Raptor Dream


Raptor Dream


Raptor Dream

Raptor Dream was painted in gouache and acrylic on a full sheet of heavyweight watercolor paper – 30″ x 22″.  For many years, this was my preferred medium.  Transparent washes were layered over each other, contrasting with solid areas of color.

This particular painting was influenced by a Siberian folktale that my then-writing partner and husband, Emery Bernhard, had adapted and retold as a children’s book titled How Snowshoe Hare Rescued the Sun (Holiday House, 1993).  We were drawn to this story for its shamanic content – a classic tale of the disappearance of the sun from the arctic world, followed by a descent into the underworld, the triumph of humility over ego, and the return of the light.  All of this was represented by animal characters.

In order to research this book, I spent weeks learning about the Inuit people and their Siberian counterparts, the Yuit.  I fell in love with the stark simplicity of their bold and powerful artwork – prints, carvings, textiles and masks – that so perfectly reflected the people and landscape from which these creations emerged.  Of particular interest were the tiny masks that formed finger puppets – essential tools for storytelling through the long, dark winter.   This became the basis for the face in my painting.  I imagined a hunter-shaman, desperate to feed his family, who transforms himself into an eagle.  Carrying his children on his back, he dives into a sea of prey – animals in abundance that give up their lives in order to feed his hungry family – a raptor’s dream come true.

Order Raptor Dream as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)!   $10 for the poster and card, shipping included.  Order your poster here!

Wishing you a good week,

D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World – new!! 
THE JEWISH EYE 5776/2015 – calendar of art – new!
NEVER SAY A MEAN WORD AGAIN – A Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review;
winner of the Sydney Taylor Award and National Jewish Book Council Award
THE DREIDEL THAT WOULDN’T SPIN – A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING – A Children’s Book Council Notable Book
GREEN BIBLE STORIES FOR CHILDREN – Nat’l Green Book Festival Notable Book
A RIDE ON MOTHER’S BACK – An American Bookseller Assoc. Pick of the List
– and more!
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