With the exception of an occasional request for parrots, most of the birds that I paint grow from the ground. They are birds of paradise.
Although it is native to South Africa, this plant grows abundantly in Florida. Its name comes from the shape of the flowers, which resemble a bird in flight . . . or, a bird’s head, depending on how you look at it. Recently a friend sent me a popular meme which questions the correct way to perceive a bird of paradise:
However, I’d like to debunk this idea and insist that the image on the right is also a correct way to interpret the bird of paradise. But, as with most things, it’s really up to each person to decide their take on it.
It’s always a pleasant surprise to catch sight of this colorful flower – both the orange as well as the white variations – and a reminder to take time to appreciate the beauty nature has to offer.
My newest painting is called “Paradise Found.” Shown below, it measures 40” x 60” and begs to know how paradise on earth would look. Maybe paradise is already within us, waiting for expression. And whether it manifests as the majestic wings of a bird in flight or a googly-eyed dodo inciting laughter, may the end result be joy.