03 March, 1986

R5 Trail and Raven

R5 Trail and Raven
24x24" oil on panel
Private Collection

My neighbour across the lake always kept this trail cut. It led from the back of his yard, through the bush to a beaver dam at the end of the lake. The trail was really nothing more than a tunnel cut through the dense growth, and this painting catches the effect of emerging from the ‘tunnel’ and looking into the open field with its island of evergreens.

This is one of the first of the Raven Series, and it was the last painting to make use of real scenery. It was done from a Prisma colour sketch I did one fall. It was also the last picture in which Naples yellow was used, a favourite colour in the scenery series (Sgraffito Series) preceding.

After seeing Roberta's poetry, I had written to her, asking to use her work in the exhibition in North Bay (1988). The poem ‘Lyell Island’ had been printed with an ink drawing of mine (Raven and Lady 151086) in Writer’s Quarterly, but I was more interested in using it with this painting.

If they cut these trees
and the ravens fly away,
the chain will be broken and
It is I who will fall,
-Roberta Olenick (from Lyell Island)

originally published in Writers' Magazine, Vol 10, No. 1 1988
Roberta's web site: www.neverspook.com

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