“The Way of the Raven”

Mixed media on Wood
@ 2.5 feet w x 3 feet high x 6 inches deep
“The Way of the Raven”
Mixed media painting by Diane Marie Kramer

The clay image in the center of this painting was made strictly by intuition. I created it and set it aside to “cook.” Every mixed media work has its own unique cooking time.

Meanwhile, I began to build the backing of the work and attached the clay relief to a piece of wood. Any work in progress requires knowing when and when not to add or take away the parts I have collected and created for it. That is one of the most intriguing parts of composing a mixed media work. I have to be sensitive to what the work wishes to become–it will reveal itself when the time is right. I must trust that each step along the way is crucial to the vision.

I began to assemble a palette of personal family and friend memorabilia within the work: Grandma’s Embroidery from worn out pillow cases, grandma’s hair, stones of importance, copper, and many more things that are special to me.
The progress of this particular work was indeed a mystery in the making and involved several years of cooking between applications of paint and materials.

It is a process of alchemy and I had to patiently await the timing of its proper birth.

As this process was unfolding, I discovered that a friend had tragically passed away during 9/11 in NYC. I salvaged an old postcard that she had sent me and recognized that it was part of the puzzle of “The Way of the Raven”. I cut out part of the board and placed the postcard on center stage. It is not obvious, but a close look will reveal the city – which anchors the soul of the work.

The Raven has always been one of my spirit totems and has served as a messenger to me since I was a young child. It was the first thing I made when I began this work. Finally, all the pieces fell into place. I added buckles from a pair of my pants- connecting the past, present and future into one flight. The Raven’s message was now clear and complete.

I use personal symbols to convey what I cannot describe in words. I hope each viewer will connect to this painting in their own way, that they will experience it as well as view it, through a variety of entrances and exits. I consider “The Way of the Raven” to be a prayer for peace and healing–an instrument that sings of those I have lost and loved.

It is a reminder that we are all connected in spirit.

"The Way of the Raven" Mixed media on wood
earlier photo of work while it was still a work in progress. Here you can see the clay releif detail that is in the painting.