Monday, August 17, 2015

It's All In the Story

Bermuda Rooster
Photo, Ed Galda

It's all in the story.

Okay, so I get an email from my cousin Ed, well not really my cuz, he's my cousin's husband, asking me to do a painting of a rooster based on the above photo.

First thought: What's not right here?  The rooster is mostly in shade and he's just a tiny part of this photo. So I'm not really sure what he wants. 

 But then, he gives me the story and I totally get it. Here are some tidbits  you need to know.  My cousin's daughter, April, is a professional athlete. She races all over the world in cycling races.  I love my cousin and her husband to the moon and back and the fact that they are her hugest fans is totally cool.

He tells me what happened and why he wants the painting and that is everything I need to bring his story to life. 

Here's what he wrote to me:

"Here's the story behind it.  On Father's Day 2013 we were in Bermuda.  April had a bicycle race (Bermuda national championships) and volunteered her father to be driven to a street up in the hills, given a stop sign and a vest, and told to control traffic at a tricky intersection (with no bathroom and little shade) for 3 hours.  I would step under some trees off the road periodically and this chicken seemed to take exception to my presence.  I turned to look at him and was met with this aggressive pose.  It's one of my favorite Bermuda stories"

Well, once I knew he had an aggressive rooster story to tell I was on it.  Here is my take on his story.

Bermuda Rooster
acrylic on canvas
©Maggie Ruley 2015

When I painted his rooster I was very careful to keep the coloring and the stance the same as his photo but I had to bring the rooster's face into the light so I could give it a mean glare.

P.S.  I loved how he would stand in the middle of nowhere for his daughter and face down a rooster.  We have lots of roosters in Key West.  They can be tough.

P.P.S.  Here is the testimonial I got from him when he received the painting.
"Love the painting more and more each time I look at it.  You did capture everything so well.  You've moved up on my list of favorite artists and are now ahead of Monet, tied with Miro, but still behind Van Gogh and Delacroix."

Really?  Tied with Miro?   I love Monet, not a fan of Miro.


  1. Really like your interpretation of the photo. Always eager to see your latest painting!

  2. Wonderful interpretation of the photo! Commissions are so hard, but you nailed it!
    I should have now this wasn't a Key West chicken because it didn't turn it's back to the camera!


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