The Survivors – digital painting/collage – © 2017, 2019 – Howard Faxon
This collage of pieces from my photographs with some digital painting added was made without any thought about what the end result might be. There were some formidable aspects to its construction that may have been the driving force behind its creation. The technical question of ‘can this work’ or ‘how can I do that’ was the first impetus of the birth of this image. I often start blindly and see if I can fight my way out or find some way to make what I have started work somehow. Later things like the theories, titles, or excuses come into being.
While I was looking at the finished work I thought about the two members of the animal kingdom that were portrayed in the print. They are both incredibly adept survivors in completely different ways. Dragonflies are incredibly adapted to hunting while in flight. They could hardly be better equipped for this and they have lived on the earth for over 250 million years. It is a longevity that few species can claim. It is because they are perfectly adapted to do one thing extremely well – almost perfectly in fact.
In contrast, crows exist nearly everywhere on the earth and are successful in a wide range of environments. Crows are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of foods. Their ability to survive in almost any terrestrial environment is based on intelligence or cunning. With this intelligence comes adaptability to change. This is the source of the Aesop fable of ‘the crow and the pitcher’. The crows fascinate us because of their intelligence and remind us to be creative as we adapt to change.
So, after the fact, this image was given the title ‘The Survivors’. And, also after the fact came the explanation of what may be alluded to when seen. Ex post facto.