Sinistra – Crow Painting


Sinistra. Crow painting. Original art.

Acrylic on canvas.

41 x 56 cm


Sinistra – Crow Painting

Original Art

Sinistra is a crow painting depicting a young woman in front of a full moon with three crows.

Intention for Sinistra – Original Crow Painting

I wanted the moon in this painting to add a soft, mystical backlight to the piece without it being so strong that the subject needed to be silhouetted. Art is all about playing around with ideas, and often my final pieces have been through several iterations. There was some backwards and forwards over whether to add a rim light to this artwork. However, after some experimentation, I felt that the piece had more impact as a crow painting when the birds weren’t pulled out of the picture with an outline.

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B-Movie in a Crow Painting

The subject of this piece is a young woman with a vintage beehive hairstyle. The exaggerated style is reminiscent of the Bride of Frankenstein. While in actuality, Bride of Frankenstein was a redhead, the lightning streaked conical hair is an iconic symbol of b-movie horror movies of old. And there is something distinctly vintage about this crow painting in the same vein. The whole piece has hints of old portraiture, of the kind typically found in stuffy stately homes. However, instead of the traditional stoicism, there is a certain playfulness about the expression on my model’s face. A feeling that she is about to break into a smile at any minute.

A Victorian Outfit for a Saucy Subject

The necklace, too, has that Victorian feel to it with an oval stone in a filigree setting. But as with the enigmatic smile, the black metal setting gives the jewellery a more gothic element. The red of the stone is reflected in the red of my subject’s nails, which are sharp and pointed. Although the position of the hands is demure and proper. And the rose in her hair is also deep red, giving this crow painting more penny dreadful than traditional vibes.

My model is wearing an off-the-shoulder velvet dress. Again, touching on Victorian trends. Black would only have been worn in mourning, and half-mourning clothes were often made of heavy, decorative materials, such as velvet. However, this dress is tight-fitting and sexy, rather than dowdy and modest; corset free and figure-hugging. It would have been positively scandalous in the right era.

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A Sinister Crow Painting with a Play on Words

The juxtaposition between serious old portraits and modern gothic gives the whole piece a sinister feeling. Which leads me onto the title. While Sinistra sounds like a play on words that turns the word “sinister” into a woman’s name, there is more to it. Sinistra means “left” in Italian. Of course, the English word comes from Latin, and there are negative religious connotations with the word “left.” To get out of the wrong side of bed actually means to get out of the left hand side. That’s why all three crows in this crow painting are facing left. It adds a certain eeriness to the overall feel. As if they are looking at something that is happening just out of the frame.

Crow Symbolism in Sinistra

The presence of crows always adds a mystical touch in any scene. They have myriad interpretations across religions and belief systems. They are very intelligent birds and can often be seen as a bad omen. Three crows can be seen as bad luck, foretelling the death of a loved one. However, as with tarot, death is not always the end. Three crows can be the ending of something and the beginning of something else. A sign to let go of the things and people in your life that aren’t serving you. It’s time to release your preconceptions of how you should behave and take control of your own destiny.

The number three also has sacred meaning, symbolising the trinity and divine wholeness. Three crows can also be associated with the circle of life. Life-death-rebirth.

When I sat down to create a crow painting, I wanted the meaning to be ambiguous. As with all of my work, whatever you see in it is more important than my intent. However, I did want there to be a sense of female strength and divinity. With a sense of divine intervention and spiritual guidance in the form of three feathered friends. But you can take it however you like.

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How this Crow Painting was Created

Sinistra is an acrylic painting with some texture on the moon, crows and flowers. It’s a light, slimline canvas, which can be hung as it is, or taken off the wood and framed.

Where You Can Buy this Crow Painting

This is an original painting, which has been lovingly composed and painted by hand. You can buy the original direct from this website, or pay the markup and purchase it through Saatchi.

Art downloads are also available from this site. Art downloads are the most cost effective way to purchase a print of this work, as you can arrange for printing yourself, print it at home, or have it made into merch. The only thing you can’t do is resell it or sell on the prints yourself.

Merchandise is available from Redbubble, and luxury prints are also available from Saatchi.

Sinistra – Crow Painting Details

This painting is on 100% cotton canvas with a wrap around edge.

• Comes with eight free keys for tightening
• Can be delivered matt original, or matt varnished
• Lightweight, slimline canvas for easy hanging without framing
• Can be framed on or off wood


Prints of this apothecary art are available from Saatchi in the following formats:



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