Big Raven (Cumshewa)

Chapter Thirty-nine         Raven

Big Raven, oil on canvas, 1931, 87.3 x 114.4 cm, Location: Vancouver Art Gallery, VAG 42.3.11. © Vancouver Art Gallery

Sweeping tongues of foliage had grown in the sixteen years since she'd been here, and were licking at his pedestal, nearly engulfing the brooding bird--Nature reclaiming Raven, taking him to her bosom. It made her see that she wasn't painting just a totem, but the relationship between the totem and the land.... She'd had to exercise the traditional out of her so she could get to her own, more authentic personal expression....