Totems by Raven

Bison Totem painting in pen and ink by Raven OKeefeI have been an aritst my entire life and an animal portrait artist for over 20 years. I work primarily in pen and ink because of the incredible detail I can get with it and because it helps me capture the spirit of the animal I am drawing. The Totems collection started out as a couple of pieces that i did for myself or family members but the finished pieces had such a life to them, such a spiritual feel to them that I had to continue to do more of them.

The pieces shown on this site are some that I have completed to date. More will be added as the artwork is done. New Totems mugs will be available two to three times a year, and eventually all the illustrations and descriptions will be compiled in a book.

The word totem comes from the Ojibway word "dodaem" which means "brother/sister kin." It is the archetypical symbol of hereditary clan affiliations. In the native american shamanic worldview everything is alive, bearing its own inherent virtue, power and wisdom. Totem animals, or power animals, represent our connection to all lving things, and express their spirit natures as they guide, help or protect those who are open to them. 

Totem animals, and through them our connection to their wisdoms and strengths, are found in many cultures throughout the world. In our distant past there was no perceived separation between humans and other animals; we were all one with the earth and the elements. Totem animals remind us of that collective consciousness, allowing us to tap into the energies present in all things. In becoming open to and aware of our Totem animals and what we have to learn from them, we recognize that we are one with the natural world, sharing honor and respect for all.

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