I had a basic idea of this painting, but I had to meditate on the bird. Peacock came in immediately. Peacock symbolizes dreaming of all you can be without limits and embracing infinite possibility. It also symbolizes, grace, dignity, self expression, and perfect timing.

While researching, I came across this video:

I’m not certain if this is the animal’s real coloring, but I came across a handful of other red peacock images online, and I thought, that is my peacock! Red is energy and movement, and it was perfect for this painting.

Obviously, this painting is about my political beliefs, but also my hope. Corporations have been cannibalizing the US government for years, to the detriment of its citizens, and not only has this accelerated, we have people in power who are trying to tear down the whole thing and replace it with something more authoritarian if they can. Sure, that’s my opinion. I feel like November 7, 2016 was the end of something that was great, albeit imperfect. (For those who don’t know, flying the flag upside down is a sign of distress.)

This painting is about hope, though. I think we’re in for a rough ride, but I think the majority of Americans do not want a country despoiled by corporate interests, where people only get care and education if they have lots of money, and where some groups are told they don’t belong. Something has ended, but I think we can rebuild. The peacock is also the closest living bird to the mythical phoenix, which rises from the ashes. Yes, we have some ruins. But there is a fire in our spirit that wants to rebuild something that works for everyone, and not just the few. Perhaps Trump will be the catalyst that wakes us up and moves us forward, although not in the direction he thinks. Time will tell.

The original is for sale.

“Hope,” a watercolor and pen painting by Asha Hawkesworth

Writer, painter, cat fancier, troublemaker, democratic socialist, & antifascist.

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