The blog of Maureen Claffy, fine art painter based in Chicago. Explore her insights, inspirations and motivations as she gets raw and shares how she releases her resistance to love piece by piece, in order to paint in the flow of pure creativity and passion.

Do You Know Your Spirit Animal?

My children all know that I am a Humpback Whale, in human form. It is pretty clear why. Humpback Whales love their babies and travel close to them protecting and feeding them over long journeys. To add to the romance, the males of the species sing during migration. Love, light, color and sound filter through the dark and quiet, beautiful places where they live. The Humpback's life is continual change and adventure. They have few predators. They breach the solitude of water for huge breath and the sun. They do not have to forage or even hunt and instead only roll over and filter fish through their baleen. Most importantly they are properly accessorized, the only whale who looks like she might be wearing jewelry. 

I started to really think about this whale when my newest website came online in May. This is my fifth website and the only one to which I really paid any good attention. The first four kind of intimidated me and I shied away from educating myself on what I really wanted. This version is just about everything that I could have ever hoped for in terms of showing and selling my work. It is pretty seamless and intuitive. I even know how to work the behind the curtain bit of commerce, design, metrics, pages, images and social media. It is so darn cool! I never thought that I could do this! I am so empowered! Thank you ever so much Cesar Fishman.

Back to the Humpback Whale. I attribute a long slow burn of tenacity and vision to this animal knowing that they travel great distances through both fearful and majestic water. In preparing to write this first blog I researched my whales and I found out something about them I could not reconcile. I discovered that they never cross the equator. There are Northern Hemisphere pods and Southern Hemisphere pods. They do not hang out together. The Humpback Whale, huge and powerful, capable of weathering all manner of storm and most physical threat has a seemingly arbitrary line that she will not cross. What?

Back to the website. This being number five, in my mind I had already started to plan number six. It started to feel like migration, cyclical, circular. Was there a line that I would not cross?  Was I limiting myself? Did I have an equator? I had identified for so long with this animal. Was I really even a Humpback Whale? And then rolling in the warm and gentle waves of Lake Michigan last week, I realized how very silly all of those questions were because the answer was that whether whale or human I would so totally cross that line. Is there truly even such a thing as a line as long as it does not offend love? I have no idea if I will still be part of the pod and what the perfect analogy might be to the website. I just know that I will be crossing the line when I see it.

I am so grateful to everyone who has ever appreciated or taken an interest in my work. Your kind words and encouragement stick and I want you to know that. I hope that you like my new website and I would be so grateful if you took a minute to take a look. I guess take a good look while you can. It is on to the next thing. Here is to putting the equator in this Humpback Whale's wake.

I am wishing you every blessing and Joy in this new week.

Love, Maureen xx