Alephestra is a talented painter and illustrator who expresses her sense of the sacred through her work. In a recent interview, we asked her to share a little bit about how her artistry expresses her identity, beliefs and personal journey:
Tell us about yourself.
I’m blissfully occupied as an artist married and partnered to another artist, and we’re both vegetarians. Im a foodslave at the dog and cat daycare.
What is your spiritual path?
Being a pagan would probably be an apt description, my lineage being Celtic. I found myself shaking my head in agreement quite a bit while reading Isaac Bonewit’s articles on Neopagan Druidism. I have an insatiable need to read about most spiritual paths and Im probably stuck developmentally at the toddler “Why?” stage.
How would you describe your work?
My desire is to illustrate the concept of connectivity to our habitat: A merging of flora, fauna, and human forms. If the notion of severe empathy with a beast, a fish, a bird, a bug, or a plant can be communicated via a painting or drawing….well, that would be the bee’s knees for me. The work became much easier once my hang up of always clothing or draping a figure got tossed. Animals are usually always naked.
What are your inspirations and motivations?
My inspirations started with my family, their creativity, their choices of occupations (building, teaching, caregiving, artist/illustrator/printing), and their gift of respect and awe for our environment. My mother had a habit of telling people that I was going to be an artist by vocation, and that (and my husband’s optimism) still floats me through those horrid passages of doubt.
Im motivated by species extinction. I envision a day when people tell their children that extinction was a horrible fact that belongs to the past. That drives my desire to work with kindred souls to preserve and protect the incredible diversity of life on this beautiful planet we inhabit.
Im filled with wonder about the human connection to animal energy — are we better humans when we grant great respect to non-human beings?
How does your spiritual path connect with your artwork?
This question is going to take another cup of coffee!
Here’s where the “Why?” comes into play.
Why do certain spiritual paths assign meaning to animal symbolism?
Why do certain spiritual paths assign meaning to plant symbolism?
It was a lot to read about: The facts were easier to remember if there was a photograph or illustration that accompanied the words. So, visual research commences and connections begin to reveal themselves.
The last painting I finished is The Cottonwood and the Wolf. That came about from a heated discussion on a pagan message board about removing the wolves from the endangered species list, and the subsequent peril the wolves would face from delisting in Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. So, while researching that, discovered that when and where the wolves are protected, the cottonwood and aspen trees return to the environment, as the elk population that decimated the trees in now in a balance.
So, don’t know how to define my spiritual path other than saying;
“I love the earth, her sky, her waters, her beasts.”
I have heard it said that if you really want to know about something, that you should draw it. Drawing and painting force you to slow down and look harder and longer than a glance will allow.
My artwork reflects what I love, what I wish to remain, what I desire to get to know further.
View more of Alephestra and her husbands work at Adelliam.com
Images used with permission, copyright Adelliam.com