Late one night in the wee hours I awoke to a strange shrill cry outside the window which is just above our bed. I looked up and saw a crow staring at me from the ledge who then flew away; it was very startling and a bit frightening. I had heard crows can be omens of death; luckily nothing bad came to pass. The crow in this painting seems to me like he is standing on a window ledge somewhere in a Mexican Village looking down on a festive evening, perhaps the Dia De los Muetos.
I learned about the Day of Dead years ago when we lived in Oakland California. Each year the Oakland Museum had a wonderful Day of the Dead exhibit of colorful alters done by various local groups. The Dia De los Muetos is a Mexican holiday celebrated on this day where families gather to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Happy Day of the Dead to all!
To create anything… is to believe, if only momentarily, you are capable of magic.’
It is a beautiful fall Wednesday here in Atlanta. The leaves are changing to lovely warm colors and it is in the mild mid 70’s. Delightful!
Here is another crow painting of mine. I like this painting, even though it is acrylic on watercolor paper it reminds me of crayon drawings that children create in elementary school.
I saw the quote above on my twitter feed this morning. It is from Tom Bessill who has written a book The Magic Hours, about creativity. Here is a link to a review by Maria Popova on Brain Pickings, she is one of my favorite tweeters: Brain Pickings
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!