Thursday, May 26, 2011

FIGURATIVE ABSTRACTION/ 'The Dream Bear' by Eric Whollem/ MEDICINE ANIMALS OF THE CONCOW MAIDU INDIANS/ A pictographic abstraction based on preshistoric California rock art

The Dream Bear
by Eric Whollem
mixed media on paper
Colllection of the artist
6 1/16" x 4 1/2"


This painting presents the image of a bear in a pictographic
style, based on prehistoric California petroglyphs, which
often were rendered in gridlike formats as seen above. The
paleolithic rock art of Europe sometimes incorporated such
geometric diagrams; but they have been overshadowed in the
public eye by the figurative naturalism of the hunting scenes
which are so famous today.

European artists such as Klee and Miro took it upon themselves
to adapt the geometricizing abstractions of their paleolithic
European heritage to their modern artistic productions. Similarly
my own art has drawn upon the prehistoric arts of California.


When I lived at Black Earth Village in Feather Falls, California,
an old Concow Maidu village site, I used to have dreams of
a small black bear. Bears are considered very sacred by the

                Concow Maidu concepts in my art. A recent video.

The black bear is the medicine animal of the healer.
Also the black bear is celebrated each year in a special
interfamily dance in Janesville, California, not far from the
Nevada border. There a roundhouse is located on traditional dance
lands on the edge of the sage and juniper covered desert areas of the
high Sierra.

I once journied to the Janesville roundhouse with Adrian Smith,
at the time head dancer at the Bear Dance. Such lead dancers
are called 'Bear.'

                Concow Maidu Culture in the Art of Eric Whollem.


Readers interested in my posts that deal with the culture of the CONCOW MAIDU should see:

More of my FIGURATIVE ABSTRACTIONS may be accessed here:

More about MEDICINE ANIMALS may be found on these posts:

See my posts on DREAMING:


No comments:

Post a Comment

Inquiries, reactions, observations, favorites, commentary. Share with others.