Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A murder

A murder of crows. Why are they called that?  I think its more the poetic terminology for a group of crows or ravens and the scientific word for the collective would be flock, like most other birds.

I'm working on the background for the crow painting and am not happy with it so far  Its just....blah.  I may see if I can save it or simply add the piece to the never never pile in the big drawer.  I hadn't planned a background for this piece as it wasn't intended as a full painting, more an exercise in colour and form.  Then I got carried away.  Not always a good idea.

There are elements of this that I like, but a lot I don't. I accept that everything I do won't turn out to match the vision in my head.  I also accept that each piece whether good or bad becomes a learning experience for me.

Update:  I've added this image Feb 4/10 as a better resolution image of the crow itself and a meeker background.   

And now for the murder of crows.  In Ottawa, every night a huge number of crows gather near the Experimental Research Farm to roost.  Dusk or dawn you can see, and hear them in their hundreds.  What makes them gather - and only in fall and winter - no one is really sure.  There is a thought that these are the younger birds but no concrete research has been done that I know of.


Gordon Pritchard said...

I agree with your feelings - sometimes knowing when to stop is key to a successful painting.
BTW, loved the version you posted Jan 31, 2010

Sorcha said...

Speaking of strange group gathering names, did you know a group of porcupines is called a prickle?? And it's a hoot of owls...

travelingsuep said...

Personally I think the background looks like at misty sunset by a lake. just the right scary setting for a murder. Works for me :)

Jeanette said...

Thanks Gordon. Yes moral of the story - pay attention to my inner voice! :)

Funny names for mass gatherings aren't they Sorcha? It must be poetic license I think.

Thanks travellingsuep. I may play around with a bit more and see if I can make it better. To me, it looks amateurish now. But you know we are our own worst critics most of the time. :)

Marsha Robinett said... enlightening. Quite a little lesson in trivia here. From the 'murder' to the 'prickle' and the 'hoot'.

As for the painting,I have to agree with travelingsuep, I think it is quite fitting...kind of eerie.

Billie Crain said...

I love your crows, Jeanette.:) The scene is indeed eerie. How Edgar Allen Poe-ish.

I've always wondered how the heck they arrive at names for groups of birds and animals. Where'd they ever come up with 'pods' for a group of whales?!

Btw, if you like a good thriller be sure to catch the movie, A Murder of Crows with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Berenger:

Cindi said...

I love the background....?

And the subject

sue said...

Wow! These are all stunning! The "murder of crows" is fascinating, I admit.

Jonathan Manning said...

It's called a "murder" because they will gather at carrion and can be used to find a dead body. The harder question is whether it's a murder scene because of the murder of crows or if it's a murder of crows because of the scene. :)

As for the background, you know me, I'm all about the process and not the product. As long as you learn something or have fun trying, then it's great.

RHCarpenter said...

I liked it with the crows in the bg but it is much better with the softer, misty, eerie bg now :) Good work! And that video is amazing - so many crows in one place. I've only seen 3 or maybe 5 in one place here.