For the Love of Ravens

Yesterday I found a facebook page group who love ravens. I like seeing everyone’s posts and photos, stories and art depicting the birds.  It is a lot of fun to post photos, especially when Jack is willing to be photographed.

Over the years, I have painted only a few works of ravens, but recently published a little book through amazon.com called “The Bunny Circle and the Raven Tree.” In the story, the raven watches the valley from the top of his tree, witnessing the bunnies and other wildlife of the southwest United States. It’s a cute little story, yet educational and interesting.

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A page from “The Bunny Circle and The Raven Tree”. ©Bohlender

Around our place, a raven couple has established their territory, much to our delight. I love watching them. Some of the images combined into this illustration are of the young bird, being trained. He knew little fear, liking to be near our house and windows. I must have several thousand photos of the ravens, with several being good.

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Then there was my lino block experience, I loved block printing for a short time in my life. I liked this raven a lot, using the prints both for sale, and thank you cards to purchasers of my paintings.

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Morning Conversation – 20″x 20″ – Oil

Morning Conversation is a friendly depiction. All the birds loved the pecan orchard, the moist soil and shade. This painting is in a private collection in Texas.

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Untitled – 12″x 14″ – Oil

Untitled used to have a title, but I cannot remember it. The painting has more of a jewel-toned violet, but this is the only photo of this painting I have. It is in a collection in Tucson.

Pelicans

Art is so extremely subjective, that bringing someone you don’t know much about a painting sight-unseen can be “risky business”.  Choosing one out of my collection that is of that person’s local environment seemed to be a safer course, as this would be a gift.

A family lost everything they had in a house fire, and I really wanted to help in any small way to restore their abode. In my life, books and art are at the forefront of activities and interest, so that is what I brought for them to sort through and choose from.

I was really blessed when the woman looked at the painting of pelicans and declared that would be perfect for her husband, because he loves the birds.

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“Morning Throw Bill” – 20″ x 30″ – Oil ©Bohlender

I enjoyed the pelicans along the gulf coast, their communal living and primeval appearance. Their fishing was exciting to watch, as they dive and catch.

Other pelican pieces painted include these two:

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“Lovely To See You Again” – 22″ x 28″ – Oil ©Bohlender

“Lovely to See You Again” was donated to an Air Force fund raising effort. I do not know who owns this piece, but I loved the “comedy” in their communion.

 

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“Friendly Gossip” – 16″x 16″ – Oil ©Bohlender

The comfortable fold of their webbed feet, the apparent interest of the one who is listening to the one joyfully divulging its treasured bit of juicy news.

This piece is a permanent part of my own collection.

 

Following the Work

There are pieces that want to be painted. They literally show you what they are, and we become a servant to the work. This was one of those.

The vertical climb of the Hope above the flying seagulls lifts one’s soul from the earth, to a more beautiful place.

I loved spending time with the Lord in this piece, a reflection of a part of my time staying in a more primitive cabin next to a small lake, healing, learning, remembering.

Layer by layer, I followed the work, and then the seagulls began to fly.

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Rising, Like Hope  – 18″x 36″ – Oil

“Rising, Like Hope” was a piece in my first one man art show, along with Empty Nester and Earl’s painting – there were around 20 paintings there. Most were seeking Hope.

The painting went home with a man who purchased it from that show, we had our photo taken together in front of the painting. I was pleased it went home with someone who truly knew how to rise. It is a piece I hope I see again.

 

 

A Generous Buck

How wonderful it is when we get to see animals in the wild.

That surge of excitement overtakes me, the thrill of watching even a fleeting glimpse of a retreating deer, an eagle taking flight, or even tracks in the dried mud.

But one day, I stood still, and so did he. He posed for me. He knew he was terribly beautiful, even majestic.

Slowly, I raised my camera, capturing him. He stood, his two mates gathering closer to him. They were so beautiful, so grand. But he was giving himself to me in that space of time, in the beauty of the moment. I felt so grateful.

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Buck – 18″ x 14″ – Oil

I painted two paintings from that day.

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Three Bucks – 36″ x 18″ – Oil

Truly a gift.