RAVEN-WHITE TO BLACK ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME SPRING 2023
In many cultures around the world, there is a legend of how the raven, initially clothed in white feathers, became the black corvids we now know. Either as a punishment or as the result of being too close to smoke and fire, the raven’s feathers were blackened by soot, never to return to their original white color. Today white ravens are very rarely seen but still turn up on occasion. Their white coloration is not due to albinism but instead, they are leucistic. While reading Gary Wyatt and Robert Davidson’s exceptionally illustrated book Echoes of the Supernatural: The Graphic Art of Robert Davidson, I saw a serigraph Davidson created in 1996 as a gift for those who attended his wedding. The serigraph showed a white raven, and it inspired me to design one as well. My white raven is in transition as it changes to black. Designs for the ravens were influenced by both Northwest Coast Native and Celtic art traditions. In homage to the Japanese Rinpa School, I used tarashikomi, the “dripping in” effect, for the tree by allowing wet paint to diffuse over the design. I made the frame for this painting 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.