Archive for April 20th, 2009

Far WatchI use a single bird sometimes in my paintings.  The most common meaning for me is of the bird being the watcher, overseeing everything.  It represents patience and wisdom in this case.

I see the bird most often as a hawk but sometimes it’s a crow.  I admire both, the hawk for its physical prowess and the crow for its intelligence.  I remember watching a group of crows chase a hawk and when it appeared the hawk had nowhere to go he started leading the crows upward in  long loops.  As he rose, the crows closed in and just as they were about on him he made this powerful dive that carried him from above the spot where I was on a hillside to a point in the valley below, nearly a mile away.  The crows couldn’t match the dive and were left so far behind they gave up the pursuit.  It was an impressive escape.

Sometimes the bird represents to me a type of memento mori, a reminder of our mortality.  The bird is still the watcher but more of a spirit guide.  

In the spirit of this meaning, I’m segueing into a video of the old gospel song I’ll Fly Away sung by Allison Krauss and Gillian Welch. It feature scenes from the movie from which was taken, the Coen Brothers’ O Brother Where Art Thou?, one of my favorites.  It’s one of those films where when I see it’s on television will turn in it at any point to see what point the movie is at.  I particularly like the look of the film, the way they pulled a lot of the color out, replacing it with a sepia tone that kind of gives it a dated look.  The title of the movie is taken from the great Preston Sturges  film, Sullivan’s Travels.  In it, Sullivan is a movie director of mainly comedies who wants to make a deep, socially conscious film chronicling the poor and downtrodden, to be titled O Brother Where Art Thou?  He sets out disguised as a tramp to get a first hand look at the conditions of the poor and encounters many obstacles along the way.  Ultimately, his film is not made.  That is, until the Coens took the baton and finished the job.  Both are great, great films.

Anyway, here’s I’ll Fly Away

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