Posted by: MtnWoman Silver | May 10, 2010

MtnWoman Silver on Kiva Magic

Today, I will talk about my collage, Kiva Magic.  A kiva is a room used by modern Puebloans for religious rituals, many of them associated with the kachina belief system. Among the modern Hopi and most other Pueblo peoples, kivas are square-walled and underground, and are used for spiritual ceremonies.

For me, the act of descending into the Kiva represents the going within to contemplate the richness of the non-physical, the spirit, and our connections to the earth and all that is.

Kiva-Magic copy

Kiva Magic

The image size of Kiva Magic is 12″ square. It began as a collage using papers, both tissue and watercolor, that I had painted and stamped with acrylic paints. Only after laying a few scraps of paper down and arranging and rearranging them did an image or composition begin to evolve. Like most artists, my interests and passions determine the content of my art. (One of my passions encompases Native American culture and symbology.) For me, the first inkling of where I am headed  is when creating gets to be really fun. Shapes begin to appear and demand to remain. As more and more shapes become permanent residents on the surface, my decisions become more important. At some point, I will decide to adhere some of those shapes to the surface. Now, new additions should work with those already in place although I sometimes put new ones right over old ones. Every scrap added requires decisions about design, value, composition, etc. At some point, I “know” the piece is complete.

Titles of artwork may come during the creating process or after it is completed. If I get the title while still creating the piece, it affects my choices. Sometimes, a title will come long after the piece is finished.

Once I think a piece is finished, I put it away out of sight for a few days. Then I take it out and study it often rotating it to see how the composition is working from a new perspective. A few times, I have liked a work better after it is rotated, but usually, it remains oriented just as I created it. After this period of study, I know if the piece is truly finished or needs something more.

Kiva Magic evokes the mystery of the Native American ceremonies that take place in the earth from which we all come. I enjoy looking at it and contemplating those mysteries.

© MtnWoman Silver and MtnWoman Silver Speaks, 2010


  1. Not only do I like the design, I really respond to the vibrant colors. Would I be disappointed if that gorgeous shade of blue weren’t there? Probably not, but it always makes me feel “ahhhhhhhh, so nice.”

  2. Hi Silver, I appreciate the description of your artwork and the mythology behind the design. I am sure that this philosophical treatise adds a third dimension to an already appealing piece of art.

    I also imagine that it’s best if the buyer of this work can take home a precis of your text so that he/she can foment a meaningful discussion with other viewers.

    • Thanks for your comment, Dai, insightful as always.

  3. The description of your artwork and the mythology behind the design fascinate me. I have always found it difficult to say why I do something in my craft work.

    • It is hard for me to believe you could find anything using words difficult. Your writing in your posts is both informative and amusing. I especially liked your explanation on northern and southern Ireland since I am presently reading a novel set in 1916 dealing with the Irish rebels in both Boston and Ireland. I still find Ireland very confusing.

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