Pat Bavin Painting



I’m sketching with intuitive speed using simple, bold marks, recording an inspiring high altitude landscape while looking across at Mt. Veronica to the east. From my sheltered nest on a steep slope, I can feel the flutter of a breeze coming up from the depths of the concentric terraces of Moray, high on a plateau in the Andes in Peru. It is time for our final ceremonial rites under the leadership of the Four Winds Society, travelling daily from the town of Urabumba, within the famed “Sacred Valley”. I am one of many on the Via Illuminata expedition of 2012, a first class travel and spiritual journey with the descendants of the Laika medicine people. This trip is so engaging with historic sites and mountain vistas that are layered over with profound spiritual messages coming from Sheryl, our tribal leader, that my first day at Uro Urco, Pachar, was a struggle between note taking, color theory and sketching. I was a mess! I did a much better job of catching the sense of the Serpent Temple than I did in learning the ways of Sachamana and the winds of the south. What a great place to engage in ”the shedding of one’s stories” with the Laika medicine men and Dr. Alberto Villoldo, the founder of the Four Winds Society, in person.

        From here on, I did my sketches before and after our ceremonial exercises and usually late into the night so as to meet the demands of student and recorder. My subject matter focused on our daily travels that started by bus with the option, at a point, to either hike or ride to designated ceremonial sites that aligned with the four archetypes of Serpent, Jaguar, Royal Hummingbird, and Condor/Eagle. I also found the mythology surrounding the sites of Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, and Moray as unique areas of interest, to name a few. As you can see, there is a 12 to 16 month time gap between site sketches and studio paintings which offered constant “tracking” of reliving the sites and ceremonies of the expedition. What has helped me decide to make this work available in the formats of original paintings, prints, and cards has to do with my continued training. During the period of October 2012 and September 2013 I was enrolled in a Medicine Wheel workshop to become a Mesa carrier. With a more in depth study of each direction and coinciding archetypal mythology, I found myself working a lot with my paintings during Mesa and perception exercises. This, I realized, could be a creative asset to those walking a path of such transformation. I hope the sites of Peru with their animal archetypes within the paintings will bring you joy while you track and journey as a mapmaker in your travels of “becoming”.


Pat Bavin


Haiku poems of the Andes


The wind flutters cool

The mountain echoes above

Rivers sound rapid


Skylines run jagged

Planting for food on terrace

Endless deep valley


A stone ruin looms

Beautiful tight stacking

Feel the spirit