The Spider Woman is one of the most important goddesses in the Southwest Native culture. She is multi-faceted and has amazing power over her people. There are geographic landmarks named for her as well as constellations, myths, and stories of all kinds. As I have said, she is the equal to Isis in Ancient Egypt and Athena in Greece.
The row of crosses circling the rattle in my painting is a common symbol in honor of Spider Woman. The crossbars are equal in size vertically and horizontally, and at the edge of each point is a white rectangle. This shape is commonly seen in weavings of not only rugs but also blankets and other items made by the Native craftspeople. In the past it was customary to leave a square or rectangular shaped hole in the center of the woven object to allow the spirits to have a pathway to the other world. After a while they began to see that buyers did not like to purchase an item with a hole in the middle, so the custom fell out of favor.
This second snippet of my first painting in this series has an amaryllis which is an indoor plant in the colder climates, but grows abundantly in the warmer climes of southern Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and many other places in the world. It is particularly exotic and quite large. There are endless shades of reds, pinks, white, cream, and variegated also. In this painting, I mixed cinnabar, madder, and flake white to achieve the rich creamy pinks of the flowers. The Amazonite beads are painted with pigment of the same name.