Much of the inspiration for my art comes from landscapes around me, as well as animal and human life. In particular, I am fascinated by animal behaviour and the way their lives and intentions intersect (or do not) with our lives. Some species are particularly compelling for me, and one of these is the raven.
Humans are constantly crossing paths with wildlife, often without noting how their fellow beings are engaged. The raven, however, is one creature that often commands our attention. Corvus corax, or the common raven, is the most widely distributed of the corvids, and one of the largest, weighing in at an average of 2.6 lb. (1.2 kg), and a length of 25 in. (63 cm.) They are extremely successful as a species, partly because of their omnivorous and opportunistic eating habits. Recently, research has indicated that the common raven is unusually intelligent, showing an ability to solve problems and use tools, a skill clearly no longer reserved only for humans. In addition, ravens have shown a prodigious talent for mimicry, including that of the human voice. The raven has a long history in the mythology and folklore of humans, and it is speculated by some that they crossed the Bering land bridge into the Americas along with humans.
Regardless of the speculations, ravens are fascinating creatures, and have been appearing in mythology and folklore for centuries, including the indigenous cultures of Scandinavia, ancient Ireland and Wales, North America, and Siberia. In many cultures, the common raven has been revered as a spiritual figure or godlike creature. In others, the raven has become a figure of doom.
I have been an admirer of ravens for a number of years, and see them as creatures of mystery rather than as harbingers of doom. They seem to be keen observers of their surroundings, and appear to know much more than they are able or willing to share. My fascination with these birds has resulted in a series of larger than life size acrylic paintings of ravens engaged in various activities and attitudes.