Artist Susan Rothenberg: A Quote About Corvids, Not COVID

Corvids: Crow (left) and Raven (right) charcoal, graphite, pastel on paper 2019 by Julianna Paradisi

This week, I was saddened to learn of the death of artist Susan Rothenberg. I greatly admire her work. I read that Barrack Obama does too, and was one of her collectors. This quote from an article by Andrew Russeth for ARTnews expresses a love of corvids (not COVID) I shared with her:

“In an interview a few years ago, the artist Susan Rothenberg said she had just read that a group of ravens is called an unkindness. She thought it an unfair characterization because ravens, to her mind, were “great. They do somersaults in the air. They play. They chase hawks away. They do so many things.” She and her husband, the artist Bruce Nauman, regularly saw those famously fickle creatures at their ranch in Galisteo, New Mexico, and they’d earned enough of the birds’ trust to be able to walk up to them, though not to touch them. “It’s like having an unpettable pet around,” she said.”

These drawings are inspired by my love of nature, birds, and particularly corvids, those “unpettable pets.”

Good bye Susan. Thank you for your gifts to us. May your animal spirits guide you to the next canvas.

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