Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Crow Bar and Kitchen

So, the other night a visitor to my home, spotting all the crow-themed artwork (mine and others) remarked, "Oh, you must love going to the Crow Bar!" I have to confess, I didn't know of the Crow Bar, but now it's on my list of must-dos.

I'll report back after I make the short trip to Corona del Mar. Their website is great and informative. I like the look of the utensils:The menu looks pretty good, too. Check it out:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Vending Machine for Crows

Why not let crows pitch in and become part of the work force? Josh Klein built a vending machine that delivers peanuts to the smart crows who drop coins in the slot.

Bernardo Conquistador Tray by Ibride

Who wouldn't want their tea and crumpets delivered on this tray? It's a little out of my price range, so I won't be finding one in my lap anytime soon, But it is fun to learn about the company that makes it:

Ibride, pronounced "e-breed," is created by a French family in the south of France. The archival imagery is inspired by their travels as well as their local environment. The word 'ibride' itself is a play on words meaning 'hybrid', and the pieces combine a dual purpose of serving as sturdy and functional trays, but more often they are used as decorative art to accent home decor. Laminate decorative serving tray with wood core. Measures 25" x 17" their site:

Sometimes I come across products featuring crows and I just can't help myself. I thought this was particularly cool. if you want one, they are available at many shops on the Internet--just search for "IBride Bernardo tray."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Black Birds

These Black Birds are made by Carol Reynolds. What personality. I love the idea of the mask on some of the figures. I look forward to seeing them in person at the Artistic License Fair in Costa Mesa at the end of this month.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


"If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows."

--Rev.Henry Ward Beecher (mid 1800's)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Catherine Ledner's Animals

This corvid is from a series by Catherine Ledner. I love her animals. Check them out at .

If you are in Los Angeles stop by the tinlark gallery and see her work in person. (Reception Oct 11.)

click below for more crows!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Review of Animal Magnetism

YAY! The exhibition got a nice review by Greg Stacy in the Sep 25 edition of the OC Weekly. I've excerpted the paragraph about crows:
There are also a couple of surprisingly lovely crow-themed pieces. Terry Davitt Powell’s Wafting is a black smear of beauty, capturing one of these scavengers in the midst of wild, sinister flight. Dale Clifford’s Shame of the Son takes an entirely different approach, a linocut depicting two feuding crows (presumably father and child) with the lush, golden browns and elegant, undulating lines of Art Nouveau. Crows have never looked better . . . although one does wonder if these belligerent little bastards really merit such loving treatment. (Maybe chickens can be sweet- or sour-natured, but I’ve yet to meet a crow who wasn’t a total asshole.)

What is it with people and their attitudes about crows? I'm very glad, though, that he was able to overcome his personal feelings about them in order to appreciate the artwork.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Crows make monkeys out of chimps in mental test

Those smart crows are at it again:
Crows seem to be able to use causal reasoning to solve a problem, a feat previously undocumented in any other non-human animal, including chimps.
Alex Taylor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and his team presented six New Caledonian crows with a series of "trap-tube" tests.
A choice morsel of food was placed in a horizontal Perspex tube, which also featured two round holes in the underside, with Perspex traps below.

For most of the tests, one of the holes was sealed, so the food could be dragged across it with a stick and out of the tube to be eaten. The other hole was left open, trapping the food if the crows moved it the wrong way.

Three of the crows solved the task consistently, even after the team modified the appearance of the equipment. This suggested that these crows weren't using arbitrary features – such as the colour of the rim of a hole – to guide their behaviour. Instead they seemed to understand that if they dragged food across a hole, they would lose it.
To investigate further, the team presented the crows with a wooden table, divided into two compartments. A treat was at the end of each compartment, but in one, it was positioned behind a rectangular trap hole. To get the snack, the crow had to consistently choose to retrieve food from the compartment without the hole.

A recent study of great apes found they could not transfer success at the trap-tube to success at the trap-table. The three crows could, however.

"They seem to have some kind of concept of a hole that isn't tied to purely visual features, and they can use this concept to figure out the novel problem," Taylor says. "This is the most conclusive evidence to date for causal reasoning in an animal."

Three of the crows did fail at both tasks, however. The team plans further work to investigate why.
17 September 2008 news service
Emma Young
BTW, Perspex = Plexiglass (acrylic resin)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Animal Magnetism update

 Dale Clifford
Shame of the Son
linocut and woodcut
18" x 12"
Yesterday I took Wafting to the OCCCA for the exhibition, which opens Saturday.   I also picked up a show catalog. How great to be able to see the work and read about the artists before the exhibition. One of my favorites is the print above by Dale Clifford.  I look forward to seeing his work in person.
The exhibition catalog is available on  You can read the juror's statement and preview the first few images.  You'll have to search for the title,  Animal Magnetism.

If you do get to read the statement by Mat Gleason, the juror, tell me why you think he didn't take care of the stinky, mangy, flea-bitten bitch instead of turning her over to Animal Control and then going to the pound the next day to get a "better" one?  He was going to get a new mate for his dog--but his dog liked the one he turned in....

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Roving Bandit

Dale Clifford sent a few more images for our enjoyment.  Roving Bandit, above, and Unnatural Selection, below.  Thanks, Dale!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Animal Magnetism

One of my pieces, Wafting, has been accepted for an exhibition at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. Come to the reception! Say hi!
Animal Magnetism
An all-media national juried exhibition

September 4 to 27, 2008

Reception: Saturday,
September 6th, 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

OCCCA, 117 North Sycamore, Santa Ana CA 92701

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crows Never Forget a Face

Friend or Foe? Crows Never Forget a Face, It Seems
The New York Times
By Michelle Nijhuis

Crows and their relatives — among them ravens, magpies and jays — are renowned for their intelligence and for their ability to flourish in human-dominated landscapes. That ability may have to do with cross-species social skills. In the Seattle area, where rapid suburban growth has attracted a thriving crow population, researchers have found that the birds can recognize individual human faces.

John M. Marzluff, a wildlife biologist at the University of Washington, has studied crows and ravens for more than 20 years and has long wondered if the birds could identify individual researchers. Previously trapped birds seemed more wary of particular scientists, and often were harder to catch. “I thought, ‘Well, it’s an annoyance, but it’s not really hampering our work,’ ” Dr. Marzluff said. “But then I thought we should test it directly.”

To test the birds’ recognition of faces separately from that of clothing, gait and other individual human characteristics, Dr. Marzluff and two students wore rubber masks. He designated a caveman mask as “dangerous” and, in a deliberate gesture of civic generosity, a Dick Cheney mask as “neutral.” Researchers in the dangerous mask then trapped and banded seven crows on the university’s campus in Seattle.

In the months that followed, the researchers and volunteers donned the masks on campus, this time walking prescribed routes and not bothering crows.

The crows had not forgotten. They scolded people in the dangerous mask significantly more than they did before they were trapped, even when the mask was disguised with a hat or worn upside down. The neutral mask provoked little reaction. The effect has not only persisted, but also multiplied over the past two years. Wearing the dangerous mask on one recent walk through campus, Dr. Marzluff said, he was scolded by 47 of the 53 crows he encountered, many more than had experienced or witnessed the initial trapping. The researchers hypothesize that crows learn to recognize threatening humans from both parents and others in their flock.

The reaction to one of the dangerous masks was “quite spectacular,” said one volunteer, Bill Pochmerski, a retired telephone company manager who lives near Snohomish, Wash. “The birds were really raucous, screaming persistently,” he said, “and it was clear they weren’t upset about something in general. They were upset with me." (for more click on the link above to visit the New York Times site.)

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I like the work of Sage Vaughn.

On his website, you can choose between

   W I L D L I V E S   

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Artist: Mark Gleason

oil on canvas

 Strange Angels
oil on canvas
18 x 18

(I was introduced to Mark Gleason's work by The Mincing Mockingbird.
Thanks, Mincie!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Skull Nesting Box

Okay, it's not a crow.   But it's cool.

After watching the Blue Tits fly in and out a few times, I started to imagine how cool one of these would look in my garden. Further searching and I'm in skull heaven!

The creator of "Rebirdy," Stefan Gross, lives in the Netherlands.   What a mind.

...just as the skull of old Wan-Shi will once become a home for new life ...
(tibetan wisdom, 5th century)

:: :: :: :: :: 

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Caw, Caw

My favorite noise is
any sound that comes out of a crow's beak.

Hmmm.  How many people would give that answer to the question: "What is your favorite noise?" 

This is the reply of Father Bill Moore, a resident artist in the Pomona Arts Colony in Southern California.  I like his work and am looking forward to meeting him at one of the Second Saturday Art Walks.

It was interesting that I came upon that bit of text today, as one of last year's brood has a particularly rough-sounding caw.  He is the only crow of the group who is distinctive to me, and this morning when I pulled in the driveway he flew to the lamppost and began his rusty call.  So I brought him some peanuts.  

Listen to a variety of crows : 

Friday, May 16, 2008

ANYTHING GOES: A Small Works Show

 at The Folk Tree

May 31 - June 28, 2008

opening reception:  Saturday, May 31
2:00 - 6 :00 pm

217 South Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, California 91105

I am happy to say that my work will be included in the next exhibition at The Folk Tree in Pasadena, California.  This show celebrates many of the artists The Folk Tree has featured throughout the last twenty-two years, as well as some who are exhibiting there for the first time.

Approximately one hundred works of art are on view by as many artists. Each individual is invited to submit one piece. And, “almost anything” goes. Subject matter, style, and medium are open. As the title of the show implies, the only restriction relates to size. Two-dimensional pieces must not exceed 12” x 12”, three-dimensional 10” x 10” x 10”. The number and variety of pieces create a wonderfully eclectic visual experience.

Southern California has a vast and diverse artistic community. ANYTHING GOES: A Small Works Show is a tribute to this impressive group. 

Terry Davitt Powell

Blind Thought
Jacqueline Marks

Dinah Sargeant

Here Comes the Bus
Sumi Foley

Red Bird, Blue Bird
Suzanne Saul

The Folk Tree is located near the heart of Old Pasadena at 217 S. Fair Oaks Ave. Gallery hours are: M-W, 11-6; Th-Sat, 10-6; Sun, 12-5. For more information, contact Gail Mishkin at 626/793-4828 or The Folk Tree at 626/795-8733.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Colossal Crow

Wouldn't you know it? There's a website listing the largest things in the of course they list the World's Largest Crow. This fiberglass sculpture can be found in Belgrade, Minnesota. The giant Corvid perches on a 31-foot-long branch which is mounted on a 25-foot-tall pedestal. Total height: 43 feet.

click below for more crows!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The American Crow

"Okay, so where are the crows?" you are wondering. CrowCentric certainly seems to suggest that this blog would have something to do with crows. So enough with the backyard birds and on to the main topic. 

I am a painter and printmaker.  My work is focused on acknowledging the adaptation made by the wild animals and birds to the changes we have made in the landscape. The Peregrine Falcon nesting on big city skyscrapers is an excellent example.
I have taken a lot of photographs of crows to use as reference in my paintings and prints. I've looked around the Internet and book stores for information on crows.  After having to go to so many places, I thought that it might be a good idea to create a website as a central (centric) location for information, artwork, links, books, dealing with the crow.  I would appreciate input from one and all.  Please visit my websites.  Artwork is found at and is the central spot for crow info.
Here's one of the photos from the "Juveniles" series on  It was the end of summer, the juvies had become a little too aggressive in taking nuts from mom and dad and one of them got put in it's place!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Peregrine Falcons

My artwork is about acknowledging the way that wild creatures have adapted to the changes humans have made in the environment. I often use Peregrine Falcons as an example. Many cities now have Peregrine Falcons as yearly residents as they nest on skyscrapers. In many cities, organizations are supporting them by providing a safe nesting situation.

In Rochester, New York, the Kodak company built a nest box many years ago to accommodate a male and female falcon. They focused a camera on the box and every minute or so it took a picture and you could view it on the Internet. It was so exciting to watch as the eggs were laid and then hatched. I watched as the parents brought food and then the young ones fledged. (The scientist that monitor all of this also remove the eyas (chicks) and band them.

Mariah and Kaver are the current pair. Mariah has finished laying and has five eggs this year. The eggs are due to hatch soon. This would be a great time to keep an eye on them and watch their intimate behavior in the nest box.

Technology and experience has helped to upgrade the experience for both human and Peregrine.  There are many camera views now and you get a new image every 30 seconds.  

Kodak has launched a separate site for the FalconCam and you can either peek at the nest box or read up on the history and go through the pictures of last year. Take a look! Maybe you'll be there when the first chick breaks through the egg...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Western Bluebird

I'm going back a few weeks to the overwintering birds that were common here for a few months.  One of the prettiest ones and a big time visitor at the Bird Spa, was the Western Bluebird.  This small thrush is a more common sight in parks and green fields, so I was surprised to see them hanging out in suburbia.  Turns out they like the olives on the tree or ground and are particularly fond of the fruit of the palm trees.  My yard can provide both.  And after feeding, a nice bath in a fountain designed just for birds

and then dry in the sun on the branches of the persimmon tree.  

Saturday, April 12, 2008

"Endangered Species" at The Folk Tree

I am very happy to be included in an exhibit at The Folk Tree in Pasadena, California:

a group exhibition honoring and acknowledging our vulnerable natural world,
is on view at The Folk Tree
from April 19 – May 17, 2008

Empirical evidence that the world’s natural balance is severely compromised is hard to refute at this point. Thus, it is an especially critical time to draw attention to nature’s wonders, to acknowledge its weaknesses, and to work toward change. Endangered Species  includes artwork addressing the following related themes: 
1) extinct/endangered/threatened species;
2) nature’s beauty and fragility;
3) humanity’s impact on the environment; and
4) contemporary threats to the “ethnosphere,” a term coined by Wade Davis, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, and noted Harvard educated anthropologist and ethnobotanist.

Gail Mishkin, who curated the exhibit, asked the artists for coments to accompany the work.  This is one of my pieces: 


Crows form a lifelong family unit and know each other’s names and preferences. When a lone crow happens upon abundant food, he or she doesn’t quickly and selfishly gobble it up. He announces loudly and clearly to call the rest of the family to feast with him.

Work by other artists in the exhibit:

Green is Good-Green is Necessary

Good Hair Day or Return of the Bees
Ulla Anobile

The Consumer

Jacqueline Marks


Like Fleas on a Rabid Dog

Brown Pelican

Sacred Lands

Leatherback Turtle