Naga: The Bee Catcher

Naga: The Bee Catcher. Oil on Canvas, 30cm x 40cm (approx. 12” x 16”), 2021.


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A naga (serpent) loops circuitously throughout the scene.  Sections of its outer scales peel away, revealing a pale skin underneath, dotted with eyes.  At lower left, diminutive white flowers sprout from the surface of the serpent’s body, framing both sides of its face.

A heart-studded underbelly iterates toward its lower mouth, where we are met with a grin and forked tongue.  A pair of grimacing jaws follow in place of eyes.  These set dimly beneath a thicker unforked tongue, dripping saliva as it emerges from a yellow invertebrate mouth.

At its crown, projections of light and shadow emerge, cast forth from a mind composed of innumerous branch-like layers.

Vectoring toward the serpent’s face is a bumblebee; its proboscis extended, enticed by the fragrance of flowers, or perhaps the saliva precipitating from the snake’s larger tongue.

A single paint brush quietly strokes the Naga’s scales at the bottom of the scene, suggesting the connection between the inspiration and the craft of art.

This work shares many characteristics with my original “The Moth Catcher” painting from 2015, including its hanging tongues, serpent characteristics, the inclusion of a paint brush, and the lure of insect prey. Though unplanned, it became clear as the image resolved that this qualified as another “catcher” within my oeuvre.  Perhaps more catcher brethren will emerge in future works?