On Being a Bad Ass: A Lesson from the Peacock


“No Looking Back” 12×24, oil on canvas. $300.00 [creativ_button url=”http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/denise-hopkins/no-looking-back/506195″ icon=”” label=”Buy Now” colour=”blue” colour_custom=”” size=”medium” edge=”straight” target=”_self”]



“Look at Me Now” 12×24, oil on canvas. $300.00 [creativ_button url=”http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/denise-hopkins/look-at-me-now/506196″ icon=”” label=”Buy Now” colour=”blue” colour_custom=”” size=”medium” edge=”straight” target=”_self”]

Someone recently contacted me about using one of my peacock images as the logo for a Catholic blog she is starting. I, of course, agreed. It turned into a brief and lively interview during which she asked me about the meaning behind the peacock paintings I’d done.

It started with “I don’t know, I just paint birds and what better bird to paint than the gorgeous peacock” and ended with “they are just such bad asses”.

And they are. Have you ever seen one just walking around? I’ll admit my experiences with them are limited to the Audubon zoo and an outdoor wedding at which I did a live painting, but they, like many birds, kind of strut. And they are more obnoxious than, say a rooster, who also struts, because peacocks are undeniably beautiful– not that they care, of course.

They seem unabashed by human presence. They aren’t afraid to show their gifts. They sometimes get in the way of walking paths because (and I know I’m projecting) they seem to think they have the right to walk whatever path they chose. And they do so with grace. Beauty. Bad-assery.

I see this bravery and beauty in so many of my friends and family: Those who are cleaning and rebuilding from the devastating and unprecedented floods. Those whose families are growing quickly and at times overwhelmingly, and those who are struggling with pregnancy loss and infertility. Those who are influencing public policy to promote a more peaceful, loving world and those who are so fully and completely and unapologetically themselves that we can’t help but stand in awe.

Do you know someone like this? Would you tell me about him or her in the comments? I’d like to do more peacock paintings inspired by your stories. And if you e-mail me your mailing address, I’ll send you a little art gift in the mail as a thank you.

Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

August 23, 2016

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