Ravens are one of the four animals that dominate artist Craig Kosak’s work (wolves, horse and bison are the others). Each represents a particular connection he has made on his travels.
“Ravens guide me to accept my most secret self,” he says, “my uniqueness, to celebrate who I am. Experiences with wildlife show me what to paint, photographs help with the basics, then I use my inner vision to idealize, fantasize and anthropomorphize,” he says.
“My trips consist of both journeys through the physical world and inner journeys of self-discovery,” he says. “My paintings are about both worlds and how they relate. Each trip is, in a sense, a vision quest.”
The raven is intertwined in legends and mythology of many ancient cultures including Native American, Celtic and Norse, as the embodiment of secrets and magic, introspection and self-knowledge, traits often shared with the moon in art and literature. Kosak met this particular raven, Merlin, at Yellowstone National Park where he seemed content to pose with his beak white-tipped from poking in the geyser’s mineral-rich debris. The plumb line he holds suggests a dividing line between the inner and outer world and also hints at the intelligence and playful nature of the raven as trickster.
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