The Separation of Heron and Crow is a mixed media monoprint that was originally done as an illustration for a book. The basic premise of the story is that day and night, dark and light, yin and yang, etc., are opposites which create a balanced whole. Neither can exist without the other. I attempted to express this idea through the overlapping and positive/negative mixing of the birds, who are the main mythical characters in the story. I really like the contrast of the black and white, while at the same time, the shapes of the birds are interlocked into one shape. The green background represents the earth below them as they fly. Birds have always played an important part in the symbolism, myths, and folktales of many cultures. They have long been seen as mysterious, almost magical creatures which represent freedom and a link to the spiritual world. In mythology, birds have traditionally played the part of messenger, whether carrying prayers to another realm or dimension, or bringing words from the gods to humans. If you’re interested in finding out more about birds in art and stories, check out these posts on my old blog, here and here.
The landscape/background of this mixed media monoprint was made by applying various colors of ink onto a piece of plexiglass, transferring each one to a sheet of heavyweight cotton paper by running it through a hand-operated etching press. This is repeated several times to create a buildup of transparent layers. Once the ink was dry, these birds seemed to suddenly appear in my mind’s eye. Immediately, the two shapes fit seamlessly together like pieces of a puzzle. It doesn’t usually happen this way, but when it does I am always grateful. Their graceful shapes and details were added in layers, using acrylic inks and watercolor pencils. This mixed media monoprint seems to balance dynamic movement with a sense of peace, and would be a great addition to any home.