Friday, 20 May 2016

Spirit Animals - the turtle

sea turtle+surrealism+space+cosmic+vibrant+animal art+Nicola McLean
Spirit animal - turtle

Do you know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? I was never really sure but, in looking into the meaning of the turtle/tortoise spirit animal, I found out - a tortoise lives on land and a turtle lives in water (at least most of the time). That's the simplified jist of it anyway, although I’m sure Sir David Attenborough would be able to give you a much more detailed and fascinating picture, but when it comes to spirit animal meanings they seem to both represent pretty much the same thing.

Firstly, they represent peace, which could be finding peace of mind or peace in your environment. The turtle is considered to be the peace-maker in some Native American traditions (Although mine looks a little cross - perhaps at all the humans who refuse to just live peacefully!)

spirit animal art+turtle+close up+Nicola McLean+Artist

They are also a symbol of the earth. The American continent is referred to as Turtle Island in Native American folklore and it's said that the turtle carried the weight of the land of that continent on her back. In Hindu and Chinese cultures she's shown carrying Mother Earth and holding the world in balance.

If you remember Aesop's fables you might remember the story of the tortoise and the hare and how slow and steady won the race? That’s what turtle also represents, teaching us to stick at our chosen path in life with determination and to stay strong despite obstacles and distractions (useful to remember when it seems that things aren’t moving forward as quickly as you would like). I’d definitely rather be the tortoise as there is more joy in the journey than rushing to be the first to reach the destination.

turtle flipper+Art by Nicola McLean+Animal Art

The turtle spirit animal also represents longevity because of the fact that turtles and tortoises can have very long lives so, if you have turtle as your spirit animal, although it might take you longer than most to make your mark or reach your goal, when you do the results tend to be long-lasting and solid.

Initially I was going to paint a tortoise with its shell as the earth but then I thought that I’d used that symbolism a little too much recently what with Skye’s ball and the Dandelion clock so instead I thought about painting a sea turtle and then I found this stunning photograph by Linda Willason on PaintMy Photo which was perfect for what I had in mind. 

Credit: Linda Willason

In other news, Dove Watch has been successful this week as I managed to be at the dining room table when Mrs Dove was feeding her hatchling and was lucky enough to sneak a couple of photos through the window!

I thought at first there was just the one baby but today I discovered that she actually has two. They were born a week ago so in about another two weeks they should be ready to fledge. It's all very lovely to be so close to nature like this - it's like having our very own nature documentary unfolding outside the window!

In other arty news, I recently applied to a fairly new online art gallery called Fine Art Seen and am delighted that I've been accepted to sell my art there. I would still like to find a bricks and mortar gallery at some point but for now it's good to get into a few different online galleries.  I was also approached by another new one called Opius back in February and finally got round to uploading some of my paintings to their website as well.  It does take a little longer for the admin in uploading work to several places but it will hopefully mean my paintings will be seen by a wider audience than would ever see them in my little corner of Scotland.

Well, that's all my news. Wishing you a lovely weekend. I'm home alone as S is away to Glasgow so I'll mostly be painting and catching up on Grey's Anatomy!

spirit animal art+art by nicola mclean+turtle+sea turtle+Surrealism


  1. Wonderful turtle, and those doves are fabulous. Valerie

  2. beautiful beautiful,, I love how you created the look of the sky casting through the water from above,,
    good luck with sales at all your new sites!!

  3. What a beautiful turtle, Nicola. The colors are really awesome.

  4. Love your turtle! My daughter found a tortoise the size of a 50p coin in the garden. It was blind in one eye so they took it in and put it in a fish tank. Not sure that was a good idea but anyway they have named him Boris.
    Your bird photos are absolutely enchanting.
    Happy PPF

  5. gorgeous sea turtle Nic!! How lucky for you to see those sweet doves and chicks-nice photos. Hooray on having another avenue to sell your art too!

  6. thanks for the lesson on turtle vs. tortoise. I didn't know the difference! and, of course, yours is spectacular!

  7. I love how your turtle is floating into space, and how his paws (or how do you call it?) look like mosaics, or those glass windows in old churches. Very interesting what he represents too! I didn't know that, so I learned something new today thanks to you :-)

  8. Love seeing your spirit animals and ready about their meanings.

  9. Wonderful and magical turtle!
    Happy PPF 🌞

  10. Stunning! I agree he is really quite magical and I love the light streaming down on him. Happy PPF

  11. Your art is magically ethereal. The colors are so bright and vibrant but in place where all is in balance. I love your art!!!

  12. What fascinating work and really captured so much movement... I love it.. and the wonderful spiritual meaning you shared!! Congratulations on getting your art into the online exhibits! This piece is just glorious! Enjoy your solitude and Greys!

    Hugs Giggles

  13. Wonderful mystical painting and what magical photos!!!

  14. Beautiful turtle and sweet doves.

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