Friday, May 20, 2016

"Animo" - Rooster Painting Review

As I look at this rooster painting, my eye is drawn to two things. First, I am impressed by his step forward. Second, I am impressed with the light that surrounds the crown of his head. I believe that these two pieces of the painting are connected, and teach us how making decisions impacts our mental state. An enlightened mind is a result of a decision made, and not the other way around.

By placing a foot on the path, this rooster is charting a course. He is announcing his intended direction in a way that is unmistakable. But it starts with the foot, planted firmly as a declaration of decision.

Now consider the backdrop. Before he made his decision, he was in the murky world of indecision. This is represented by the darker, more muddy paint around the tail feathers. This is a place where time slips through our fingers and little is accomplished. In order to accomplish anything, we must leave this place. But there is opposition. Before we make a decision, we are assailed by second-guessing, self-checking, fears, doubts and misgivings that dishearten us, and convince us it would be better to decide nothing. This is represented by the multi-colored umbra near the crest of his back. The rooster is emerging from this place. By making a decision and stepping forward, his mind bursts from the envelope of doubt like a child from the womb. Where before he was darkened, he is filled with light, confidence and understanding. When we make a decision, in spite of all the swirling arguments against it, there is light that fills our minds.

This rooster has emerged from the dismal marshes of indecision, and as a result, light pulses from his confident countenance.

"Animo" is the Spanish word for "courage, energy and enthusiasm." And that is what I feel when I look at this painting.


  1. Prior to my husbands death from cancer, we purchased property in rural TN. We raised chickens/roosters. I had one particular rooster (Cogburn) who was my "guardian of the yard", and protected me from the other, nastier roosters. I see both Cogburn and myself in this painting. Cogburn, because he was so confident and protective of me, and myself in moving forward with life, without my husband. Thanks so much for this.

    1. You're an inspiration, Mary. Warm regards and best wishes.