"Art of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest Coast"

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"Frog Totem"

(acrylic on ragboard and masonite 28x30)

Original - $1,650 U.S.

Frogs generally represent good luck to the Northwest Coast peoples and it was not considered wise to demean or injure them. Many frog stories abound including a well-known Tlingit story about how frogs became widespread throughout the northwest. It has to do with a chiefs' daughter who made fun of them and was tricked into going to the village of the frog people under the lake by a frog masquerading as a handsome man. She married him and bore him children and in order to get her back, her father's village drained the lake, scattering frogs in every direction.

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This detail gives you a closer look at how this piece was made. The totem is first sketched onto ragboard and then each piece is cut out by hand, sanded, primed, and painted. The totem is then reassembled on the painted masonite at various levels from the surface using custom cut spacers beneath most of the pieces. Abalone pieces or copper are also used for decoration. They are shadowbox framed using flat black or natural oak mouldings but other options could be equally effective.

These totems have a very contemporary look while owing their origins to traditional design structures. They have the appearance of paper sculptures and their appearance can vary from subtle to dramatic depending on the lighting source.

This technique is perfect for artwork needed for large home areas and corporate settings. They can be made to fit virtually any size requirements and take approximately 3 weeks to construct. Special considerations can also be made for any personal preferences. Feel free to contact me via e-mail for further information and I'll answer any questions you may have.

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