Margery Coffey
Chance Çaton [Five]

Oil, Acrylic
36" x 36"
1997

This is a portrait of my grandson at the age of five.  The background is classical: night and day shows the passage of time, as does the four seasons on the four hills of life.  The concept of the four hills of life is an Umonhon theology.  Their four ages of man are child, young adult, parent and elder and each age has its own hill of wisdom and experience to master.  Life ends with a journey down the gambling road, which my culture calls the Milky Way.

Whether real or stuffed, all of the animals in the picture are members of Chance's family, both blood and extended.   The hawk flying in the sky is his mother, the bear claw around his neck is his father, the stuffed rabbit is his step-grandfather and I am the prairie dog.  The toad refers to a family joke.

The rainbow road leads down the hill to the future, which is depicted by the stream, the water of life, which runs along the bottom of the hills.  The coneflower is a healing herb that is a wish for good health.  He holds in his hands a video joy-stick, which is one of his many pleasures, as well as a favorite toy.

 


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