Road Runner / oil on canvas / 5x7 / unframed / $68 including shipping
Friday, February 14, 2020
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Raven / oil on black canvas / 5x7 / unframed / $68 including shipping
How Raven Brought Light to the World
At that time, the whole world was dark. Inky, pitchy, all-consuming dark, blacker than a thousand stormy winter midnights, blacker than anything anywhere has been since.
The reason for all this blackness has to do with the old man in the house by the river, who had a box, which contained a box, which contained a box, which contained an infinite number of boxes, each nestled in a box slightly larger than itself - until finally there was a box so small all it could contain was all the light in the universe.
The old man hides the box with the light because he's afraid to see whether his daughter is beautiful or ugly. In a ploy to steal the box, the raven shrinks himself to become a hemlock needle in a basket of water. The daughter swallows him, and soon, the raven is reborn from her as a raven/human child.
He begins to ask his grandfather to open the boxes, and the old man does, opening them one after the other after the other.
When he opens the box containing the light, the raven steals it and flies out of the house, causing light to spread throughout the world, and revealing the beauty of the old man's daughter.
As the raven flies away, the eagle tries to steal the light from him. The raven drops some, and in the story, this light becomes the moon and the stars.
"He painted until his cursive brushes were only whispers of rawness on the thin ivory. Only the walls and the ravens that watched knew the boy with the paint-stained palms
weaved his art onto his sketchpad on the park bench at lunchtimes,
and only the trees whispered it like a prayer."
- Grace Curley, "The Light that Binds Us"
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Monday, February 10, 2020
Sunday, February 9, 2020
THE BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY is, yes, another of the birds whose name turns me into a giggling 8-year-old.
It's also a fascinating bird, with a mesmerizing mating dance. Click here to see it.
For those who don't know much about this bird (like me), here are some basic facts. They live off the western coast of Central and South America; about half the world's population lives in the Galapagos Islands.
They nest on land at night, and spend their days searching for food in the ocean. Sometimes they hunt in cooperative groups. When they see their prey, they fold their wings back and plunge into the water from as high as 80 feet, according to National Geographic.
As far as mating goes, the bluer the male's feet, the more attractive he is. Isn't that universally true?
"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her.
Still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings."
- Victor Hugo
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Flight 2 / Oil on canvas / 5x7 / unframed / $68
This is a world-renowned birding area, and the cranes and snow geese are some of the most treasured visitors. People who know about such things told me that I might or might not see any cranes - that was what I was hoping to see - as it was near the end of the migration. No one mentioned the chance to see snow geese.
I've seen huge flocks of snow geese on the Eastern Shore, but have never been so close, and have never seen or heard them lift off. The sound is utterly amazing - LOUD! And unlike anything I've ever heard. The beating of thousands of wings - it's a dry sound, with a locomotive-like churning beat. And it is also amazing that the birds don't damage each other with all their wings.
The cranes were magnificent. They sleep standing up, in shallow ponds like this one, so that if a predator approaches, he will have to splash through the water, alerting them. They sleep with their heads under their wings, and leave a few cranes at the edges as sentries.
When they left, it wasn't in the huge cloud of birds like the geese, but in pairs and small groups. They run a little through the shallow water, making a high-pitched keening sound, and then lift into the air, changing from huge, gawky creatures into lovely, elegant flyers.
It felt like a miracle.
Above, Sand Hill cranes, Below, snow geese
For anyone living on or near the Eastern Shore, or wanting to visit, an Antares rocket is scheduled to go into space on Feb. 9, from Wallops Island. If you can get to the visitor center to see the launch, it's really fun. Click the link below for more information.