I was told that this is one smart parrot. Twenty years old and deeply loved and very spoiled. I was asked to commission this watercolor for a dear friend. It’s actually for her brother who lives in New York. I love New York and I love parrots. I had parakeets as a kid. I was never successful in teaching my birds anything but loved them all the same.
A fun bird to paint and I got to use all of my bright colors on my palette. The best gifts are the ones homemade or carefully selected. My friend’s brother called me to thank me for the portrait. He told me how he found Max. The trouble Max could get into and how much he was looking forward to taking this painting back home. He made me laugh with his stories and jokes about parrots. He had quite a few. ❤️
So I hope you enjoy meeting Max. I was told parrots live a very long time. So this bird will be with us for years to come sharing love and squawks to others.
One of the things I enjoy in making art is in giving art to others. Isn’t that what we do with our talents? Aren’t we meant to share it with others? In this case I painted portraits of two little girls. Future artists who love to create just like me. They asked “what art project are you working on now?” “We need to do some art together.” Grown up questions from one artist to another.
As grandparents or family elders we have a tremendous influence over the younger generations. They listen to everything we say and believe that what we tell them is a truth. It is responsibility I do not take lightly. These young girls believe that I can do anything with a paint brush and canvas. If only that was true. But I do love to work on projects with kids. From magic wands to acrylic pours it is all messy and fun.
I have my good days and bad days as an artist. Sometimes everything comes together just like I imagined. Then there are the days when I feel discouraged. It’s on those days that I remember the faces of my young future artists and I can’t help but smile. I smile in their belief in me. I smile because in their eyes I am capable of greatness. How can I not pick up my brush and try again.
I suspect the paintings will hang up in their rooms. I hope they will think of me when they look their pictures. I hope they know it was painted for them with love. ❤️❤️❤️
I love genealogy and learning about who my people were and what they did. I’ve had a few “holy shit” moments of discovery. I’m thinking we all have or will have while digging in the past. Fun Fact: I discovered two people who worked for the same agency as I did that were related to me. Not sure how happy they were when I shared what I learned. 🤪 I also found a great uncle who abandoned his first family, changed his name and became someone else. We found his new family through DNA 75 years later.
Recently a family discovered a photograph of a great, great grandfather from World War 1. I wish I had such a family photo. What makes this photo so awesome was that it was taken of a African American military soldier. Do you know how incredible this find is?
When the United States entered the great war in 1917 Black Americans wanted to show their patriotism. 20,000 black men enlisted and after the Selective Service Act over 700,000 more Black Americans entered the military. But all things weren’t equal. The Civil War ended but bigotry had not. Black Americans were bared from the Marines and only menial roles in the Navy.
Draft boards were all white. The draft registration forms had the corner ripped off so everyone knew that this person was black. Their training would be segregated. Very few men got the opportunity to serve in combat. The black enlisted were treated badly by not being issued proper clothing, not given adequate food and forced to live in poor or brutal housing conditions. Our black enlisted men were not treated the same as their white counterpart. Sadly after the war it never got any better when they returned home.
I’m proud to have been asked to paint this family photo. This rare photo of a man who wanted to serve. Whose parents were likely born into slavery. Jim Crow would take over where slavery ended. Separate was never going to be equal. The killing, the lynching and the hate never stopped. It’s still alive today.
Not sure how much has really changed when it comes to racial issues. We seem so divided in this country. It breaks my heart to listen to the news. So much anger and hate. This painting was an honor to paint. It was an honor to paint this American who loved his country. Who wanted to serve. Who would one day have a great, great, grandson and a great, great, great grandson who would do a life of service in law enforcement. He did not live to know these things. He planted the seed that ran through his blood that flowed to the next generations. It is important to do something greater then yourself. When you become a law enforcement officer you take an oath of office. That oath is a promise to protect and serve others.
In the military the first oath for the enlisted military was given June 14, 1775. It was and still is a very important final step before going out into the world to try and make it safe for all of us.