I am so excited to share this next piece with you all as I feel like it is the grounding stone in the collection. It was the piece created in the middle and I feel influenced several other works afterwards (like the inclusion of bullfinches in “From the Ashes”).

spirit guides painting oil art work figurative nature forest creek crows birds symblism christina ridgeway

Hey, now it’s time to go
From the white wards of England
The crows line the rivers and roads


This painting was originally inspired by the song Neptune by Foals – so I will throw in a few lyrics throughout this post! Originally there were only crows in the concept sketch, which came to symbolize negative thought patterns we have and hold onto. I am the worst with this, but I know I am not alone… how we talk to ourselves sometimes is downright harsh. But it is like a habit, hard to break and sometimes even harder to recognize.

crows flying over creek reflection negative thought patterns magical realism christina ridgeway oil painting

So let me sleep where I lay
With a murder of crows
That live in the boughs of my brain

Life may seem fleeting but there is a certain element of daily grind. We are all on a long track through life, making our way through the jungle as it were. The habits and patterns we pick up aren’t always positive or helpful. They flutter, fly, reflect, juxtapose and entrap us at times so it is hard to see, hear or think anything to the contrary.

bull finch flying sunny forest oil painting spirit guides christina ridgeway

Now in the vastness of pines
Where my ghost lies in loose-limbed array
I pass the time
And go upload my heart to the fatal shore
Forevermore, it spins there behind closed doors

And so enters the bullfinch! This painting was made in the dead of winter and we had cut down a bunch of tree limbs in our front yard. I remember looking out the window to see a brilliant flash of pink – first time in my life I had seen a bullfinch in person! They were all there, picking their way through our discarded branches. They added the perfect pop and flash in this painting and definitely represented her “guiding lights” through the forest. I mentioned this before in the “From the Ashes” write up – we all have guiding forces in our life. Unseen and often unknown but definitely there… if only we open ourselves up to their wisdom.

girl white lace dress magical realism forest walking spirit guides christina ridgeway art

So come on, row me away
On black rivers and rainbows to Neptune
Where I can stay

I knew this painting was going to be an incredible challenge to paint the first day I sat down, worked for hours, and only made it about 2 cm in. It got to the point where I started dreaming I was inside the painting, floating along the river with my own Spirit Guide, watching the bullfinches poke their heads out of the shrubbery.

The intense work and concentration, coupled with its very personal meaning to me, has led it to be one of my favorite paintings in the collection. Every time I see it, I smile. It has a good energy, an energy of being led away from negative influences in our lives into the great beyond. It is a dreamscape. I love it.


This painting will be on view at the Jula Hotell in Skara between May 31st to June 6th – I would highly recommend seeing it in person! It is such a detailed piece, it is worth seeing face to face. This painting is already sold <3