Thursday, November 26, 2009

His Eye Is On the Sparrow

I have been working through the stormy weather as the rain blatters against the studio windows and the furniture on the roof deck rumbles around above me in the wind. This is weather for anguish. Weather for heartache. The glowering clouds sometimes part at sunset revealing a bruised sky of such breathtaking beauty it is like a revelation.

I cut some sunflower stalks and brought them into the studio. One is seven feet tall and I keep walking into it by accident, crashing it to the ground in a machine-gun spray of little black seeds and twisted leaves. It's a mess up there.

I have been listening to a church song, though I am not a believer in the comforts of religion. I do believe in music and in nature and in friendships. "His Eye Is On the Sparrow" is about finding solace in a difficult environment.

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

You can see the great Mahalia Jackson sing it here.

This painting will be shown at the opening of a new store here in Seattle called "Finch and Sparrow", so I painted the two birds as friends having a conversation in their beautiful surroundings. (There will be an opening party for the store Friday, 27th from 4-8 and you are invited!) I hope that people don't find these dead sunflowers too sad. To me the complexity of the leaves is so much more gorgeous than the simplicity of summer perfection. This is a painting about what is really beautiful. Not sugar - but spice.

(I haven't moved the arbutus mural out of the studio yet and am waiting to do so before I photograph it. I haven't forgotten to post it)


  1. Beautiful! Beautiful!! I have been kinda "blah" again and you have given me insiration to get out my oils. Great site! Robin from The Flying Orchid.

  2. Thank you so much for coming to our Soiree last night and we all LOVED the painting. And we're gonna SELL it and let you have a clear wall to get inspired!

    John & Neil