Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How to Paint a Bird

Oneness, acrylic and collage (including old Japanese map)

Poem by Jacques Prevert, french poet
To Make the Portrait of a Bird

First, paint a cage
with an open door
next paint
something pretty
something simple
something useful
for the bird
then place the canvas against a tree

Elsa's Images at Flickr here

in a garden
in the woods
or in a forest
hide behind the tree
without saying anything
without moving....

Jill Burgess, Bailiwick Designs, more at Flickr here

Sometimes the bird arrives quickly
but he may as well take years
before deciding to show up
Don't be discouraged
Wait if you must for years
the speed or the slowness of the arrival
of the bird having nothing to do
with the eventual success of the painting

Aino, more images at her Flickr site here

When the bird arrives
if he arrives
observe the deepest silence
wait until the bird has entered the cage
and when he has
gently close the door with the paintbrush

Solarixx, more images at Flickr site here

erase one by one all the bars
being careful not to touch any of the feathers of the bird
Paint next the portrait of the tree
choosing the best of its branches
for the bird
paint also the green foliage and the cool of the wind
the dust of the sun
and the sound of insects in the grass in the heat of summer
and then wait until the bird decides to sing

Kate Castelli, more images at Flickr site here

If the bird does not sing
that's a bad sign
a sign that the picture is bad
but if he sings that's a good sign
a sign that you may sign
So, you gently pull
one of the feathers of the bird
and you write your name in the corner of the picture.
-- translated from the French by Yvone Lenard

Elia Mauceri, blog here and more images at Flickr site here


Leslie Avon Miller said...

Wow Donna! What an enticing combination of images and poetry drawing me in! Between the word painting and the images of trees, birds and cages, my inner art-self has just had a most delicious treat! Thank you!

deborah from collagewhirl said...

I've loved this poem since my daughter learned it in school in France and would recite it to us! A real treat :-)

Jo Reimer said...

What a nice poem. I appreciate the introduction to it. I love birds, too, and am interested in making photo images of birds, nests and birds on wires and branches. I like the way you use nests in your collages.

Anna Mavromatis said...

Donna, this is my very favorite Prevert poem!
Up until now I felt it was beautiful only in french! But tonight, reading it in the english translation surrounded with your perfect choice of art, I was equally enchanted... Your post and way of presenting it just made it even more special!
Thank you!!!

ArtPropelled said...

Enchanting imagery and poetry! Thank you Donna.

Ruth Armitage said...

I'm waiting at the moment. Thank you for making the wait more bearable.

Ginny Huber said...

Your blog posts are works of art in themselves. I love this poem..and am off to look it up in french. beautiful images and connections, as well!

Valerianna said...

Whacky poem, in a good way.... !

Jo Murray said...

That makes may day!!! Gorgeous images and fantisies of delight abound. Thank you.

Yvette said...

it's a GOOG morning starting with your blog


Petra Eller said...

Good morning Donna,
I like your bird this morning, very much. Wonderful collage.

Carole Reid said...

Thank you Donna. I'll be waiting to hear the bird sing.

Barry said...

D-a poem and post about freedom? B

Sea Angels said...

Totally enchanting....beautiful and skilled.
Lynn xxxx

lyle baxter said...

delightful. thanks once more for giving my day a happy beginning!

annell4 said...

A beautiful post!

mycuriousteaparty said...

What a lovely post, thank you. Also thank you for showing Elia Mauceri..WoW!

arlee said...

a good morning, good morning

Teri said...

I am loving this series of bird images you have shown us Donna! They are really exciting as well as the words you have chosen to go along with them. This stuff takes lots of work and I applaud you for taking the time to inspire and show us. Great stuff!

Caterina Giglio said...

what a charming post and I adore the french poem... grazie...

Susan - said...

LOVELY! What a wonderful poem. I found you via the Collage Making Directory, but I do believe I was in a class with you in Bremerton. It was an encaustic painting class at the Collective Visions Gallery with Susan Sweetwater. (I think it must have been about 5 years ago.) Your work is fantastic!

Deborah said...

so lovely and serene

Anonymous said...

If all instructions for life were like that,

the world would be a different place.

Noela Mills said...

Oh Donna, this is the most special poem - love the innocent layers [excuse the pun] of images, fantasy, surrealsim, creativity, etc. I will print it out and read it to my 2 gorgeous great nephews [aged 5 and 2], who I often look after. Thank you xoxoxo

r.bohnenkamp said...

I'm excited again Donna!
your post, your painting of a bird simply awesome
and many thanks for the wonderful link of Elia Mauceri
a real highlight!

Sue said...

A lovely collage of yours, Prevert's poem is also superb, and so wise. You found beautiful artwork to illustrate this post - thank you.

Seth said...

I love this post...the poem and message behind it and all the art that you chose to include. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.

Morna Crites-Moore said...

Very beautiful. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

How lovely to see Prévert's poem so beautifully and thoughtfully illustrated ! Thank you, I love your Art I just discovered on flickr.

Morna Crites-Moore said...

I'm back to enjoy this post again ... the poem is so wonderful, and it is, for me, an introduction to this poet. I do not think I would have appreciated nearly so well had it not been for your choices of artwork interspersed. xo

Lisa Ursu said...

this is a stunning post.
"paint also the green foliage and the cool of the wind
the dust of the sun
and the sound of insects "

thank you!

Laura said...

beautiful collection Donna, so perfectly integrated with the poem.

nancy neva gagliano said...

I've fallen
the bird
the poem
the good advice

Lynn said...

The way you weave together words and images is magical every single time.
Your "Oneness" collage painting is beautiful.



Anonymous said...

Always poetic images and words that touch and move you to new birds...

mano said...

wonderful words and beautyful pictures!

diane said...

I love getting to know your works through this beautiful blog. Thank you!

rivergardenstudio said...

Donna, I love your bird cage images here, the birds and the trees. Soft and strong. Just as you seem to me. Thank you. Roxanne

Di said...

A beautiful poem, new to me and your whole post an artwork in itself.

letterlady said...

Amazing works excellently illustrating a beautiful poem.