Crow and Raven

 

Crow and Raven and been accomplices in my artistic messages.

The raven and the crow have a long history tied to myth and mystery. They are the tricksters, the shape shifters, the messengers and prophets,  the creators of the Earth , the harbingers of death, and the gatherers of souls . Almost every culture has fascinating stories about crow and raven. From the Valkyries of the Vikings, and the Morrigan of the Irish to Tonto’s spirit guide in the recent film, “The Lone Ranger”, crow and raven play considerable roles.

 

 As living birds they are incredibly intelligent, and cohabitants of our daily spaces.

 

 Personifying and anthropomorphizing these birds is, for me, the perfect artistic device to create metaphor and create social and political comment in an unobtrusive way.

 

 Like the Aesop’s Fables I explored as a child, my images are meant to be visual narratives that have a message. Like a parable, they tell a story in a more easily digestible form.

 

The characters of fables are often animals that act just like people but retain their animal traits. My ravens and crows enjoy doing just that. I hope you enjoy looking for the different levels of meaning that I attempt to allow my black bird friends to convey.

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Howard Zinn

The writings of Howard Zinn have been a lasting influence on my work. 

His book" The Artist in Time of War" is a reminder of the responsibility we may accept as artists to be a influence for good in our time. Art is both a reflection of its culture and  a creator of  that culture. Art has inspired revolutions, national pride, spiritual growth and labor movements. Art has reflected the horrors of war back to us as a warning and  exalts the pristine landscape which moves us to protect it. 

WASSILY KANDINSKY

His 1914 Publication, now titled " Concerning the Spiritual in Art" has also guided my work. There are very meditative moments in creating, where brush strokes become more like prayer. Time evaporates and the sense of being  united with a cosmic consciousness overtakes me. 

Due to my needs being very modest, I have never aspired to achieve huge financial compensation for my time with my paints and clay. It is immensely satisfying to me to unite someone with my work when they have been truly moved by it. Appeasing collectors or regional preferences works contrary to the spiritual motivations behind my work. I have only one life during which I have the privilege of creating. So I must follow my muse, my spirit guides, and follow their direction. One of his quotes that I value most is,"Spiritual freedom is as necessary in art as it is in life." And " The artist is not only a king, as Peladan says, because he has great power, but also because he has great duties."-bringing a bit of the divine into the mundane sphere.