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After a couple of weeks, I finally finished the Zebra. It’s been quite an interesting, if not emotional, journey. Each piece definitely evokes some aspect of my life that I need to examine, so when the Zebra came up, I was a bit taken aback.

Besides the above, I’ve also been dealing with an unhappy chest from the next door neighbours who have cut down trees and whose chemicals have been seeping into my home. This causes pleurisy and is absolutely unpleasant.

But, I take inspiration from life and experiences and anything that makes my stomach jump up and down with excitement or makes me feel like a sack of ash had just been dumped over my head. As I meditated on what I’d paint next, a Zebra jumped out. I also got an idea of the following animal that would be painted. 😀 Now that I’m done with this piece, I am busy doing the outline work. I’ll let it be a surprise.

The zebra’s most defining feature, its contrasting stripes, embodies the concept of balance (Something that has always been “screaming” loudly at me.) It also represents the dance of opposites – light and dark, day and night, yin and yang. Once again one of the loudest “HEY MARYKE, PAY ATTENTION” signs that has definitely jumped out at me lately. Story of my life. HAH!

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Going beyond traditional colours

For some of you, you may be wondering why I went beyond the traditional colours. Colour speaks to me; the more vibrant it is, the more it allows me to shift into a space of peace and inspiration. It also puts my brain in a much different place and allows me to meditate and heal on a deeper level. I didn’t consciously choose the colours; I never do. Whenever I paint or sketch, I never really know how it will turn out or what direction it will take. It’s as much a surprise to me as it is to you.

So, I allow the painting or the image to speak to me. I feel into it as I paint or sketch. It’s almost as if the animal and the colour will present themselves to me. It’s sometimes a bit of a hide-and-seek game. But eventually, I can feel the switch, and then it’s like the piece’s colour or layout says, “Hey, here I am.”

Someone asked me why I chose Mauve. Simple answer… I didn’t. 🙂

But understanding what the colours mean spiritually has become important to me, even if I don’t consciously choose them. It was fascinating how deep the message hit me when I looked up the meanings of the colours.

So I have this description here for you on the colours:

Neon Colours (Red, Orange, Green, Yellow):

  • Neon Red: A vibrant and energetic colour, neon red can symbolise passion, desire, and action. It can also represent strength, courage, and determination.
  • Neon Orange: Similar to red, neon orange is associated with energy and enthusiasm. It can also symbolise creativity, joy, and sociability.
  • Neon Green: Neon green often represents growth, renewal, and new beginnings. It can also symbolise abundance, health, and harmony with nature. (Note that the green is at the bottom, and it also plays on the grounded aspect since the Zebra’s feet are on the ground.)
  • Neon Yellow: This bright and cheerful colour is associated with happiness, optimism, and intellectual stimulation. It can also represent clarity, communication, and mental strength.


The use of mauve on the zebra’s face creates a sense of peacefulness, which could contrast with the vibrant neon colours on the body. This contrast could reflect the zebra’s inner calmness despite its bold exterior.

The neon red and orange could symbolize the zebra’s (or you as the viewer or me as the painter)vitality and energy, while the neon green and yellow could represent its connection to the natural world.

Celebrating Individuality Within the Herd

Zebras are social creatures that live in herds. Yet, each zebra retains its unique stripe pattern (just like a thumbprint), which signifies the importance of cherishing one’s individuality.

The difference between the colours also symbolizes unique qualities, reminding us that each member retains their distinct identity even within a group.

A Symbol Rooted in History

In African cultures, the zebra holds particular significance. It’s revered for representing balance, harmony, and unity. Some folklore suggests the zebra’s stripes were a gift from the spirits, symbolising the interconnectedness of forces in the universe. Additionally, zebras have been associated with power, divine protection, and even freedom.

The Zebra’s Message for You (And of course me)

The zebra’s symbolism can resonate with us in various ways. Perhaps as you look at this piece, you are inspired by the zebra’s message of balance, or maybe you want to celebrate the beauty of your individuality as a being. By reflecting on the zebra’s message and the colours, you can gain valuable insights for navigating your journey.

I really hope that this piece puts your brain on a different wavelength.

Zebra Painting Progress

So here’s the painting process. I NEARLY gave up on it a few times. It looked HORRIBLE. But I decided not to give up on it. I felt it deserved to be given a chance, and I’m so grateful I didn’t give up on it. I’m in love with every aspect of it.

This piece will also be available as merchandise in my online shop shortly. I’m finishing off another piece, then taking them all in to get scanned, and then uploading them to my print-on-demand shops for you to choose whatever you want a copy printed on.

If you really want an archival-quality print, let me know. They’re a bigger investment, but only because they last a very long time.