CROWS AT SUNSET ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME WINTER 2021-22
Lately we have been ending beautiful, sunny days with brilliant sunsets. There must be something about being on the continent’s western edge that makes Washington State’s sunsets so spectacular. A perfect backdrop sky of flaming reds and oranges set the stage for a group of crows flying home to roost for the night. The sight inspired me to paint the scene to act as a reminder for when the typically seasonal gray days return. An additional source of inspiration was Shibata Zeshin’s 1888 woodblock print Crows Flying at Sunset. One of the greatest Japanese lacquerers of the late Edo Period, Zeshin was also a master of design. My painting owes him a debt of gratitude. The designs for the crows were inspired by both Northwest Coast Native and Celtic art traditions. In homage to the Japanese Rinpa School, I used a tarashikomi, (“dripping in”) effect, for the mountains, allowing the wet paint to diffuse over the space. I made the frame out of red oak using pegged, hand-joined, mortise-and-tenon construction methods. I used the Japanese technique (shou-sugi-ban) of charring and oiling the oak to finish the frame.