Florida grasshopper sparrow

Florida grasshopper sparrow

image source




I’m considering the kind promise “I will forgive with wild abandon” this month, so I searched to find what endangered animal might speak to forgiveness. An article on symbols of forgiveness mentioned the sparrow, so I searched on endangered sparrows and came up with this bird.

The species with down to account of 80 when several organizations in Florida started a program of captive breeding and releases. Now the population is up to 120, it’s still an endangered bird, but there is hope. Shrinking habitat remains a threat, as does climate change.


It bugs me that:

  • the sky looks dirty. I flipped the paper upside down to paint it and I think the brush picked up some dark from the easel. Solution: clean the easel before I paint next time.
  • The eye has more white in it than I would like. I used friskit – a resist medium – to paint the white areas. It came off when I wanted it to in some areas, but not all. It might have been better not to use the medium.
  • The index finger is half the size of the second finger. This is a mistake on my part. I just get to forgive myself and move on.

I’m happy about:

  • The painting overall. The prairie looks like a prairie. The bird looks like a bird.
  • I enjoyed using different brush strokes to indicate the different types of feathers on the bird.
  • The bird has volume.


  • it’s helpful to begin with the intention of accepting and enjoying the process. I did enjoy the act of painting more this time than in any of last year’s paintings.
  • Painting is a forgiveness practice for me. I am constantly letting go of the image I imagine I can paint and accepting the image that is arising. Making paintings snippets for the newsletter helps me celebrate the finished product.

Posted on

January 30, 2023

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