Drawing Ravens


The last pages of ravens I drew today

I’ve been thinking and writing about Ravens for almost a year.   They spend time on the farm and in my dreams. I’ve taken videos of them, watched them, and listened to them.   I’ve seen them in a landscape that comes to me between sleeping and waking.

Today I started figuring out how to draw them.  I did it by watching my videos and looking at the photos of the raven on the maple tree outside my studio.  I looked online to for photos of close-ups of their eyes.

I filled page after page of a 16×20 newsprint sketchpad with birds that eventually evolved into my raven.  I drew it until I didn’t have to think about how to make the lines that formed the shapes that became the raven.

I stopped before it became rote.

I thought of how in Bellydancing we will practice dancing to a certain song.  But we stop practicing before we know it so well, we find ourselves trying to choreograph our moves.  Like in Bellydancing, I don’t want to know the raven so well that it loses its spontaneity, its freshness.

I do have a fabric painting in mind for my raven.  I don’t have all the details down, just a vague idea of some of the elements and a few different techniques in mind to use.

I’ve been patient, waiting for the raven to come, trusting it would.   Seems that time is now.

One of the first pages of birds that began to resemble the raven I was looking for.

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