For the picture book I am working on I have included a raven as a character. In preparing my character studies, my professor suggested I study ravens a bit so I can understand their shape, coloration and character. I did a lot of internet research on all kinds of image sites and found many pictures of ravens. They have a very distinctive shape and I was intrigued with this. They are also portrayed a lot in artwork, and are revered by many cultures and people groups.
Here is a list of roles of the raven from the blog http://www.scavengerart.com/raven.html
Since man’s earliest history the Raven and Crow have held a high and honored position in our mythology and spirituality.
The Norse God Odin had two ravens, “Thought” and “Memory”, which he would send to fly around the world each day so they could report back to him events as they unfolded.
Native American tradition holds the Raven~Crow as the courier of energy flow that brings about change and creates new realities. The raven, being black, is associated for them with the “void” from which all energy flows.
Northwest coastal tribes believed Raven was the creator of the Heavens, the Earth and the Sea. It was he who brought forth the light and lifted us out of the darkness. He was very wise but he was also known to be a “trickster”.
Aesop's "The Crow and the Pitcher" illustrates Crow's intelligence and how "necessity is the mother of invention".
For Southwestern Native Americans the Raven~Crow was their “Storyteller”. Passing down knowledge and wisdom from generation to generation through myths, stories and parables. Listeners beware! Raven was also a trickster, one could never be sure if the story he told was a simple truth or held some more mischievous lesson....
Ravens are considered by many to be the most intelligent of the birds, and they are known for collecting bright, shiny or colorful objects to decorate their nests.
The key Raven/Crow holds symbolizes the opening of doors and the welcoming of positive change into our lives.
When Raven/Crow is perched on a ball he serves as a representation of living in balance. If he is perched on a heart, it is to help us remember that which is most important in our lives.
Raven/Crow sometimes holds a pair of dice to symbolize chance or fate. If he holds an old watch it is to remind us of our place in the universe and to live in the moment. Of if Raven/Crow holds a compass it is to help us find our way or to give us direction.
Based on all my research, I did a few paintings of ravens last week. I was focusing on their shape and variation of color. While they are generally black, upon further study of them you find blue, purple, magenta, and even some green in their feathers, picking up colors from things around them. I have one more raven on my easel but thought I'd post these for now since I haven't posted in a while. Let me know what you think!