Painting from the Heart

Artist Ringo Fiddler works with McKellar Students

Ringo FiddlerGrade 7/8 students are learning to paint, not with their hands, but with their hearts. Ringo Fiddler, well known Indigenous artist, has been sharing his expertise, stories and the dreams that have inspired his artistic creations with the students. Mr. Fiddler supported students as they painted murals throughout the school on Wednesday, December 6.

Painting with the Heart

“Our Grade 7/8 students participate in meaningful Cultural Arts activities every week,” says Jo-Anne Giertuga, Principal of McKellar Park Central Public School. “Through this project with the guidance of Mr. Fiddler, the students are working to develop a deep understanding of First Nations/Indigenous culture and way of life.”

Ringo Fiddler Biography
Indigenous Artist Ringo Fiddler was born in Kenora, Ontario and raised in the community of Sandy Lake First Nation in Ontario. Mr. Fiddler is a self-taught artist and has been doing this type of art since he was 15 years of age. His art is in the Nature Woodland style.

The meanings behind the images that he uses in his paintings were told to him by his grandfather and other elders in my community. There are also spiritual meanings to the images used in his paintings.

Mr. Fiddler uses a number of images and colours in his paintings with numerous meanings including:

  • The Feather
    The Feather represents the love for all of creation, it is also used for communication and many mother ceremonial uses.
  • The Loon
    The Loon represents the love for each other as the loon themselves, have only one mate.
  • Wolf Tracks
    Wolf represent strength, bonding, endurance and sharing.
  • The Thunderbird
    The Thunderbird represents protection.
  • The Stonehead
    The Stonehead represents the stones used in sweat lodges to communicate with the grandfathers.

The primary colours Ringo Fiddler uses are:

  • Red – summer
  • Yellow – spring
  • Black – spring
  • White – winter
  • Blue – Grandfather
  • Green – Grandmother
  • Purple – sound of thunder