This image began with a photo taken while I was traveling in Southeast Asia of just these pillars sticking out from the water. I knew the scene would be the basis of a painting, but had no ideas beyond that. Three weeks later my dad passed away. When I reviewed my resource photos and started sketching out ideas in a very stream of consciousness manner, the imagery began to unfold. There are many layers of symbolism involved and I’m discovering that much of it is specific to me and my relationship with my father. But on a general level, the smoke in the distance represents the end of the physical form and my father’s cremation. The figure in the center, loosely based on my sister, symbolizes a centered, strong presence and ceremonial posture. A knowing that all is in divine order. The tiger is passion and vitality, bowing his head to the figure. He is our life force waiting to be summoned. The butterflies playfully represent transformation, both upon leaving our physical forms, and also as we evolve through life. And the pillars, yes, they are the ancestors upon which we stand – and through whom we are supported and loved.