Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Second painting in a series of eight ~ One Crow for Sorrow

One crow for sorrow
Two crows for mirth
Three crows for marriage
Four crows for birth
Five crows for laughing
Six crows for crying
Seven crows for sickness
Eight crows for dying
Nine crows for silver
Ten crows for gold
Eleven for a secret never to be told.

While I was working on this painting a very dear friend died. This was a man who so generously loved the many who loved him in return, that when he died, suddenly and quietly in his home, close to his wife whom he adored, I think it's entirely possible that just for that moment the air left the sky. I think the sun could have dimmed just a bit and the trees may have bowed slightly toward the earth. And I can imagine that the stars in the universe, in which this man had found great delight, must have blinked and swirled and created a celestial wake when he left us.

The Crow in Native American culture represents law. Crow is the keeper of sacred texts and records.

I call this painting One Crow for Sorrow, from the old nursery rhyme, but I didn't paint sorrow. Instead I took the idea of the sacred texts and combined that with the secret never to be told. I'm not sure why. I just did. On a sheet of parchment I copied prayers to the earth from writers May Sarton, Wendell Berry, Emily Dickinson and others. I wrote over my writing in different directions until, in reverse, it was unreadable; keeping it secret. I cut that into the oval shape and applied it as collage.

One Crow for Sorrow is 24" X 18" X 2" with acrylic, charcoal, ink, graphite and paper collage.

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