Coyote Walks the In-Between

Coyote Walks the In-Between, a pastel by Stephanie Thomas Berry
Friends, I wanted so much to finish and post this painting on this strange and somber day, and I have done it.  My little offering. It is coyote, you know, the great Trickster, in a world of edges—the edge of night and day, the edge of water and earth, river and land. Fireflies hang like miniature lanterns. His one paw touches the luminous water and it is lit with the fire of his eyes, the power of his vision.

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Slow gallery: Main Character, “Seven Crows on the Edge of Dusk”

Crow from "Seven Crows on the Edge of Dusk" a pastel painting by Stephanie Thomas Berry
This crow is the main character for the painting Seven Crows on the Edge of Dusk. Crows are highly social creatures; whenever you see a murder of crows they are almost always a family group. So this crow is a matriarch of sorts, warning her family about some danger that remains unknown to us but whose presence we sense from her body language.

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Slow Gallery: Introduction to “Seven Crows on the Edge of Dusk”

Baneberry, or Doll's Eyes from Stephanie Thomas Berry's gallery

Slow Gallery is my new method of revealing finished pieces. It’s a virtual way of slowing the eye so that we can study the components of an image, and perhaps more importantly, a means to tell the story that unfolds within the frame.

When you first look at the painting “Seven Crows on the Edge of Dusk,” what will no doubt catch your eye is this stalk of White Baneberry in fruit. It is placed prominently in the foreground and is a striking combination of black, white, and red. The little berries with their black dots are so indicative of eyes that the plant is also known as Doll’s Eyes.

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A Sonnet, a Map, and Lots of Tricksters

Three Tricksters: Fox, Coyote, Shadow, photo by Stephanie Thomas Berry
I guess it started in late October. I was standing in my driveway when a raven flew over me, so low I could hear the taffeta of its wings. Right after it came a crow, its feathers tighter and its flight more suited to this windless path. The raven perched in the forest behind my house, right by my old studio, and began its unique croaking vocalizations. The crow fussed a bit and flew on. It all felt very dreamlike, especially since I’d been reading In the Company of Crows and Ravens. 

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Autumn Reverie

Still Waters of the South Toe River

There will be no significant rain, and as such, the beaver dam, object of my curiosity now for weeks, is not in danger of being swept away. It remains, finely constructed across the width of the river, a comma in the flow of the river’s language.

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Success Is a Word with a Hidden Trap

Appalachian Autumn

It’s Autumn, finally. The forest empties herself. Before there’s even a real flash of color the Buckeyes have already dropped all their leaves. They are, after all, the early birds of spring, putting out leaves before any other trees. They have made their gleaming nuts and gone to bed before anyone else. The wild cherry is done just as the black birches start to put on their   yellow dresses. Some trees are all about the party that is Fall, and others are already asleep.

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Dear Franklin Carmichael

Silvery Tangle by Franklin Carmichael

Dear Franklin Carmichael,
I admire much of your work, but there is something about this one piece that has struck me in a most particular way. It is intensely evocative for me, though I really don’t know why. I simply fall into it. I feel this buzz in the space between my heart and throat, as if a dragonfly were drying its wings there.

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