Tlalocelot – Tiger of the Feilds

36 x 48″, Conté on Wood

Tlalocelot is the Mexican Aztec name given to the ocelot. It translates to mean Tiger of the fields. I have been working on it for the past month and finished it earlier this week. This is the largest piece I have done in Conté and the first that I have done on wood. However, I have a stack of the same size and texture of boards lined up for the rest of the animal series I am doing. The boards that I chose have a lot of texture to them, but the effect does not totally comes across in the picture (it’s better in real obviously).

When I started doing this piece I had no idea how to approach it. Coming to the point of drawing it felt a bit like pursuing the cat – and for anyone who’s ever pursued a cat, it isn’t easy. One night during Savasana after a great practice, when I had totally surrendered my pursuit, I had this lovely moment of imagination / vision. This feral beauty (mr ocelot) slinked up to me and laid down on my chest. He looked at me with those omniscient eyes and silent magnificence. The feeling was full, exultant and I think I might have laughed out loud. After that the drawing came easier. I believe the message the ocelot brought to me after all was the power of surrender.

In Yoga today the teacher was telling us about balancing steadiness with sweetness in our poses and our breath. I find that that applies to my whole life. When I attempt to make art of any kind it’s that balance that I have to create in order to get through the self doubt and the burden of expectations. Another image came to me today that will probably follow into my next piece / animal investigation. The next animal I think is the horse.

I hope you enjoy the work. Comments / criticism much appreciated.