If I Were A Blackbird

"If I Were A Blackbird"
22 x 30 inches
Watercolor on Arches 300lb Cold Press Paper

I've had very good news this week. My painting above was accepted into a juried art show in Chatham called "Eye for Art" which opens on December 5th, 2008 and runs for about a month.
This event only comes around every 2 years, so I was in a small panic trying to finish portrait commissions AND get this painting framed in time, but I'm glad I persevered.

Coming up with a title can sometimes be difficult for me. I developed the idea for this painting from a photo I took at Circular Quay in Sydney, Australia where the ferries come and go. This lone gull was sitting on the pier, and he appeared to be indecisive. Was he judging the wind conditions? Waiting on a friend? Lacking fibre? What was holding him back?

I started thinking about all the things that keep us from doing what we really want to do. "If Only" seems to be the main reason. "If only I were rich"..."If only I had more time"...you get the idea. Is it possible that this seagull suffers from the same inner turmoils as mankind?

Then I remembered a ballad about a man whose true love had sailed away:

If I were a blackbird, I'd whistle and sing
I'd follow the ship that my true love sails in,
And on the top rigging I'd there build my nest
And pillow my head on her lily white breast
(now I know that in proper English grammar it should read "If I was a blackbird"; however, as with so much of our language, it seems to have become the norm to say "If I Were A Blackbird" so that is what I've stuck with)

This song has been with me for a long time now, and when I made the connection in my mind, it became, for me, the perfect title.


What a beautiful painting of the gull...the negative space works perfectly w/ the way he is positioned on the perch....isn't it amazing when you do a painting and in your mind, there is a song, that's already a part of you which fits perfectly w/ a painting or drawing you have just completed...I LOVE THAT...and a big CONGRATS on being accepted for the competition....applause, applause...
Brent Perkins said…
I really like this painting, especially the lost edges around the bird's body. I think you've captured the essence of gull.
twiddlestix said…
Beautiful Christy! Congrats on having it entered!
Unknown said…
Hi Amy - thank you thank you thank you! The show opens on Saturday, and I already know I didn't win any awards but I'm thrilled that it will be on display in our gallery - white walls, lots of space...nice!
Unknown said…
Hey Brent, thank you for stopping by. It was a hard call with those lost edges...leave them be or go find them? I'm glad I left them alone too.
Unknown said…
Hello Heather, thank you for stopping by. I have been a particularly bad blogger lately but I hope all that will change in the New Year when my portrait commissions slow down. Thanks for the warm wishes and I'll pop on over to your blog soon too.
Anonymous said…
I love your blog and you got an award. Just stop by Toltec Insights to pick it up!
Karen Faulkner said…
Hi Christy, I love this so much!!
OregonArtGuy said…
Beautiful painting - love the title. And just so you'll know - If I were a Blackbird is the correct grammer - honest
Unknown said…
Susan, you're too kind. Thank you so much for the award!
Unknown said…
Karen, I'm glad you like it! I am in the process of having some small prints made for my etsy store.
Unknown said…
Oregon Art Guy - thank you for opening my eyes.

I discovered that if I was referring to something in the past, or in past tense, "If I was" is correct, but in the conditional future, such as the hypothetical musings of a wayward gull, "If I were" is indeed correct.
So glad we cleared that up...now I can get back to painting with a clean mind :-)

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