Kokopelli Conga

Kokopelli Conga
"A work of art that did not begin in emotion is not art." --Paul Cezanne

May 23, 2012

Creating a Kokopelli

This month the Nibblefest theme is Elements. We are usually limited to three entries per theme, but since there are four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), we could enter up to four as long as each entry represented a different element.


(Nibblefest is a monthly art contest on ebay. The participants each create artwork around a monthly theme. Each auction must start on or after the 20th of the month, and must end on the 27th of the month; and each auction must start at only $0.99. Search NFAC or ART NFAC each month to find the Nibblefest entries)

I've been thinking about creating a series of Kokopelli paintings for a while, but hadn't formed in my mind exactly the path I wanted to take on that journey. (As you may already know, I love the Moab, UT and Arches National Park. If you ever go to Moab, you will see Kokopelli everywhere!) So, when this theme came up on the Nibblefest list, I decided it might be a good time to turn "thinking about it" into "doing it." Thus, the Kokopelli Elements were born. :)

What is Kokopelli you say? Well here is an "official" description from Wikipedia.
"Kokopelli is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player, who has been venerated by some Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States. Like most fertility deities, Kokopelli presides over both childbirth and agriculture. He is also a trickster god and represents the spirit of music."
 
I spent some time last week looking at various depictions of the Kokopelli figure and then developed my own sketch in my sketchbook (I didn't want to make an exact copy of someone else's figure). I combined elements of various Kokopellies to make mine.
Then I found symbols to represent the elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water - and made sketches of these in my book.

Last, I wanted a little something in the background, so I sketched some little adobe huts. (At least I hope that's what they look like). ;)

After getting all these elements into my sketchbook, I cut four pieces of Arches 140lb watercolor paper and taped them off with a window of 8 3/8" x 10 3/8" (the goal to have a painting that will be approximately 8" x 10", but I always want to paint a little bigger than that so there is no white space accidentally showing through on the mat window when it gets matted and framed). Then I transferred my sketches to the four pieces of watercolor paper and went to work.

I was quite pleased with the final results. So, these are my Nibblefest entries for May 2012. :)

"Kokopelli Earth"
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"Kokopelli Air"
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"Kokopelli Fire"
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"Kokopelli Water"
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