“Elephants, Swimming Through Illusions,” is a watercolor painting on canvas, by me. I painted my name, “MAYA,” in Indian Sanskrit at the bottom, which is one of the language origins of the name, and it means “Illusion.” Once I got the idea to paint a swimming elephant I started thinking about India, then my mind went back to Illusions, and Indian Sanskrit. Then I decided to paint an Indian temple, which is depicted at the top of the painting, then I wanted to dress up my elephant in peacock feathers, since peacocks are the national bird of India.
I wanted to create a fantastical scene, one that can only be replicated in either a lucid dream, or in a deeply meditative state. I was raised on a hybrid of beliefs taken from Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity, and my name is considered to be sacred in two out of the three religions. Ganesh is also a Hindu god that resonates, because he symbolizes a removal of obstacles (in the artist, obstacles to creativity and prosperity,) and governs the forces that propel the wheel of life. The elephant is also an emblematic animal of India, and was my grandmother’s favorite animal, so a guardian spirit (as the elephant) is pushing through illusions and obstacles, and guiding the viewer towards a clearer path.
This piece was painted on an 11 x 9″ canvas, using watercolor paint. You can view this piece and more on my site: