Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spirit of Crows, Dancing

New Art From Seven Roads Gallery

When we moved to our present location, the old schoolhouse and the adjoining four and a half acres were vacant for five years. While the exterior showed new siding, a new roof and a fresh coat of paint, the interior and various outbuildings were rough. The garage was used as a workshop and storage. In the main part of the garage, a barrel stove heated a poorly sealed room, big enough for two cars. The rear portion with a lift up door could have been used to store a riding mower. It had an abandoned gas heater in a rear corner.
Before I removed the gas heater, I looked inside and found three perfectly preserved bird skeletons. I assume the birds, looking for a warm spot in winter, found their way into the heater through a vent-pipe. As an amateur naturalist I found the skeletons intriguing. I photographed them before disposing of their bodies. Years later they became the inspiration for this painting.

Spirit of Crows, Dancing

Photographing this acrylic retablo(plaster on board), I was surprised with the first shot. Sun from the west windows illuminated only the Native American dancer.

An Indian dancer with a crow mask on his head circles around a campfire. Drums beat a steady rhythm in the background. The happy spirits of crows dance with him. It is a tribute to my late, adopted Menominee mother who watches over us. The real praise lies with the artist who was able to take my inspiration and translate it into one of hers. Excellent work, Linda.

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