Saturday, October 30, 2010

An American Songbird

"Free to Fly"

20" x 24" acrylic on canvas

The first blog I wrote, The Parent Trapped, was a fun journey of self-expression, family hilarity, and embarrassing anecdotes. I have since switched over to writing The Desert Chronicles which is less edgy, maybe, and more travel and locale specific, kind of.

My point....I am running out of photo space on Blogger so I have to delete The Parent Trapped soon. It spanned a year and has some real gems of humor, pearls of wisdom, and fool's gold of crap. I don't want to lose it, nor see it languor on a hard-drive collecting dust on the shelf.

So I am in the process of turning it into a hard backed book to languor on a shelf collecting dust. You know, Blog to Book. As I was editing it, I realized there was no one single picture that captured the essence of The Parent Trapped. I didn't want to use a family photo because even though it was mostly involving stories about my family, it was more about ME, and I am more than just my family.

That's one of the good things about being an artist. If you need something and can't find it, paint it for yourself!

I really liked how the clouds came out for my nephews C-17 painting, and since I really love clouds anyway, I decided to do another giant cloud painting.

Next I needed a subject. Symbolism.....symbolism.....Trapped....trapped by what? What traps us? A fence. A barbed wire fence! What is the opposite of trapped? FREE! What is free? A bird! An American Robin! Free! An American songbird, perched on a freedom denying barbed wire fence, but ready to take off for the great wide sky of liberation!

How's that for symbolism?

(I know. It's a male robin and I am a girl. Shhh! Don't tell anyone!

Here's a detail of the robin. I scrimped on the details of the fence but I liked the simplicity of it and didn't want the fence taking too much focus from the bird, er, me, or the clouds.

Here's a detail of the detail of the bird.

I am very satisfied at the overall outcome of this painting. Of course we artists are never fully satisfied but I am happy to say that I received the message loud and clear:


I hear you. Loud and clear.


  1. Your robin painting makes me think of being free despite the boundries and choices we live with. We can sit on the fence, or fly ... Love paintings that express feelings in the viewer - yours does. Very nice work!

  2. OH PAULA! You've been holding back on us. This is what I hope to find in every artist I encounter. This is super. Not because of the technical skill and the fine detail which are fantastic, but for the depth of your spirit being translated into art. You ARE a true Fine Artist. I recognized the seed already in your soul a while ago... when you first started participating in the challenges. I am so fortunate to witness your discovery and transformation. This is just the beginning of much greater things to come.

    That black cat was my friend when I lived in Hawaii. She was the neighborhood cat, and boy was she the meanest cat ever. I named her Scabbycat for the all the fights she got into. She liked battling mongoose, other cats and people. I'm lucky she like me. Sometimes she would be sitting peacefully beside me and attack my hand and start to kick me. I'd stay calm reach my other hand over, put two fingers into the corner of her mouth and pry those sharp canines off me very gently. I'd always forgive her and I think she felt bad for it afterwards. She never broke my skin. I think she had a love hate relationship with my fella because she would just rip him up. Blood everywhere. I love that cat.

    Your right about it looking like a boy in that particular painting. I did alter the facial expression to have a human masculine look.

  3. Beautiful Paula!Your commentary on why you chose this subject is really thoughtful.

  4. Beautiful painting Paula. Isn't it great how fences are nothing to birds but a place to perch?

  5. First of all, what a gorgeous picture you painted, Paula. One of your very finest!! Details are so perfect - I can't see anyway you could've painted it any better! Your symbolism is very thoughtful and introspective - good for you! I agree with Alice - you've come such a long way! You should be very, very proud of yourself. Knowing your inner-self is sometimes a very difficult thing to accomplish. Go, Paula!

  6. You chose an excellent example. Looking closer the back cloud looks like a determined bird, A bird that will get out of this barbed wire trap....

  7. I really love this. And I love the wise look on his face. He is on the wire because he wants to be and he can fly away any time.

    Question - what do you mean running out of photo space? I had no idea blogger only allotted so much space per person. Who is creating you book - blog2book or LULU?

  8. Love your detail in the robin. It's perfect, to me anyway!