Sunday, April 14, 2013

Nevermore ~ the Raven

Nevermore ~ 6" x 6" mixed media on panel
For Sale on Daily Paintworks

"...Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'" ~Edgar Allen Poe

I've long had a fascination with ravens. They seem to have an extraordinary intelligence. We had one as a pet, when I was a child. It was injured, and my father rescued it. We nursed it back to health and it actually learned to say hello, and would greet us when we approached.
Last summer I had the great fortune to witness a raven "funeral". There was a dead raven on the side of the road. As I sat on the deck, eating my lunch, a squawking, raucous murder of ravens flew up and landed in a tree just behind their fallen comrade. A lone raven separated from the group and walked a few circles around the dead one. The whole time, the others were calling noisily. Then the lone raven flew back to the tree. With that, they fell silent, and as if on cue, quietly flew away with a rush of wings.
The moment left me with goosebumps and a little breathless, for what was clearly an homage to their fallen friend.
I wanted this painting to have a bit of an otherworldly feeling. I have long doodled spirals, and I went into this painting intentionally trying to call my intuitive creative spirit instead of being purely representational and the spirals appeared.
 I put paint on and wiped it off. I sprayed water on it and let it drip. I put bubble wrap in the wet paint, and played with metallics. The swirls are actually painted in metallic cold. The background is acrylic paint and the raven is in oils.