The day was slightly misty … a light rain had started to fall. The familiar road lead past an old farm with a wide-open field alive with a flock of crows. They looked particularly spiffy policing the grass in their little black uniforms. There is just something about a flock of crows that draws the eye. That day they looked so efficient and jaunty strutting about silhouetted against the intense green of the damp grass. I was struck by how that solid black shape causes everything else to blur and become a background for their existence. In fact, no matter where you find them they become the dominant visual presence. And, the fact that there are so many of them at any given time makes their song and dance routine even more visually captivating. 

Earlier in the day, I had been cogitating about how I might describe the blank do-nothing periods of reflection that are an intrinsic part of my artistic process. And … voila … here it was … the visual I had been searching for. My thoughts are much like those crows bopping through my brain. Random bits of memory or musings, cogitations and introspections arrive like black winged visitors to take advantage of the wide-open space created when my brain goes into neutral. And just like that flock of crows casting about for whatever it is that crows call chow, I too hunt and peck looking for food for thought. Such a good visual metaphor. 

While crows appear clone-like in their uniformity, upon closer inspection they are unique, complex individuals. So too are those little bits and blurbs of thought different and unique. One random idea might prove exciting and meaningful, and another fizzle and die when you look too closely. Some are scintillating company and others are windbags. One concept seems profound but proves to be an illusion, while another seemingly lightweight observation reveals hidden depths. The trick, of course, is choosing which one to capture and study. Therein lies the frustration … the randomness of the whole process means the one idea you choose to capture is only the one you get, and while you work to understand that one, the flock moves on. So, if you bagged a dud, you must await their return to go hunting once again. 

Now, I know a group of crows is referred to as A Murder of Crows, which seems a bit harsh. But as it turns out, the title has nothing to do with crows at all. It is just a random title attached to the species at some point. I suppose as a title, it is a lot more interesting than referring to them as A Flock of Crows. And, I admit it sort of grabs the attention and makes you want to read further. Which, just shows you how marketing really works. So, I’m thinking, My Artistic Musings and Artistic Endeavors, ought perhaps to become 

… A Murder of Ideas

… A Murder of Thought

… A Murder of Cogitations 

… A Murder of Musings 

or best of all 

… How to Murder Time and Thought and Live to Write About it.

3 Replies to “A MURDER OF CROWS”

  1. Love this image! Is this digital or a painting?
    We’re about to put up the print of you in the mask. People have been having such a good reaction to that.
    Rock on!

    Mary Jo

  2. I LOVE this painting! Is it a new one? Where else can I see it? And, of course, I always enjoy your written musings about the way the creative process works.

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