Day 12. Drawing Inspiration and Glorified Chickens.

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

“Flannery” 15×45 in, oil on canvas [creativ_button url=”×45-oil-canvas/” icon=”” label=”Buy Now” colour=”blue” colour_custom=”” size=”medium” edge=”straight” target=”_self”]

Books, not paintings, were the first art I loved and before I knew I had any artistic ability, before ubiquitous laptops and iphones, I took to writing words as a form of drawing. It was not only their meaning, but the very act of putting pen to paper that energized me. I liked watching a word form visually, left to right, up and down. I loved seeing a sentence in a place that had previously been devoid of any thought but also any pattern or design.

Writing was powerful to me not just because of the ideas it allowed me to convey, but the lines it allowed me draw.

In high school and beyond my favorite writer was Flannery O’Connor probably because I had not been introduced to many women authors and she was young (she died at just 39), southern, Catholic, a bit a misfit– all things I felt made us part of the same club.

It wasn’t until I started painting seriously that I could add another shared trait to my list: a love of birds. O’Connor raised peacocks on her farm and describes their beautiful, odd, at times awkward behaviors in an essay entitled “Living with a Peacock”.

In true O’Connor fashion, she avoids descriptions of the obvious or conventional in favor of the less idealistic and yet somehow more endearing qualities of the bird :

Flannery O’Connor and two of her peacocks.

“Not every part of the peacock is striking to look at, even when he is full-grown. His upper wing feathers are a striated black and white and might have been borrowed from a Barred Rock Fryer; his end wing feathers are the color of clay; his legs are long, thin and iron-colored; his feet are big; and he appears to be wearing the short pants now so much in favor with playboys in the summer. These extend downward, buff-colored and sleek, from what might be a blue-black waistcoat. One would not be disturbed to find a watch chain hanging from this, but none does. Analyzing the appearance of the pea­cock as he stands with his tail folded, I find the parts incommensurate with the whole. The fact is that with his tail folded, nothing but his bearing saves this bird from being a laughingstock. With his tail spread, he inspires a range of emotions, but I have yet to hear laughter”

The peacock, she seems to suggest, is a just a moodier, bossier, occasionally more majestic chicken.

And, truth be told, most days I feel like chicken. Painting. Writing. Making those types of marks– those are the things that make me feel like peacock is even a little bit possible.


If you don’t want to miss any of the 31 paintings in 31 days this month, make sure subscribe to this blog!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_sidebar admin_label=”Sidebar” orientation=”left” area=”sidebar-1″ background_layout=”light” remove_border=”off” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

October 12, 2017

Share Post


Related Blog Posts

Day 31. If you want to go far…

  “If You Want to go Far” 24×30 inches, oil on canvas I started this month with a bike, and...

View Post
Day 30. Reteach a thing its loveliness.

“The Bud Stands for All Things” 24×24 inches, oil on paper I discovered this poem last week by Galway Kinnell...

View Post
Day 29. Intuition

“Follow Your Intuition” 9×12 inches, oil on paper My art studio is a 300 square foot storage room underneath our...

View Post

Privacy Policy

This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for this website. We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Crh), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals using this website.

Collection of your personal information

We collect Non-Personally Identifiable Information from visitors to this Website. Non-Personally Identifiable Information is information that cannot by itself be used to identify a particular person or entity, and may include your IP host address, pages viewed, browser type, Internet browsing and usage habits, advertisements that you click on, Internet Service Provider, domain name, the time/date of your visit to this Website, the referring URL and your computer’s operating system.

Free offers & opt-ins

Participation in providing your email address in return for an offer from this site is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose your information. You may unsubscribe at any time so that you will not receive future emails.

Sharing of your personal information

Your personal information that we collect as a result of you purchasing our products & services, will NOT be shared with any third party, nor will it be used for unsolicited email marketing or spam. We may send you occasional marketing material in relation to our design services. What Information Do We Collect? If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses.