Surprise friends

surprise friends

A few years ago, someone send me a postcard that I loved so much (I cannot find it and don’t remember who the artist was, I am sorry to say). I tried to paint it…my version (above) I have entitled “surprise friends”…it was my fist attempt at painting with gouache, a type of watercolor paint, which is much more difficult to control than oil or acrylic. It was hard for me to let it flow. The original had a pig but no other animals. I tried to paint a cat but a rabbit just kept coming out. I would paint over the rabbit, trying to “fashion” a cat, and the rabbit would almost re-appear. Finally I just left it,  realizing that it had more of an idea about who it was than I did.

I cannot take credit for the wonderful simplicity of this painting ….that was the idea of the original artist. But where did that little rabbit come from?! I keep this painting on my desk. It reminds me that I am never alone…that something wonderful is flowing through, and connecting me, and every one of us.  And although I may at times think that I know what it is, or what it should look like, very often, it offers a wonderful surprise!

18 thoughts on “Surprise friends”

  1. Thank you Alice! Your comment reminded me of one of my favorite Rumi poems, The Guest House.

    The Guest House

    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight.

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
    meet them at the door laughing,
    and invite them in.

    Be grateful for whoever comes,
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

    ~ Rumi ~

  2. WOW to your art… I especially love your story and especially love the composition of the piece..the bunny ears.. the bunny spirit all add to this beautiful piece of art…The house at the side.. the star..Can you tell I love it!
    and then there is Rumi’s “The Guest House”…Smiles from the heart! I “need” to post both in several locations.. Thank you.. Thank you! It is a sun filled day..inside and out! Thank you!

  3. I love this painting. It has so many elements of simplicity and beauty. Shooting star across the night sky brings wonder, expectant anticipation.
    On the corner the pig and rabbit, their face so closer together reminds me of all the simple blessings surrounds us all around but we fail to see so easily. It kindles friendship among our differences and reminds us we can live together if we don’t insist our agendas. Animals don’t have agenda but live by instinct but they are more consistent in their behavior than human being. Simply live according to their created nature.

  4. Mary,
    Don’t you have enough cats to look at without adding another in a painting? The painting is pretty darn good by the way. The touch that sets the simple painting off the surprise of a shooting star. Your post somehow gets me thinking about Luke your dog. Surrounded by cats and apparently happy because it is what he knows. My daughter put one duck in with her chickens. A year later she added a few more ducks. The first duck still hangs out with the chickens. Not sure what all this cat, dog, duck, chicken stuff is leading too. Other than we cling to the things we love and know. Even attempting to resurrect them as you did with the postcard. Then don’t ya know it the joy we find stepping outside our boundaries. Surprise we are not alone. So good day to all you birds of a feather. And will the rabbit in this bunch please hop forward.

  5. I guess that “someone” agreed with you that we have enough cats!
    Hopping, skipping and jumping into this new week!

    1. There ya are Ms Rabbit.
      You must be a shaman rabbit if you have vision enough to comprehend my dry sense of humor. I do like cats by the way. Would have a cat or two if I wasn’t so dog poor.

  6. I love, love, love your very own rendition of the painting. It’s master-fully accomplished in it’s simplicity!

  7. After doing every other boring e-chore, I save Mary’s new missive for last and eagerly click on White Feather Farm to read her latest gem, and then with as much anticipation, the comments from her birds of a feather (good one Grampy!) – What a contagious joy we are all sharing – Alice’s phrase “surprise visitors” in turn jogging your recollection Mary of a favorite Rumi poem. And your painting! I love the blessing of the shooting star on Pig and Little Bunny’s late night encounter. I was curious if your painting would enlarge when I clicked on it and sure enough it did! And many flowers that were not noticeable on the regular screen suddenly became visible. I am going to print this out along with the poem and keep them on my little alter of special things. Thank you Mary! Thank you all, dear friends. What a way to start the day. May this month of May bring everyone many more delights such as we have been treated to this morning. Susan

  8. This is a really good painting, I didn’t know you could do that.
    I can imagine the rabbit resurfacing again and again. It’s great you gave into him.

  9. If a cat wants to be a rabbit, then s/he should be a rabbit! This is a beautiful picture, Mary. Maybe you could make prints, and sell it in your web-shop?

    Hugs to all!

  10. I would love if you made this into a print and available to purchase. It’s beautiful, and again it brings to mind, as have some of your other photos, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

  11. Yes, please, a print would be wonderful to have. The picture says so much, from the heart

  12. It’s been a long day….ending it with your post. Love the Rumi poem and your painting.

  13. I agree with the other posters that you should make reproductions of this to sell. It’s captivating!

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