This painting is an homage to a few of my favorite things:
There is an Alaska Native creation myth in which Raven (the Trickster) brings light to the world by stealing the sun from an old man who has it hidden in a box. There are a few variations of the story, but it always involves Raven being clever, magical, and of course, tricky. It’s my favorite Alaska native myth, mainly because ravens are fascinating birds and I love any stories associated with them.
Also, my very favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh and my favorite of his paintings is Starry Night. I am not unique in this as it is one of the most universally beloved paintings from a man who was largely unappreciated in his time, but grew to be the very definition of expressionist with his bold colors and clear powerful brush strokes.
So, all that to say this painting is my homage- to Vincent, to ravens, and to Alaska Native mythology. I hope my love of all three shines through.
I really enjoyed painting this large raven. The background is a moody blue-grey streaked with golden yellow, and highly textured. Available for viewing and purchase at the Art Shop Gallery in Homer, Alaska.
Thought I’d share my latest work. This one is titled Raven Sings the Salmon Home.
Ravens are such fascinating birds. They are highly intelligent, with complex behaviors and social structures and I love watching them go about their busy lives. But when I was painting this picture I had in my mind not these real-life stories of ravens, but all of the various myths and legends surrounding ravens. There are so many from varied cultures worldwide, but I was mostly thinking of the Native American and Alaska Native versions–Raven as trickster, as creator, as bringer of fire among other things. And I thought, if I were to give Raven credit for something, my own little myth, I’d give him credit for starting the annual salmon migration by calling the fish from the sea back home to their natal streams to mate, die, and begin their life cycle anew. Such a vital task for this iconic bird. So I set about painting a picture to illustrate this “myth”. This painting is the result.
Raven Sings the Salmon Home is available for sale in the gallery. Prints will be available as soon as I can get it properly photographed.