Peacock Painting. What!? Day 23 of 30



Proud, 10×8, oil on gessoboard, $112 [button link=”″ type=”big”] Buy Now[/button] SOLD

I feel frustrated.  Like art is for the artists.  Like art isn’t something people just do, just happen to do for an actual living.  Like others are more suited to it, for it.  So for today’s painting I had to dig deep and go back to my roots.  Had to enlist the help of the woman who first made me love art to begin with– Flannery O’Connor.  So, yeah, it wasn’t visual art.  I fell in love with her stories before I even remotely understood them.  They were so well crafted.   Not at all like I paint– chaotic, wild, undisciplined.  She loved peacocks, had them as pets.  I wrote my master’s thesis on her but never investigated this strange love of hers. I wonder if it was their pomp, arrogance or just their legitimate beauty that so moved her.  This what she wrote in an essay:

“When the peacock has presented his back, the spectator will usually begin to walk around him to get a front view; but the peacock will continue to turn so that no front view is possible. The thing to do then is to stand still and wait until it pleases him to turn. When it suits him, the peacock will face you. Then you will see in a green-bronze arch around him a galaxy of gazing, haloed suns.”

I needed a muse so I turned to hers thinking of the Audubon zoo peacocks too proud for cages.  The ones that wonder freely and will steal crumbs and bits from under rod iron tables and run away should you dare move too close to take a picture.  Everything is on their terms.  Proud as a peacock when, really, they must know nothing of their own beauty?

I’m still thinking about birds who neither reap nor sow nor gather into barns.  And yet are proud.  Doing a lot of reaping and sowing lately.  Trying to find a rhythm.  I fought with this painting a bit.  That is, until the little squarish brushstrokes emerged and gave form to the whole image.  Do you see what I mean?

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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

April 24, 2014

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