Ravens Ripen in Autumn

“Ravens Ripen in Autumn” by Sarah Lawless

black archival ink on paper

An illustration I finished for the upcoming November issue of The Cauldron. Raven skulls ripen on a twisted funerary alder tree losing its leaves to the death throes of autumn.


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  1. All hail the Qu….er..the Witch of Forest Grove! I love this. Blessings!

  2. Mike says:

    Just like to add that Sarah’s fantastic illustration will be published on the front cover of the November 2011 issue of ‘The Cauldron’ magazine http://www.the-cauldron.org.uk As its editor I am very pleased that Sarah has submitted this original artwork to TC and also that in the same issue we are publishing her excellent article on ‘Land Guardianship’

    Mike Howard

  3. Harold Roth says:

    Cool! Re black ink, I have been using sumi ink on talismans lately. Have you tried that stuff? It is way black and dries shiny. Supposedly eats up pen nibs, but man, is it ever BLACK.

    • I’ve never even heard of it! I tend to only use waterproof archival inks or black walnut ink. They shiny would be amazing for talismans though… and I have more calligraphy nibs than is healthy.

      • Harold Roth says:

        It’s a permanent, archival, waterproof ink that is traditionally used in Japanese silk and linen painting and calligraphy. It has a little shellac in it, which I think is what makes it shiny. It is densely black, made from vegetable oil soot. I use Bokuju sumi ink since it’s in liquid form (traditional stuff is in sticks you have to mix yourself). There are a number of other brands; this is the first one I tried and I liked it so much I bought the big bottle. All kinds of art supply places have it. Check it out next time you are stocking up on stuff. I’ll bet you will love it. I’ve tried a lot of inks–Dr. Ph. Martin India inks, same brande metallic and iridescent inks, Spectralite (great for metals), Windsor Newton, Calli, Pelikan, walnut, Yemeni–but the Bokuju sumi black is my favorite.

  4. SN says:

    Sooo beautiful! Are you familiar with Una Woodruff’s work? British witch who did gorgeous picture books of pseudo-scientific botantical illustrations of fantasy plants, like flowers that are really birds, or seed pods that morph into reptiles…everything of hers is out of print, but still available sometimes,

  5. skayler says:

    lovely!!!!!!! ^^

    Hello Sara,
    I would like an advice from you:
    I would like to know what herbs can be associated to the wolf’s spirit.
    I want to do a work with my totem, but haven’t found any information about this topic.
    Can you help me, please?
    I congratulate you for your writings and I’m very grateful to you for everything, because I have learned many things from your blog.
    Have a nice day.

    • Hi Skayler,

      The only one I know is wolfsbane, monkshood, but it’s supposed to repel wolves, not necessarily be associated with them. The only plant I know associated with wolves is a local native plant. Maybe try looking at the folk names of your own local plants for wolf hidden in the names?

    • Laurel says:

      Beautiful work Sarah! I look forward to reading the article too. As far as wolf/plants go, there is the lupines.

  6. Amaranthine says:

    Your art is stunning, but your word craft with your naming is what always jumps out at me. I absolutely love the title of this piece — it just adds that extra element of mysticism and witchyness to an already striking illustration.

  7. Nancy E. Wood says:

    So much of what you do is just wonderful! I’ve truly enjoyed your interests, your skills, the photos, the recommendations and information, and certainly the quality I’ve found here. But I have one complaint — which I have with many, many — maybe even most — websites, blogs, etc. And since there’s no place “central” to the Internet at which to air that complaint and get people to understand its import, I must do it one-by-one… so here goes. I “accidentally” found you — one of the delightful serendipities of the Internet — and yet not on one page that I’ve come across does it EVER mention where you are — no state, not even what country you’re in… as a matter of fact, I saw something that may have been a clue that you’re not even in the same country I am — the US. Some ad (for Salt Island something-or-other) said, “come and see us!” COME WHERE??? How am I supposed to entertain the idea to visit such wonderful people when there’s absolutely no indication of where in the world any of you are!!! I think this is a huge error all over the cyber-world… and you’re only shooting yourselves in the foot with it. Thanks very much for listening, and I dearly hope you’ll change this egregious error in your offerings, and maybe even take up the banner of encouraging those you work with and for to always give your audiences full information about your locales. Your work is beautiful and your sensibilities even more so… thanks for all your inspiration.

    Nancy E. Wood
    Oklahoma City

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