This painting is one of a number of pieces that I was privileged to assist Norval with creating in 1993. The background to this painting was developed using a lifted wash technique. I then painted the stargate using spray techniques. Norval then drew me up stencils of fish, little critters and an ancestral shaman which I sprayed to nestle into the environment.
Then Copper Thunderbird took over...
I shot this photo upstairs at Norval's place on the Semiahmoo Reserve south of White Rock, B.C. I never saw this painting again so I don't have a photo of the finished product but I can guarantee that he passionately worked it to perfection. I'm thrilled that the finished masterpiece is out there somewhere. One day I'll see it again. Eventually spiritual power like this circulates.
Over the years I have often witnessed people criticizing Morrisseau's newer work, when they compare it to his older artwork. This was happening in 1979 and its still going on today. Average people are comfortable with the known and uncomfortable with the unknown.
Lucky us...Norval wasn't like that at all. He was an explorer. His art is more than its parts. It is synergistic, vital, and I believe, as necessary as food because in fact, it is food.
Like the "teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime" idea, a visionary Morrisseau painting laced with electric colour and meaning resonates deep within to produce awakening.
People need what Copper Thunderbird offers - now more than ever.