Sunday, January 31, 2010

Corvids continued

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I have done more work on the crow, mostly building values and am nearly there.  Now I can start the fun part of adding detail to the piece.  This is watercolour, but may end up as a multimedia painting.  It depends on where I want to go with it.  Some times paintings just tell you what to do.  I just need to listen carefully enough.

Do you remember Alfred Hictchcock's film, The Birds?  Its outdated now in terms of special effects but at the time it sent chills down spines and a greater respect for birds of all kinds, bringing a whole new meaning to 'a murder of crows'.

While I don't hold much store for malicious intent in crows or most other animals (that seems reserved for humans), I do respect their intelligence.  In the TED talks, Joshua Klein gives an interesting lecture on the ability of crows to learn.  Fascinating.  Next time the vending machine won't work for you, find the nearest crow to help!

11 comments:

Gambo said...

Lovely. I really think the inteligence shines through in your picture - crows are considered the most intelligent of birds having demonstrated self-awareness in mirror tests and of course strong tool making skills. Until recently regarded as solely the province of humans and a few other higher mammals!
Yeah, The Birds was classic Hitchcock - scared me as a boy!

Diahn said...

This is lovely, Jeanette. I love the colors you're building in the feathers of the crow - and that perfect little beady eye.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

This is developing so nicely, Jeanette. I agree with you that a painting will tell you which way to go if you are patient and pay attention. Interesting that you said a similar thing.

Jan said...

The colors in this are luscious! I also really liked the video you posted - it really shows how very intelligent crows are.

I could google it but do you happen to know the difference between crows and ravens? I've always wondered.

Gambo said...

For Jan -
1. Ravens are bigger.
2. Ravens have a purple shiny tint on the feathers when sunrays fall on them, while crows have plain dark feathers.
3. The life spans of crows are very less compared to that of ravens.
4. Crows scavenge in groups while ravens hunt in solitude.
5. Crows can be found among the dwellings of humans, but ravens prefer to stay away in the hills and woods.
I also heard crows are right handed and ravens left but maybe someones pulling my leg!
Just watched the vid too - fascinating. Thanks.

sue said...

Luminous! Really looking wonderful.

Julie Broom said...

this is beautifully done, really looking forward to seeing what direction you take it in next.

Barbara M. said...

I love the painting, and love crows. I played this TED TV piece to my classes last week and completely astounded them. It's funny because our campus is in the country and there are many, many crows around.

Take care,

Barbara

Jeanette said...

Gambo I think crows are much more intelligent than we give them credit for.

I like the mottled colouring so far too Diahn. I always love painting or drawing eyes.

Elizabeth, I think many artists have similar thoughts.

Aren't the crows amazing Jan? Gambo filled you in on crows and ravens I believe. I lived on a farm in the UK and walked up the long lane with my two small children to get milk from the farm each evening just as light was fading.

There were 60 foot trees lining the rough road and at twilight they were filled with large ravens roosting for the night, all muttering under their breath as we walked along.

I was never scared of them even in the hundreds as they were there, but sometimes when it got a little too dark for comfort, the voices in the trees was a little unnerving. I remember the children singing lullabies to them on the way back down the path to the cottage. :)

Thanks Sue.

I'm thinking about direction Julie. I have a couple of options but want to work them out in my head first.

Crows are fascinating birds Barbara and that TED talk captured my attention quite awhile ago.

I don't think there is anywhere where crows don't congregate at some point.

Laurel Neustadter said...

Lovely colors in your bird. I remember The Birds. I saw it on TV when I was around 5 and have been afraid of birds ever since. I recently rented the film and was so disappointed. By today's standards, it is not scary at all.

Gary said...

Great piece on the crow Jeanette. I've been fascinated with them for a long time. Doing landscaping in our yard I thought that a group of crows we had out there were a lot of different birds I'd never heard before - so scrambling to find out what they were I saw that they were actually the same crows. It took me a while to figure it out - the range they have in calling is astounding. I also love, love, love these TED talks. Thanks for posting.