The first summer I came up to the Yukon to paint, I was overwhelmed by the light. By contrast black things became especially beautiful to me - a black bear, a man with black hair, and of course, the ravens.

They're the perfect accent to the summer's brilliance or the snow's whiteness, year-round.

When I look at a raven, the raven looks back. I feel like we're gazing at each other as equals. I can't fly, but the bird can't drive stick. If I'm stealing something from a raven by using its image it's nothing a raven wouldn't be perfectly willing to steal from me.

As I paint a raven, it takes on a life of its own. I work from photographs, but I can do several paintings from the same photo. That reference information only guides some details. It provides fuel for the individual raven personality of each painting to catch.

When I paint a raven, the paint has to include some of the wildness intrinsic to the bird. Encaustic is a medium which also has a mind of its own, so it's great to paint ravens in. But whether it's the colours revealed in a drip of acrylic, or partly blended swirling in oil, that wild edge in the paint is indispensable to the presence I’m trying to evoke.