The Mystical Raven

“Raven Musings” Mixed Media on 12″ x 12″ birch panel board.

I played yesterday. Seriously played.

No destination. No clear idea of what I was creating. Just paint. Me. Time to play. A few leaves I’d picked before the rain, a stencil I’d drawn and cut out of a raven, and my Gellipad for mono-printing and a leaf stamp I’d carved out of a piece of foam.

Two page spread in “My Mother’s Prayers” altered book art journal

My plan had been to create another two-page spread in the altered book art journal I’m working on with the prayer cards from my mother, “My Mother’s Prayers”.

The raven had other ideas.

When I’d originally worked on the backgrounds on the two birch panels I’ve used for the ravens, I’d intended to create complementary pieces.

My work table – mono-prints and the raven stencil

Ah that raven. He really can be a trickster.

I have always been fascinated by ravens. Years ago I wrote a story called The Shawl. The shawl resembled a raven’s wings. In the story, a woman donned it during pregnancy to protect her and her unborn child from evil spirits. Set in ancient times and the present, the raven became a powerful symbol of feminine energy. In the past, the shawl protected the present-day protagonist’s grandmothers’ grandmothers. In present day, the shawl appeared in dreams as the heroine of the story took on bureaucracy, breaking-through patriarchal and societal barriers to carve a path to a better, kinder world through her connection to nature, myth and the law.

That story was on my mind as I painted yesterday. I no longer have a copy of it but it remains threaded through memory, a potent reminder of the power of myth and life to awaken us to possibility.

Like the heroine in my story, I do not know why the raven is appearing in my artwork.

I do know, I cannot ignore him.

And so, I paint. And write. I stay unattached to the outcome and leave myself open to the wonder and awe of creation. In that space, I allow nature to divine my path as I journey into the mystery of the unknown. Embracing it all, embodied in the present, I allow the mystical appearance of the raven to awaken me to the unseen as it slowly, sinuously, gracefully pulls back the shawl to reveal the beauty that is shimmering in the shadows, waiting to be unveiled.

It promises to be a fascinating journey…

12 thoughts on “The Mystical Raven”

  1. It is so refreshing to read that you have no preconceived ideas of what should come next. The art of creativity is just that – let pen or brush take the lead and take you down wondrous paths into the unknown. The heat and humidity in the “Middle Kingdom” aka as Ontario, is stifling any such creativity so I stick to someone else’s quilt patterns, for now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Louise, this is a wonderful and mystic post. You say towards the end that you stay detached as to the story’s outcome. That sounds wonderfully freeing.
    The whole story about the raven is fascinating. I have always wondered why raven has so many mystic stories attached to it.
    Hope to see your work finished.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Miriam! See how it works? I let the painting sit yesterday as I wasn’t sure where it wanted to go to next. And then, this morning, after reading your comment and seeing the photo I’d also included of the monoprints I’d done that day, I ‘saw’ the next step in the painting’s evolution! I have a leaf I monoprinted that might just work…. The challenge is always to not ‘force’ my thinking on the natural unfolding of the creative process. 🙂

      Thanks for the inspiration.

      Like

  3. Louise,
    I can relate to following the journey and seeing where it goes instead of forcing a creation. This is how I feel when I write my poems.
    Keep sharing you lovely artwork.

    Like

    1. In my old home office before we moved, I had a painting by my desk on which I’d written: My job is to turn up, pay attention, speak my truth (always in Love) and stay unattached to the outcome.

      It’s a great sign to live by. I must go dig it out! Thanks for the reminder Sawsan!

      Liked by 1 person

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