A Murder of Crows
Artwork details: Gouache, with gold leaf over a red ground., 22.5 x 11 inches (57 x 28 cm), 2011.
If you are interested in the process of making this painting, and in particular the handling of the gold leaf, have a look at this facebook album:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150358116315730.398719.22600840729
This painting was inspired by the term 'A Murder of Crows' - a 'Murder' being, of course, the correct collective noun for a bunch of crows. There are a lot of very fanciful and inventive collective nouns. I once remember hearing that the Victorians were fond of making them up, and of course a quick scan around the internet will reveal that people are still avidly inventing new ones. However, a Murder of Crows is a collective noun of some venerability, whose origins are, apparently, lost in the mists of the mists of the 15th century: http://www.word-detective.com/2009/02/22/murder-of-crows-etc/. A curious and unsettling expression handed down through the centuries, it's one of my favourite collective nouns, though perhaps there are others that are suitable subjects for a painting... I must do a little research.
This painting, I will admit, was uncommonly hard work for me because of its lack of colour. I thought of this painting as executed in a range of sludge-colours, which is a little unfair, now I see the final result. At one point I broke the rules and we have a small but feisty character in a red corset. Maybe she is a robin, a feisty bird itself. Or maybe I just added the splash of red to balance the striking whites of the magpie-like characters towards the right of the picture. Magpies, of course, are a kind of crow, with a great deal of suspicious stories attached to them. I leave the interpretation up to you.
Below you will find several very much enlarged sections of the painting to show you some very close-up details
All images and prints are © Nancy Farmer. Please email me if you wish to reproduce any of these images, or see my permissions page in the 'info' section.
Prints & Original Artwork
You can now buy prints of my work (and a few originals) in my Etsy Shop. If you would prefer to buy direct from me, or you cannot find what you are looking for in the shop, feel free to email me instead: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in original artwork, I do intend to post a list of currently available artworks in due course, but I'm in the process of moving and re-building a main website, so for the meantime please also email me for more information on originals, and also commissions.