Wild Heart Brings Spirit Alive
Mindi Yarbrough, artist Wild Heart, recently had her Opening Night at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville, WV.
Artists work in many different ways. Some paint exactly what they see, while others add a little imagination to their pictures. Mindi Yarbrough has an added element in her paintings. She captures the spirit of the person or animal. Mindi portrays herself as “a self taught and self described outsider artist.”
Mindi started drawing at the age of five. Her love of nature shines forth in everything she does. As a little girl, she enjoyed playing in the creek, where she would enjoy nature and catch snakes (and just about any other animal, insect or amphibian she could get her hands on).
“All kinds of snakes,” she explains, “but I was never afraid of them, despite being bitten many times, and often kept them as pets.” Snakes are Mindi’s power animal. She even has tattoos of them on her arms. Snakes have been associated with shamans. In fact in some cultures, snake bites are an initiation and pre-requisite into shamanism.
This painting of Bear Woman makes me smile. It tells a great Blackfoot Legend of the older sister and her bear. Mindi has even added the end of that legend as she shows the star constellation of Ursa Major in the background. All of her work shows depth and meaning.
Upon leaving the art show, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree glowed in the hallway. The Mound Museum Christmas tree is decorated with plants that were important to those prehistoric Native Americans living in the area. The people who built Grave Creek Mound probably grew small gardens, which included squash, sunflowers, pumpkins, gourds, and goosefoot – the decorations on this tree.
It’s no surprise that Mindi works in the field of art on a daily basis. At present she is Art Director and Senior Graphic Designer at Beyond Marketing in Wheeling, WV. Her expertise lies in designing just what the customer desires.
Mindi has been drawing and painting since childhood. She smiles as she tells others, “I have never wanted to be anything other than an artist, except maybe a mermaid.” Mindi would definitely be a very special mermaid!