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.
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.
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…