St Francis Counsels the Birds

St. Francis Counsels the Birds
Oil on canvas


Ca. 12th Century.  St. Francis was remarkable in his ability to see  through the trappings of his culture and focus on those things which were truly important.  He is well known for his unique understanding of animals in nature as creatures worthy of our love and attention.  Here Francis is teaching the birds.

The model for St. Francis is my neighbor Dallas who has been my neighbor for the last 25 years. As he was posing with the small blue bird, he asked what his expression should be. I told him a little about the Giotto panel of St Francis preaching to the birds which was my inspiration. He began to talk to the little stuffed bird like a father to his child, admonishing it for coming home so late last night. That was when I chose the title for this piece.