Blackcap as Totem

This totem has the awesome honour of being a patron of Italian culture and the arts. I mean, in general, it’s an awesome bird – but did you know that something so tiny has inspired a lot of artists? What a wonderful, and overlooked, totem animal.

*

BLACKCAP as TOTEM

Blackcap as Totem by Ravenari

REPRESENTING:

Sharing your song with others, possessing a sweet voice, knowing how to persuade others, the pen is mightier than the sword, learning new ways of expressing yourself, respecting religious pathways, enjoying sacred spaces, adapting to significant changes to your environment, being fond of myths and legends, associations with St. Francis, connection to Italian culture and crafts, muse.

*

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The blackcap is a widespread, common passerine warbler found in Europe, western Africa and Europe. They are sexually dimorphic, and have a unique colour pattern for warblers. The male is grey with a distinct black cap, the female has a brown cap. They prefer to forage and hunt in shady woodlands, and nest in groundcover, preferring low shrubs. Their song is pleasant, chattering, with occasional clear notes; isolated blackcap populations can show marked differences in style and complexity of song. The blackcap is more hardy than other warblers, taking berries as well as insects when the weather gets tough. The blackcap is partially migratory, but recently some have been changing their wintering habits due to the availability of human food and gardens and recent environmental changes; the birds that are not migratory have higher survival rates than those that are. In some cultures, the blackcap is consumed as a food and considered a delicacy. Blackcaps have long inspired Italian writers, who knew the bird as La Capinera. They are associated with St. Francis in the opera Saint Francois d’Assise.

Advertisements

And so we come to the end of 2010?

December has been my most productive month of the year, which is kind of saying something considering I’ve done pretty much all the artwork (what looks like over 20 complete pieces, though some were very little) in the last two weeks of the year. That was strange.

It’s seen a return to ye olde ‘as totems’ style, because sometimes the animal totems just want to ping me, and say ‘oy! DRAW US!’ This time it’s been birds from Bosnia / Herzegovina (the blackcap, red-crested pochard, little grebe, and european penduline tit), Mustelids (the european pine marten, siberian weasel, marbled polecat and lesser grison), and members of the Pheasant family (mikado pheasant, palawan peacock pheasant, reeve’s pheasant and the weird-looking blue-eared pheasant).

And then today I was pinged by eagles and raptors in general! Sheesh guys, give it a rest!

The totem that demanded the strangest colour scheme (to me), was the marbled polecat (sneak peek! This one hasn’t been listed anywhere else yet!), pictured below.

marbled polecat as totem by Ravenari

That’s just badass.

Does anyone else make New Years Resolutions? Does anyone else here actually celebrate New Years? I’m not, actually. I plan on going to bed early, and perhaps trying to see if I can sleep through very loud, thuddy parties. I’ll probably have the help of my trusty discman (I’m so oldschool, I’ve gone full circle to retro instead of just ‘too poor for an iPod’, so says Britta, the people’s champion!) and the help of trusty Sigur Ros, which can help me fall asleep, or meditate, to just about anything.

I also have a cat that’s very willing to bite my face. This seems essential to my ability to draw, well… anything!