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Art: Birdy by Artist Diane G. Casey


Through the night, a raven's schrill cry, The wind, caressed by darkness, howls through the sky. The stars in the heavens look upon the corrupt world below, And as mankind's laid to rest, their fate they do not know. -- Charles Edward Jaggard

"Birdy" is my highly textured (and crackled for an aged, antique look) primitive art version of a large raven.

Ravens are large black birds, with a blue-purple iridescence to their feathers. In the bird-world, after parrots, crows and ravens are generally considered the brainiest of birds.

I chose to portray a raven here due to the intrigue of historical folklore and mythical legends surrounding them. Raven's have long been known as birds of ill omen, associated with the dead and with lost souls, and the supernatural or occult. They are fascinating and mysterious creatures, that inspired great writers, such as Edgar Allen Poe.

My raven is staring off to the left of the canvas, so the viewer can only imagine what he sees. Is he getting ready to swoop down for a kill? Or is his prey already dead and the raven is simply eyeing his dinner? The overall feeling I wanted to convey with this piece is one of intrigue/mystery and suspense.

In researching ravens, I discovered the following (from wikipedia):

"Crows, and especially ravens, often feature in European legends or mythology as portents or harbingers of doom or death, because of their dark plumage, unnerving calls, and tendency to eat carrion. They are commonly thought to circle above scenes of death such as battles.

Ravens seem to congregate at cemeteries, even though carrion there is no more available (and probably less attainable) than any road or field."

My raven may or may not be in a cemetary, (I'll leave that up to the viewer's imagination), but I will tell you how I created him.

First I laid down heavy texture (spackle), & got the crackled effect so that it looks aged (symbolizing the "historical" aspect of the Raven). Then, I glazed the background texture with a light watery shade of payne's gray. Then I painted the bird and used deeper payne's gray for the blue-black effect & yellow ochre for his beak & feet. Finally I painted the sides & bottom, which is a tree branch that he's perched upon, but can only be seen if viewed from the bottom. His tail also continues onto the sides & bottom of the canvas. It's highly varnished for protection and enhancement of color.

Detail Images

Detail Image for art Birdy

Closeup view

Detail Image for art Birdy

Matted View


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