Then I drew the way the snake felt to touch. I ran one hand along its surface while recording the sensation with the other hand. I found this to be much easier and more satisfying than drawing how she looked.
Touching and drawing the snake
snake touch drawings drawing how she looks
To hold and caress this creature of the wet grass between my fingers gave such pleasure. I could feel each smooth scale against my fingertips as her body caressed the palm of my hand. She was cool and damp yet pulsating warm aliveness.
I followed the drawings with a painting of her. I used my right hand, followed by my left and then both hands. I closed my eyes to choose the colours.
left hand both hands right hand
Then this question popped into my head. What if I caress her smooth vulnerable bottom with paint? What if I coloured her, asked what colour she’d like then dipped my finger into the coloured space and let her dance across the ground moistened page? What would appear? What body communication might appear here?
Ruby coloured her bottom first and let her move across a wet page. I filmed her as she did this. Then we switched with Ruby filming me while I painted with the snake. I asked what colour she’d like and then carefully placed that on her belly. She also slithered onto the kit where colour adhered to her belly.
Ruby painting the snake
The painting the snake created with Ruby
As she moves over my paintkit, colour adheres to her body…
The creation the snake painted with me
As she moved across the page I saw roundness, sideways roundness with a forward direction that was never directly attacked but came about in a round-about kind of way. She performed rounded lifts then definitive placements. She created a carved out place.
We asked snake: what do you have to share today?
Ruby- The twists and turns and ducks of the snake people
We must slither fast
We like hiding in the dark and being sneaky
We hate being hung by our tails but we love being bracelets
Ruby’s snake bracelet
Lisa- Stay low
Slide your smooth flexible spine
Twirl, explore, sniff your way
Forked tongues aren’t all bad
Say what you mean
Then we laid her in the deep grass at the base of our Palm tree, thanked her and said farewell………
What calls out to you for creative exploration and connection today?