The number of things to worry ourselves about today are almost too many to list. I keep visualizing this painting, remembering my process throughout its completion, and trying to remind myself that light will always appear despite any current darkness.
I utilized a number of texts as inspiration for the symbolism in this work including Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the Bible, and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. I settled on ravens and crows after many studies of other animals done from observation in parks, zoos, and stables.
This painting is about the process of struggle for survival amidst relationships of good with evil. This work comes from a period where I was beginning to experiment and push outward from my classical training to emphasize gesture, symbolism, and form in order to articulate a message. I explored visual metaphors in color, value and composition that could work with both my own personal experience and overlap with universal interpretations of metaphor.
I see painting as thought visualized. The process for me is one that requires great patience, introspection, and many variations and studies to precede a final piece. The studies are similar to drafts, explorations of how best to express an idea followed by modifications, changes, and often complete disruption to an image. This process balances the act of looking with the act of creating, and the process of occupying experience. For me a painting is finished when I look at it and immediately sense what inspired me to paint it. These moments of inspiration are sometimes for sharing with others and sometimes not. Always, paintings are successful to me if a collector looks and also feels a stir, regardless of whether their connection overlaps with my original inspiration.
An artist’s inspiration and the viewers connection to the painted representation of that inspiration are curious, magical things.