“Protection Song”

Garrett Etsitty



As in his other  paintings, this complex composition has layers and layers of designs, that seem to float in the disembodied atmosphere, some in the forefront, some in the background.

The theme of this painting is protection – symbolic and abstract, pictured as the mystical energy of the universe.

His favored jewel-toned palette seems to glow, with the reds of fire and the earth, and the blues and greens of water, the sky and growing plants.

Like all his art, this painting beautifully evokes the vaporous atmosphere of the spiritual, with intricate patterns and other-worldly symbols, in an expressionistic whirlwind.

The hummingbird, propagator of plants and crops, is painted in great, naturalistic detail.

He flutters in front of a group of mineral crystals; a large globe, covered in myriad circles, floats beyond that.

The earth provides many things that promote prosperity, and help mankind.

Is that globe the Earth, composed of many, metaphorical circles?

A honeycomb-like collection of small hexagons emerges to the left of the globe. This resembles a group of cells, or atoms, and appears again at the bottom of the painting.

At the bottom, next to these hexagons, are parallel green lines that may symbolize rainfall, and the crops that it encourages.

Other groups of parallel lines occur all over the painting.

At the top right, a dark form suggest the shape of a buffalo, one of the most powerful animals of the Great Plains, against a cloud of fiery orange.

Angular lines zig-zag across the canvas, from the top left, to the interior of the crystal forms, in the center.

These are like lightning, or swiftly moving water.

Swirls of thickly applied red, blue, and turquoise paint appear at the bottom left, almost like a vivid butterfly’s wings.

(Butterflies also help to propagate plants and crops, keeping people happy and healthy.)

Everywhere, the colors are sumptuous; the composition swirls and roils with energy and movement.

The theme may be the protection of nature, offered by the universe, in all its forms.

At any rate, the magnificent color and integrated composition create a gorgeous visual feast that gives great pleasure, whether or not you decipher the symbolism.

This work evokes the mystery and whirling beauty of the universe, with amazing skill and artistic vision.


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