A number of national juried shows are themed to celebrate avian wildlife. Wanting to enter some of these shows prompted me to start a series of paintings with ravens and crows as the subject matter.
Painting these wonderfully smart and entertaining birds is also of personal interest to me. Growing up on a small farm, I had a pet crow for a few years and have many fond memories of that unique experience.
From a graphic standpoint, the large glossy-black shapes these birds poses are a delight to draw and paint. They also have a wide range of narratives in how they move and interact with things. Very social, crows and ravens can always be counted on to give the observer a good show. While walking in the woods and meadows taking reference photos for my paintings, I’m always on alert when I see (or hear) crows.
Sometimes it’s a distant flock noisily on the move. Other time,s they’re ranging overhead or starting to gather in a large tree. If there’s an owl, hawk or nesting racoon, their raucous behavior usually drives the target away from the area. Certain times of year, I’ve also observed huge flocks at sunrise leaving their nighttime roosts and heading out to the fields and wetlands to feed.
Encouraged by these new raven and crow paintings, I’ve added other avian species to my list painting subject matter.
The first two pieces shown below were accepted in national juried shows in 2015. The large raven portrait, KZ-0540, won Honorable Mention in the Arte de Avian show at the Tubac Center of the Arts in Tubac, Arizona. www.TubacArts.org
The second raven piece, KZ-0541, was on display and the accompanying online show at the Orcas Island “All Things Birds and Beautiful” Bird Fest in Eastsound, Washington. www.OrcasIslandBirdFest.com
Raven | 2015 | 27 x 27 Inches | Water Soluble Oil on Coated Paper | KZ-0540
Raven | 2015 | 27 x 27 Inches | Water Soluble Oil on Coated Paper | KZ-0541
Raven | 2015 | 18 x 39 Inches | Water Soluble Oil on Coated Paper | KZ-0537
Raven | 2015 | 27 x 27 Inches | Water Soluble Oil on Coated Paper | KZ-0536
Raven | 2015 | 27 x 27 Inches | Water Soluble Oil on Coated Paper | KZ-0535