Tuesday, May 13, 2008

3 crow a girl

This is the cover from a stationary card I received from my maternal Grandmother, back in Early November of 2006. The image is of 3 crows entitled "Young Crows" and was painted by Donald William Richards, from a gift set of cards called "Birds of Nova Scotia" I've kept this card on my desk since I received it, always reminding me of the woman who means so much to me.

As you may recall it was my Nan who taught me the the poem about the seven crows and it is because of that early impression that, to this day I love crows, and when I was deciding on my first Tattoo it was at a time when she was not doing well and so that Tattoo is as much a tribute to her as it is my love of the bird.

- - - - -

We lost her to her great reward on Wed May 7th, 2008. It was not such an unexpected loss, as her health was failing and she bluntly refused any treatment to prolong her life.

I wrote a few blog posts about her at my main blog, the first in part about a visit back in August of 2008, then in October 2007 on the 17th and the 23rd (in part... it's a LONG post, it's more at the beginning). Then May hit, like a brink... May 6th, May 7th and May 11th

While I feel these are all wonderful tributes to a woman I dearly love and will miss deeply til the end of my days, I felt she deserved one more tribute and it is here, where she and I can continue to share our love for one another and the birds we loved to count.

Here is just a short snippet from her not. Cute and playful as always:

And here's how she signed off.

So long Nan, I love ya, ya old crow!

Friday, April 25, 2008

crow art: a flock of skull

How delicious is this!?

Blending the chaotic elegance of crows in flight and morphing the photo to show the murder in a skull shaped flight pattern. When I saw this image back in February, it helped cement the concept of my first tattoo. The patterns of their silhouettes. Pure magic!

I stumbled across Skull-a-Day though Keltie's 365 Masks. Keltie was inspired by the artist Noah Scalin and his piece of art a day concept blog. Talk about varied mediums and techniques. This man is a genius!

I visit both sites regularly to see what they come up with next, and am seldom if ever disappointed. I only wish they'd use more crows! ;-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

crow art: the filigree mask

The Blogworld is one I'm very glad to have found, and have been happily blogging my ass off for a little over one year now (at my main blog) What impresses me more than just the number of blogs out there, is the talent you find, and the wonderful people you 'meet' behind that talent; be it words and or art.

I'm not sure when I first started reading Keltie's blog, but I remember finding her through a friend of a friend of a friend's blog. (you see how easy that is!) She's got a great mind. Back in January she started a secondary blog called 365 Masks. Her goal: to create a Mask a day for one year.

She's doing some impressive stuff there, and you can go check it out yourself here, and more specifically the reason for this post: here.

Now she never comes out directly and says it's a crow mask, but I gotta tell you I was reading Christopher Moore's "A Dirty Job" at the time, where Crows/Ravens figure prominently in the story and when I visualized them I see her mask.

I love the simplicity of main mask with the detailing of the filigree and the colour evokes thoughts of Hallowe'en, an absolute iconoclastic moment in the year of a crow.

Check out her other masks, she's a talent!

Friday, March 21, 2008

it starts...

As I promised myself I would this year, I have gotten my first tattoo. It is to be the first of a few tattoos, and the first of three specific crow themed tats.

This is of a small murder of crows, nine to be specific. Flying, widdershin around my left arm. In fact this could be considered 9 tattoos in all, for while it is, albeit an unconventional arm band, it is comprised of nine individual tattoos.

As crows fly (as can be seen in 'Seven Crows') they do not fly in formation, but are asymmetrical and erratic in their flight pattern. And to cement that in the tattoos themselves the two on the back and inside of the arm are in a different trajectory. The first turning in mid air, and the second flying more head-on.

I won't say that this didn't hurt, but as I was prepared for far worse I can say that I have no reservations about going back in about a month for the second in the crow series. That will be a band on my right arm. It will be more of a traditionally designed arm band composed of Celtic knot work and one crow (also in knot work) in the center of the band facing out.

The third will be a Triskle on my upper back, below my neck. And if you're counting that will be 3 tats, totally 13 crows. Aside from Crows and Ravens, I personally have an affinity to the numbers 3 and 9... so 3 tats with crows. One with 9 crows, one with 3 crows and a single to represent my spirit dæmon . Couple all this with the fact that they are all being done as I am 39 and I think the meaning of 3 and nine becomes further solidified in my life.

I am very satisfied with this first tat. An altogether pleasant experience, made more so by the fact that it was done by not only a talented artist, but a fellow Maritimer who, himself and his family have spiritual ties to crows. You can check out his work here.

(Special thanks to Graham and Tony who helped fund the Tattoo with Birthday money)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

seven crows

My love and admiration of Crows began as a small boy. I can remember hearing their cawing and thinking how magical and mystical their sound was.

Then, once while out with my grandmother, we heard and then saw some crows. She recited a small poem as she counted them. I was transfixed. I asked her to repeat it and teach it to me...

One Crow sorrow,
Two Crow joy,
Three Crow a girl,
Four Crow a boy,
Five Crow silver,
Six Crow gold,
Seven Crow a secret,
never to be told.

Each and every time I see a crow or crows I recite that poem. And every time I do I think of my Grandmother.

This is one of my favourite paintings of Crows. It's entitled "Seven Crows" not so coincidentally. It's by renowned artist Alex Colville. I'm a huge fan of his, and not only because of his many paintings of crows, but because his paintings look so real you feel as if you could walk right into one as easily as you walk through an open door.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

the beginning

In recent weeks I've been focusing on Crows more than the usual. I have been seeing what I believe to be the same small murder of crows every morning as I wait for my bus to work, fly overhead and greet me (yes I think every time a crow or raven caws within ear shot of me is in fact directed toward me as greeting), flying north.

Two weeks ago I finally, after about a decade of on and off concepts for a first tattoo, decided to incorporate crows into the design. (I'll get this tat, hopefully for my 39th birthday) Never have I been more certain of anything in my life.

Then, I saw "The Golden Compass" with my partner. I was deeply moved by the concept of the soul living outside of the body, in the form of an animal familiar (or as called in the novels the movie was based... a dæmon). For days after that I could not get the concept out of my mind, nor stop wondering what my dæmon would be, were I to have one. I thought I'd read up on the concept and then on a whim I went to the Golden Compass' website and they have an on-line test to determine your dæmon. Now I must admit I was hoping on sharing the same dæmon as the character Lord Asriel and have a Snow Leopard like Stelmaria since Leopards are such a vivid part of my personality (see my other blog), Well, I have to say I was pleasantly surprise (although if I had really thought about it, I shouldn't have been surprised) to see my dæmon was indeed a crow named Aspadora...

After reading more on the concept of dæmons I have become consciously obsessed with everything Crow and Ravens... it is because of this that I have started this blog...

So, welcome to unkindness & murder... my blog of all things Crow and Raven... and nothing unkind or murderous... in the conventional sense at least.