We've become those people. The ones who wander with pockets filled with peanuts, chucking and clucking and calling the crows. And now, often, the crows call us. Or swoop silently over our shoulders to land in a tree limb ahead, waiting for the morning offerings. There is great joy in this, for us. Making contact, forming recognition, learning each other's ways.
It has become a lovely pause in a tumultuous world. Our eyes and ears are atuned to the crows, leaving little space for news and chaos. I think of it fondly as crow meditation. :)
About the art: this piece is painted on one of my new favorite substrates - craft paper. Once gesso'd, this paper takes a beating and forms delicious textured wrinkles and warps, creating an overall leathery texture and heft on a thin plane.
Beginning with black gesso'd paper taped to a board, drawing the bird with white charcoal and then adding water and paint to form a value sketch. Continuing to add the requisite 80 million layers of acrylic paint, this time choosing a very dark, limited palette. Using the sprayer bottle, squeegee and rubber wedge to force the paper to wrinkle and warp, enjoying the way subsequent light layers cling to the high points in the texture and leave the valleys dark. Resisting the urge to overly define all but eye and feet.
There's a lot going on in the world right now.
It makes me tired to think about it. But think about it I must, we all must, because war and disease and the economy and the people making decisions on our behalf effect us. The key, I believe, is not overthinking about it.
I'm a big overthinker. It comes with being introverted, highly sensitive and a survivor of a measure of trauma. There are worlds of thinking in my head that are ever expanding during times of strife. So Whyte's words, the reminder to "give up all the other worlds except the one to which you belong", places that brain of mine back in the present moment - this peanut butter sandwich on my desk, the sound of the crow outside, the in and out breath.
Anything (or anyone) that does not bring us alive, dear reader, is too small for us.
About the art: beginning with a wood panel thickly gesso'd in black. Using colored charcoal and blocking in shapes based on an inspiration photo from a sunset on the rocky Oregon shoreline. Grabbing the gist of the scene with layers of fiery oranges and then building rocks and pools and edges with a palette knife laden with acrylic paint. Liberal use of spray bottle, squeegee, rubber wedge and chopsticks (for carving into the paint). Dollops of colored pencil. Thin washes of paint mixed with matte medium for the sky. Resisting the desire to overly define. Allowing paint to move.
This piece. moves, me...I hope it moves you, too. xo
Jen Jovan and her imaJENation