Today, October 1st is my dad’s birthday, so he’s on my mind. Whenever I paint a crow I think of him. I’ve been pondering why this is so.
He grew up in Charlottesville Virginia went to the University there. Edger Allen Poe had gone there briefly years before and he was one of my dad’s favorite poets. Dad would recite the Raven especially this time of year as the days shorten and head to Halloween.
My dad had a real love of nature, and he passed that love on to his four girls. Most weekends we drove out to the Alabama countryside. We spent our afternoons running around picking blackberries, playing in the hay, swimming in the pond and creeks. We would spy on beavers and shy away from rattle snakes. There he taught us to ride a horse, fish and shoot a shotgun. He loved bird hunting. He never took us hunting but we plucked many a quail.
I loved this time of year out in the Southern countryside.. The beauty of the dried grasses, cornstalks and few remaining cotton balls along side the rustic barbwire fence against the backdrop of the blue sky with crows flying about. Years later I realize what a gift the my dad gave us. That experience over time got into our bones. That is why I paint birds and other natural creatures. So thank you Dad!