"Wayaward" 32 x 48" Oil on Aluminum with Gold Leaf
The corn fields lay flat on frozen ground this time of year although a few scattered, truncated stalks turn skyward stubbornly refusing to cooperate. The ability to see across a vast expanse for a mile or so is not something New Yorkers take for granted. Just standing there and listening to nothing awashed in the cold breeze gives me a sense of calm and energetic enthusiasm all at the same time. "I must paint this," I mutter. "The distant hills rolling in great ribbons of burnt sienna and sap green and paynes gray..." The crows squawk  and rush past me close enough (I swear) I could hear their wings beating against the cold air. Yes, the crows. Gotta paint the crows into this scene. So I leave this place but it stays in mind's eye and I relive it over and over during the next couple of days. I will paint it soon. 
This morning my first cup of coffee and I were greeted with more crows. First a single voice barking loudly then a duet followed by a raucous chorus. I leave the warmth of the log cabin and stand on the deck staring into the woods.

"They've found something dead to eat and are fighting over it," Renee informs me. "It's the only time they do that." I smile. I listen. They are close. Maybe a half mile, maybe even... The loud boom of a gun shot, then another makes my body jerk. 

"Who in the hell would be shooting a gun so early on a Sunday morning?" I growl.

I shuffle back inside. "I like crows- admire them for their intelligence and beauty," I say to myself. "I have often wished I could have one for a pet like in the movie A Wonderful Life." I leave the cabin to feed the horses and as I walk out the front door I see a dead crow laying on the gravel driveway. It managed to fly here before falling out of the sky. I realize then I kinda got my wish- in a twisted dark way.

We are alone- the crow and the artist. I examine the crow closely and think... my job as an artist is to record in paint things that make others stop and look and to see and to ponder and to feel... This is my responsibility. I will keep the crow and study the thing, paint it and show others what they are missing.