Why the crows gift?

I decided to call my blog the crows gift because I feel crows have given me a great gift. Something no one else could have given me.

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I’ve always loved birds. Growing up we always had budgies and as a teenager I had a menagerie of small parakeets, lovebirds, cockatiels, budgies. And I loved the individual personalities of all these little feathered creatures. 25 years ago a psychic told me he could see huge glittering wings behind me and that crows were my totem. Even now I love my chickens, each one with a distinct personality. They bring me great joy. I’ve always loved all animals but birds and dogs have always seemed extra special to me.

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For a long time I wanted to paint but didn’t. I wanted to, but, I wouldn’t let my self. To be fair, it really was only me that was stopping me from painting. I’ve had time and supplies and supportive family so there is no real reason I have never really worked at painting. Self-doubt and voices from the past told me I couldn’t. It wasn’t safe to try. After all, as my grade 12 guidance counsellor told me 20 odd years ago, I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t a *real* artist. But, somehow last year I got the courage up to try. I was inspired by a photograph of a crow and as an exercise I decided to try painting it. And it turned out. Better than I expected. My brother and husband were encouraging and so I chose to paint another crow and this one turned out even better. And so I kept painting crows. I worked on learning about how acrylics work. I started giving greater thought to shading, texture, expression, light and shadow. (I am still learning about all of this with each painting). My successes at this point were giving me a much-needed boost to my artistic self-confidence. I started to believe that maybe I could be an artist. Somehow it felt like this was a gift given to me by the crows themselves. I felt and still do feel a strong connection to my subject. It’s like an artistic life line. I try to give them a presence on my canvas, a voice, a face. Individuality. To see them. And I feel like they are giving me so much in return. They are like signposts guiding me towards the way back home. Somehow they have given me back myself. And for that I am truly thankful.

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