Open Letter to the Great Blue Heron


“Spectacle” 6×6, oil on 1.5 in canvas. $105.00[creativ_button url=”″ icon=”” label=”Buy Now” colour=”blue” colour_custom=”” size=”medium” edge=”straight” target=”_self”]

I’m just like anyone else, I’ve got a nice little list of pet peeves. And topping the charts in the less serious category is open letters. Don’t even get me started. Dear woman who pulled out in front of me at Target. Dear fellow mom at the mom’s club whose kid sneezed on my kid’s coloring book. Dear celebrity with whom I take issue. I find these types of posts a bit absurd, their intention directed not towards the person they address but at some sympathetic group looking to join the writer’s righteous indignation over some usually minor offense. Perhaps the direct address is just creativity in getting a point across, but I find it speaks to a certain level of passive aggressiveness– we share with hundreds of people online what we aren’t willing to say to one person.

The heron? Well, she can only be herself. She walks past me at the beach not caring whether or not I agree or sympathize.

So obviously, since I’ve complained about open letters, I’m about to write an open letter. Not one of complaint though. One of praise. To the heron whom I find direct, beautiful, intentional. I am the audience it doesn’t really need. It’s grace speaks for itself.

Video I took on my iphone of a Heron up close and personal at Fort Walton Beach


Dear Great Blue Heron,

I love your long strides. Your blessed arrogance. Your unwavering belief that you belong where you are– the beach, the swamp, the patch of sky above my head.

I see the blues and purples hidden in your grey. I see your patience and your purpose.

By painting you, I hope to be more like you.


A Long-time Admirer and Fan

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Denise Hopkins

October 17, 2016

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