There was a song big in the sixties, during the folk music era. The lyric went something like this;
To everything, turn turn turn…there is a season, turn turn turn, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
Some of you, I know, remember this song. Some of you, will remember it because your parents played it. I think it was made popular by Peter, Paul and Mary, but I’m to lazy to Google it to be sure.
For me, the season has been spring, but the purpose of the time wasn’t art. I had family issues, a new job that turned into a horror show, and all sorts of sundry events and mishaps that life takes from time to time.
And so, finally, I can turn, turn, turn back to my artwork!
Okay, so, here’s a mostly made up landscape with crows. I think I managed to keep the horror movie aspect out of it.
So, back to thinking of things that are delightful in the dark and the cold. For instance, I think of the massive sky, that in other seasons, is hidden by and competing with glorious green trees and multi-colored flowers. So, that, and the bare bones of the dormant trees, are visible only now. I remember speaking with one woman, a photographer, who preferred winter trees for her art. She said she felt they were more “honest”. I’m still not sure what she meant by that, maybe she was searching for a word to describe something more complex. Perhaps she meant it, in the same way that a nude human is more authentic than a clothed person? Don’t know to this day. Whatever she meant, I have yet had a tree, in extravagant foliage, or otherwise, lie to me.
But for now, I’m doing little sketches on notecards, until I’m more confident for an idea. Thanks to my sister, more of the high quality paper I use is on the way, but I treat it like gold.
As I work on the crow picture, I’m reminded of Alfred Hitchcock and
“The Birds”. I’m doing a number of crow, flourishing of course, in a limited color palette. Now, how do I not make it look like this?
It’s unfair to crows, which are a dignified, intelligent species of bird.
To be fair, it’s not too hard to make a good picture of birds….I’ve done many in my life. An example is this…
And going back even further in time…
A Blast from my high school day
Happy New Year’s to Everyone. May you have a wonderful 2017. And tomorrow, in my longstanding tradition (of two years), I will present my worst drawing of 2016. Easy choice this time.
So, as I think about getting through the winter once again, I remind myself that certain species do very well in the cold, dark time of year.
It used to be that in Connecticut, there were all sorts of winter birds. There were titmice, chickadees, and lots of cardinals. I’m not sure where they are now, probably climate change has affected their migrations. They’re happily snuggled perhaps in Maine, where it really does get cold.
But what remains of birds? Plenty of crows. They’re around all year, and they’re stubborn.
So, I’m putting together in my mind, a drawing of my admiration of crows. I did a drawing of crows last year, but that was mostly incidental..this one I intend to be a full out celebration.
Speaking of crows, back in New York City…they give the pigeons a run for their money, too.
This drawing was “Making Peace with January”, from nearly two years ago. This year, the difference in my art is not the “Making Peace”, but joy to be found in the dismal.
I’ve worked in the same size for finished drawings since the 1980’s. In those days, I would do copy after copy until my frustration limit, or until I got the drawing as I wanted it. Truthfully, I mostly compromised between those two points. It would take maybe five efforts, and I managed to complete only about four drawings in a year.
No, sixteen by twenty inches doesn’t seem that large, when you consider the vast size of much modern art these days. However, sad to say, my frustration limit has declined, and my work is not as carefully done as it had been. When you start repeating your work towards the approach of perfection, it’s damned big.
So, I’m starting to work at eight by ten inches, and it’s a much easier size to deal with, photograph and sell.
So, finally I present something new: Murmuration
Some people do, too.
There are probably other animals in the world who do, but this is a post about crows. And people.
Going back down memory lane, I have a few drawings that were metaphors for lifetime relationships.
As my boyfriend says, “I guess we’re stuck together”
Oh, yes, the Work-In-Progress of “Crows”
One thing about Danbury…there’s lots of crows. It kind of freaked me out at first, I usually associate them with death. I also tend to, when living in NYC, associate crows as one of the only birds that would be around in the winter, to pick at garbage. It’s not a compelling subject matter.
Once a long time ago, in another condo complex, in another city in Connecticut, I found a woman caring for a crow. I was a bit surprised, but she told me the crow had broken his wing and she had nursed him back to health. Since she had the same associations with crows as I do, she looked up (in days prior to Google) crow’s behavior, and was quite impressed. Among other things, they care for their elderly.
So, enough about stereotypes. Crows Rule! Here’s the sketch