Craig Kosak

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Druid Alphas With Raven

Yellowstone National Park’s Druid Peak pack is perhaps the most well known, observed and documented wolf pack in the world and the subject of Craig Kosak’s "Druid Alphas with Raven." A blend of mythology, legend and personal insight, the contemporary wildlife art of Craig Kosak presents a world in balance inspired by both the natural world and the human condition.

Wolves and ravens are two of the four animals that dominate Kosak’s work (horses and bison are the other two). Each represents a particular connection he has made with it on his travels. “Ravens guide me to accept my most secret self, my uniqueness, to celebrate who I am, while wolves speak to me of wit and intelligence,” says Kosak.

PBS’ "Nature" showed the world just how complex and intelligent wolves can be with "In the Valley of the Wolves: The Druid Wolf Pack Story." It is one of the best episodes of the series. The pack’s last-two Alpha’s are featured in this painting. To learn view the episode and learn more go to: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/in-the-valley-of-the-wolves/the-druid-wolf-pack-story/209/

"Druid Alphas" also pays homage to the equally magical and Darwinistic relationship between the raven and the wolf. It is a kinship that emanates from the primeval fact that a raven’s beak is not sharp enough to puncture the hide of a carcass. Through the millennia a far more complex rapport between the two has developed; a social relationship, hunting partners and playful friends, that exceeds most known in the animal kingdom. “I want to show the bond we have with other living creatures that share our planet.”

An important element to look for in "Druid Alphas" is the "edge ribbon." The edge ribbon is a strip of paint that will contain all the colors that Kosak used while creating the painting, a new band added each time a new color is used. The edge ribbon is a record of the painting coming into being. Craig Kosak’s flawless fusion of abstract and realistic painting combined with his meld of mythology, legend and modern spirituality results in some of the most beautiful and inspiring artwork you can own today.
From $195.00

First Land

“The raven is a trickster, a protector, a teacher and a bringer of great magic to the tribes of the Northwest,” explains Craig Kosak regarding "First Land." “They trick us into seeing the things we are missing in our lives. The raven is also a provider. The sun, the stars and moon and even fire were supplied by a raven. And so was the land on which we stand.

“It seems that the raven had become bored with the spirit-land in which he lived and flew away carrying a stone. When he became tired of carrying the stone, he dropped it into the ocean. It expanded, becoming the ground upon which we humans came to live. It was a raven who found men hidden in a clam and released them in the world. According to the legend, he literally coaxed us out of our shell.”

Four animals primarily dominate Kosak’s paintings: the raven, bison, wolf and horse. Each represents a particular connection he has made with it on his travels. “Ravens started my journey in the Tetons, bison found me in Yellowstone,” he says, “wolves in the California Sequoias and horses in the hills of New Mexico.”

Each of these animals represents a specific emotional quality for the artist: “Ravens guide me to accept my most secret self, my uniqueness, to celebrate who I am rather than hide it. The bison inspires confidence and reminds me of that part of myself that is anchored, persistent, and able to withstand hardship. Horses are a sign of strength and sensitivity, while wolves speak to me of wit and intelligence.

"I idealize my characters and anthropomorphize them. I saw the raven in "First Land" on a fence post with his wings like that then sought to improve on it. I always try to create something on my own, to say something new.”

“It took years to find my voice.” he says. “I combine the realistic observations, impressions and feelings of an outer world, the physical world through which we travel - with an inner world of self-discovery, the abstract and rule breaking part of my art. I use this inner vision to idealize these insights.”

Kosak does not juxtapose his geometric and illustrative elements, rather he merges them together through layers of glazes, patinas and textures. Each painting features an edge ribbon. The edge ribbon will have all the colors that are in the painting, a band added each time a new color is used. The edge ribbon is a record of the painting coming into being.

“My paintings are inspired by the natural world and the human condition. I use myths and legends to facilitate an understanding of ourselves and provide perspective on how we fit into the universe at large. Most importantly I want to show the bond we have with other living creatures that share our planet.”
From $595.00

First Trick

“The raven’s reputation as a trickster disguises its magical nature,” says Craig Kosak of First Trick. “Northwestern tribal lore teaches that man existed in the confines of a clamshell. After raven created land (see Kosak’s First Land), he again became bored and desired someone to play with. Knowing that man was in the shell, he used all his wiles and, finally, a special song to coax man out of the clamshell.

“Now, we all know that living in a shell is not very prosperous. And the bottom line is that we all need to come out of it sometime. The magic of raven’s trickery is that he uses it to fool us into bettering ourselves.”

In Kosak’s First Trick, raven, perched atop a washed-pebble cairn, begins his song to lure man out into the world. As he sings to the clamshell atop the stack beside him, the power of his music levitates a distant stone. First Trick is a feature work in Kosak’s first museum show at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, TX. This remarkable contemporary art provides both beauty and inspiration and as an edition of only 25 is certain to be highly collectible one as well.
From $445.00

Merlin And The Golden Moon

Ravens are one of the four animals that dominate artist Craig Kosak’s work (wolves, horse and bison are the others). Each represents a particular connection he has made on his travels.
“Ravens guide me to accept my most secret self,” he says, “my uniqueness, to celebrate who I am. Experiences with wildlife show me what to paint, photographs help with the basics, then I use my inner vision to idealize, fantasize and anthropomorphize,” he says.
“My trips consist of both journeys through the physical world and inner journeys of self-discovery,” he says. “My paintings are about both worlds and how they relate. Each trip is, in a sense, a vision quest.”
The raven is intertwined in legends and mythology of many ancient cultures including Native American, Celtic and Norse, as the embodiment of secrets and magic, introspection and self-knowledge, traits often shared with the moon in art and literature. Kosak met this particular raven, Merlin, at Yellowstone National Park where he seemed content to pose with his beak white-tipped from poking in the geyser’s mineral-rich debris. The plumb line he holds suggests a dividing line between the inner and outer world and also hints at the intelligence and playful nature of the raven as trickster.
This Smallworks® edition is a jewel of balanced composition and color that will be a focal point in any room in your house. Share its mysterious beauty with friends and family.
From $195.00

Pegasus - Leap Of Faith

Craig Kosak’s meld of mythology and legend with modern spirituality is enhanced by the flawless fusion of abstract and realistic painting in his compositions.

“A true leap of faith is made when you don’t yet have the wings” says Kosak of "Pegasus – Leap of Faith." “When I paint a myth or a legend everybody is familiar with, I look at it in a new way, read between the lines and find a new perspective. I’ve always felt that if realists want to be taken seriously, they must have something new to say. While this painting is inspired by my personal leaps, it depicts the archetypal story of those who follow their dreams, with an insightful trickster providing direction.

“I see ravens as a guide, encouraging me to accept my unique inner self. They exhort me to celebrate who I am rather than hide it. The horse is a combination of strength and sensitivity. Pegasus is also a symbol of wisdom and a source of a poet’s muse. Paintings can be a metaphor of either the dark or lighter side of our lives. I see my work finding a balance between the two.

“It took years to find my voice.” he says. “I combine the realistic observations, impressions and feelings of an outer world, the physical world through which we travel - with an inner world of self-discovery, the abstract and rule breaking part of my art. I use this inner vision to idealize, fantasize and anthropomorphize these insights.”

Kosak does not juxtapose his geometric and illustrative elements, rather he merges them together through layers of glazes, patinas and textures. Each painting features an "Edge ribbon." The edge ribbon will have all the colors that are in the painting, a band added each time a new color is used. The edge ribbon is a record of the painting coming into being.

“My paintings are inspired by the natural world and the human condition. Most importantly I want to show the bond we have with other living creatures that share our planet.”
From $645.00

White Bison Of The East

Grounded in realism, fused with abstract passages and radiating the light of an inner spirit, the contemporary wildlife art of Craig Kosak presents a world in balance.

“To the Lakota, a white buffalo is a harbinger of harmony and peace in troubled times,” relates Kosak. “'White Bison of the East' is the first in a series of four paintings, each covering a point of the compass, that draw their inspiration from the legend of the White Buffalo Calf Woman. On her first visit to the Lakota she taught them seven sacred ceremonies, songs and their traditional ways. She said she would return to purify the world if it became too troubled. A sign of her arrival would be the birth of a white buffalo. I was thinking about the fractious and parochial nature of politics today and how nice some accord between all parties would be. 'White Bison of the East' is my way of signaling that it is time for some of that peace.”

Kosak’s foresight to bond mythology and legend with modern spirituality is enhanced by the flawless blend of abstract and realistic painting in his compositions. “It took years to find my voice.” he says. “I combine the realistic observations, impressions and feelings of an outer world, the physical world through which we travel ¯ with an inner world of self-discovery, the abstract and rule breaking part of my art. I use this inner vision to idealize, fantasize and anthropomorphize these insights.”

Kosak does not juxtapose his geometric and illustrative elements, rather he merges them together through layers of glazes, patinas and textures. Each painting features an “edge ribbon.” The edge ribbon will have all the colors that are in the painting, a band added each time a new color is used. The edge ribbon is a record of the painting coming into being.

“My paintings are inspired by the natural world and the human condition. I use myths and legends to facilitate an understanding of ourselves and provide perspective on how we fit into the universe at large. Most importantly I want to show the bond we have with other living creatures that share our planet.”
From $495.00