Angakkuq (transformative mask)

Angakkuq (transformative mask) – 36×48 Oils on Canvas

The Yup’ik and the Inuit believe their shamans, called Angakkuq, have the power to assume different forms. the power of flight is achieved by transforming into a bird. transformation is achieved by wearing elaborate robes and masks that resemble local birds. at the end of the flight, the bird would reach up and grasp it’s beak, pulling it up and over the head transforming back into a human angakkoq. the masks …

!Gixa (dancing in flight)

!gixa (sorcerer of the /xam) -36×48 Oils on Canvas

The /Xam in South Africa believed in the powers of their shamans to transcend their physical form, to change to a selected form of a buck, gazelle or a bird in trance. Other interpretations have theorized that these figures are death spirits, or an early race of peoples, but largely it is accepted that these are some form of shamanic rite. The shamans would wear masks and feathers or skin …

Houri (Waiting) – 36×48 Oils on Canvas

The Houri is another islamic angel. Houris inhabit the seventh level of heaven and have red blue and gold wings, inky black tresses and gold and white headdresses. their eyes are downcast and they forever kneel offering praises to Allah. There is also a belief that Houris are rewards for the holy. in that light I have depicted her waiting for a lover she did not choose. it is expressly …

Selaphiel (lost in prayer) - 36x48 Oils on Canvas

Selaphiel (lost in prayer) – 36×48 Oils on Canvas

Selaphiel is one of the seven archangels of Catholic Tradition and Eastern Orthodox beliefs. he is usually depicted either as a thurifer (an incense burner) or in prayer with his arms crossed over his chest. I chose to depict him praying in that attitude but with a thurifer as well. the unusual shapes of light are cast from within the thurifer. in this way he appears lost in himself, in his …