Persistence is my take on the classic Aesop’s fable The Crow and the Pitcher (though I have represented the bird as the much-larger and much-smarter raven).
In the original parable, a bird dying of thirst tries - and fails - to drink water pooled in the bottom of a jug. The bird then had an idea: drop stones into the jug, one-by-one, until the water level was at a drinkable level.
In Persistence, we see our heroic raven not only dropping in stones, but also see a sky full of other ravens all working toward the same goal.
The background of Persistence was a challenge. It needed to not distract from the highly detailed representational subject matter yet sill add to the narrative. To achieve this objective, I used a loose style to create a harsh, unforgiving-looking landscape that suggests surrounding barren land. Your imagination does the rest.
I was able to set up the entire foreground in my studio, except for the live raven part! Instead, I created a foam model festooned with actual feathers from a craft store. You can see my model here, in my series of Instagram videos on Persistence.
The vintage water pump came from an antique store in Apache Junction, Arizona. It reminded me of a pump we had in the laundry room outbuilding of my c. 1890s childhood home in England. When my parents dismantled the obsolete laundry facilities, I saved the pump and kept it in my bedroom as a sculpture until I left home.
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