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Warbler Painting

Tiny sweet bird I found in the wetland preserve Loxahatchee Florida WPB.

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To paint a bird's portrait

First of all, paint a cage

with an opened little door

then paint something attractive

something simple

something beautiful

something of benefit for the bird

Put the picture on a tree

in a garden

in a wood

or in a forest

hide yourself behind the tree




Sometimes the bird arrives quickly

but sometimes it takes years

Don't be discouraged


wait for years if necessary

the rapidity or the slowness of the arrival

doesn't have any relationship

with the result of the picture


When the bird comes

if it comes

keep the deepest silence

wait until the bird enters the cage

and when entered in

Close the door softly with the brush

then remove one by the one all the bars

care not to touch any feather of the bird


Then draw the portrait of the tree

choosing the most beautiful branch

for the bird

paint also the green foliage and the coolness

of the beasts of the grass in the summer's heat

and then, wait that the bird starts singing


If the bird doesn't sing

it's a bad sign

it means that the picture is wrong

but if it sings it's a good sign

it means that you can sign


so you tear with sweetness

a feather from the bird

and write your name in a corner of the painting.


Jacques Prévert's poetry)


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Taken on November 23, 2008