This new drum was inspired by listening to a humpback whale
breathing next to our sailboat in the quiet dusk of early evening.


We had been sighting humpbacks throughout the day.  These waters are a favorite gathering ground before these wise giants begin their migration.  Whenever one sees several boats just drifting in the water–well spaced, no engines running–you can be sure a whale is nearby.  All the boaters we saw that day were considerate of giving space and quiet.  We were appropriately monitored by a team from  Straitwatch,  of the Cetus Society, who help prevent the human activity that endangers  whales.


The 16″ drum of blacktail deer hide  stretched over a 3” yellow cedar frame has been available unpainted in my webstore for quite some time.    I have for many years felt shown to make the drum that is in the hide, rather than adjust the hide to the drum.  This sometimes becomes a challenge when try as I might, I cannot find an image that will integrate the bullet hole.


When we were back from sailing, and I was yet again gazing at the drum surface, waiting for inspiration to arise, I thought Bubbles!  Surly a dramatic bubble, but then isn’t each life breath potentially this passage from life to death?



The humpback whale is painted with raw earth pigments.  Yet most of the surface variations–the striations, the shifts of light and lost edges of shapes–are in the drum, and not by my hand.  Rarely has a drum painting come together with such certainty and grace.


The reverse handhold is a 10-point diamond for manifestation,
held with a deer antler bead
and wrapped with doeskin for comfort during journey drumming.


A shaman drum for breathing deeply in the alternate realities of spirit.

You can hear this drum played with a felted drumstick
by clicking on this youtube link:

The breathing drum is available in my Etsy webstore.