After deciding to name this piece " Spirit of the Child", I added the toys. But the balance just didn't seem right. Below is the completed version with a few more layers.
Completed "Spirit of the Raven", 8"x10". I did some research on raven lore and found some interesting information. I think because of Poe's "The Raven", I always thought that ravens were portents of bad things, especially death. I found that that connotation probably came from their being carrion birds.
But in many cultures they are actually birds of mystery, magic and good omens. Some Native American lore portrays the raven as a sign of change or transformation. Because they believed the raven could be a trickster and transform his shape, he was felt to be the bearer of truth because he could "see" from different perspectives. " Foremost, the Raven is the Native American bearer of magic, and a harbinger of messages from the cosmos. Messages that are beyond space and time are nestled in the midnight wings of the Raven and come to only those within the tribe who are worthy of the knowledge" (from Avia: http://www.whats-your-sign.com/raven-symbolism.html). The raven was also thought to be the "bringer of light" or knowledge and is part of the creation story of some tribes.
The above background with a cheesecloth layer laid over the "tree". This one is in the very beginning stages.
Added handmade rolled stamp in green; white chalk highlights reflecting the moon light off the tree.
An addition of the stamped squares, large dots, black and white ink details complete this piece......"Spirit of the Night Forest", 8"x10".