Mixed Media | 43.5 x 43.5 cm | Framed
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” ― Marie Curie
So, something happened a couple of weeks’ ago. A misunderstanding. Not a big one. It was more one of those awkward moments that leave you feeling a little unsettled afterwards. I found it initially a little hard to settle so I decided to paint it out.
I immediately decided a magpie would be the perfect choice. Partly because I love painting them. However as far as I’m concerned, I also think it’s the ultimate misunderstood Australian bird. I can’t help but think that deep down it’s seeking to be understood. Symbolically it checks out too. Whilst magpies are generally a symbol of joy, lasting fortune and love, they also signify trickery and deception. It’s easy to see with such disparate traits that they’re sure to experience their own feathery misunderstandings from time to time…
While the bird was easy, finding an suitable plant to accompany it wasn’t quite as simple. It took a day or two, however I I eventually came across the Australian native mistletoe. Given it appeared in Google as the ‘No. 1 Misunderstood Australian plant’ it was clearly the perfect choice. The reason why this poor plant is so misunderstood? Turns out that people think because it’s technically a parasite that it means it’s bad for the environment. However it turns out that the plant is actually quite the opposite, it supports a number of animals and actually gives positive purpose to weed trees if it happens to grow in one. Learn something new every day. Once I understood the importance of this plant I had a whole new respect for the species and the important role it plays in helping to sustain the ecosystem.
Butterflies were included in the background to signify our ability to transform ourselves in response to any situation that may arise in order to make our life better. While others may not always understand us, we can certainly strive to understand ourselves. From that comes growth.
I must say that I felt so much better by the time I’d finished painting this artwork. Thank you magpie for understanding. Thank you mistletoe for standing with me in solidarity. It’s nice to not feel as alone in the world of (the occasionally) misunderstood.