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When Pigs Fly September 27, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor.

alice26thOnce upon a time, I decided to paint a zebra.

My Inner Critic (an outspoken naysayer) admonished and remonstrated with me (using his ever-clever kindergarten-style taunt), “You can’t paint a zebra.”

“Why not?”

“You don’t know HOW to paint a zebra.”

“Sure I do.  Why don’t you take a hike across the Serengeti while I paint?”

“Fine.  Be that way!  But don’t blame me when you fall flat on your face.”

He left.  I painted.

* * * * *

I asked the zebra, Are you black with white strips? Or white with black strips?
And the zebra asked me:
Are you good with bad habits? Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times? Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with sad days? Or are you sad with happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?  Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on
And on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra about stripes again.
~ Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic

* * * * *

Fast forward 15 years ~ here’s the painting I told a few of you about yesterday:


Are there tell-tale mistakes, splatters of paint, and skewed perspectives?

Yup . . . and that’s OK.  I wasn’t looking to paint a perfect zebra the first time out of the barn.

In fact, my Inner Critic tells me I’ll paint a PERFECT zebra when Pigs Fly!


I expect he’s right.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  We Are The Champions (Andra) * Silence The Inner Critic


1. Crowing Crone Joss - September 27, 2013

oh the joy of silencing that inner critic and going ahead with what you want to do. Fun, isn’t it?

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

That’s why I love this painting so much . . . it’s the first time I really tuned in to my Inner Critic and told him to “Shut it!” :mrgreen:

Whether we believe we can, or believe we can’t, we’re right.

2. Pix Under the Oaks - September 27, 2013

I think the zebras have sweet faces and I love their eyelashes.. 🙂
Love the whimsy of your Pigs Fly painting!
Good Morning Nancy!

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

Thanks, Pix. As much as we love watching birds fly by, it would be disconcerting to see a pig soaring through the pale blue yonder. 😯

Pix Under the Oaks - September 27, 2013

Thanks Nancy.. 😉

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

I just missed a FANTASTIC photo op ~ eight ducks floating across the lagoon with a FLYING FISH in the background.

So, even if PIGS can FLY . . . fish can!

3. ericjbaker - September 27, 2013

Pretty good for a first try! I might be able to come up with something like that on the 150th attempt, if all the stars and planets aligned.

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

Actually . . . there was a false start before this one. On the reverse side of the painting, you’ll find my first sketch of a zebra which looked less equine and more anorexic porcine. In short, not worth painting. 😉

My inner critic had a field day when he saw it, “Told ya!”

4. Grannymar - September 27, 2013

As my granny would say: I can draw a chair across the floor, so I love your paintings the Zebras look real to me.

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

Thanks, Grannymar. Interesting that you (a granny) are quoting your granny.

Time flies, even if pigs don’t.

Grannymar - September 27, 2013

Nancy, my granny made a great impact on my life and I still quote her regularly, forty five years after her death. I on the other hand, am not yet a real granny, it is an honorary title conferred on me in my mid twenties.

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

I wondered about that . . . because you’ve mentioned your daughter but never grandkids.

5. Don - September 27, 2013

Who gives a sh… for the inner critic. Beautiful picture, Nancy.

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

Thanks, Don . . . and I couldn’t agree more. The still silent voice is the voice of reason. The Inner Critic is just a bunch of Hot Air.

6. kateshrewsday - September 27, 2013

I wonder if a perfect zebra would look unnatural, Nancy; if nature builds in imperfections as an integral part of their beauty?

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

That’s probably the case, Kate. As we all know, cats are the only purr-fect creatures on the planet. The best the rest of us can hope for is “practically perfect in every way.”

You know, like Mary Poppins. 😉

7. bluebee - September 27, 2013

Such sweet zebras 🙂

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

Thanks, BB. I’m a big fan of horses wearing striped pajamas. 😀

8. Maggie - September 27, 2013

Those are lovely zebras!

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

Thanks, Maggie. Zebras are such delightful subjects for painting and photography.

9. shreejacob - September 27, 2013

Bet your inner critic came back, took one look at the awesome painting, pouted and sat in a corner quietly? 😉 It’s a beautiful painting 😀
That Zebra poem…yea..not going to even think of thinking of asking that question…lol.

nrhatch - September 27, 2013

It was the end of an era for my Inner Critic, Shree. I never took him quite as seriously after ignoring him the first time.

Shel Silverstein wrote some fantastic poems. This is a fave!

10. Andra Watkins - September 27, 2013

Your zebra far exceeds whatever I could do, Nancy. Bravo.

nrhatch - September 28, 2013

Thanks, Andra. Painting is one of the most peaceful pastimes I know ~ time stand stills and I select the next color and the next and the next. The journey is so rewarding that the final destination matters little.

11. Ruth - September 28, 2013

Good to think about. Like your zebras very much.

nrhatch - September 28, 2013

Thanks, Ruth! Have a wonderful Saturday. We’re off to celebrate National Public Lands day.

12. Three Well Beings - September 29, 2013

Oh I just love your artistic ability! There is no way my zebras would even look like a real animal! When my kids were little I’d amuse them with drawing for them while we waited at appointments. It would get us laughing so hard because I can’t draw. They still tease me about my horses. I start laughing just thinking about it. I have an inner critic that does pop round rather regularly to chide me about a lot of things, but more and more frequently I do tell him to go away!

nrhatch - September 29, 2013

Thanks, Debra. The first zebra I drew (on the back of the painting) is hysterical looking ~ your kids would have had a field day laughing at it. But I just turned the paper over and started over . . . going more slowly.

I’m glad that you keep your inner critic in line ~ if you give him an inch, he’ll take a mile. 😉

13. jannatwrites - September 30, 2013

I love the eyelashes on the zebras! Your inner critic was wrong…hope it realized that while it hiked the Serengeti 🙂 I say mistakes make it visually interesting. Perfection is over-rated (good thing, because it’s impossible to reach.)

nrhatch - September 30, 2013

Yes! In my teens, I wanted to be “perfect” until I realized that no one would want to be around a “perfect person.” Very liberating thought. Now when I make mistakes, I’m sure to point them out to those around me. 😛

Speaking of the Serengeti . . . what about a Hot Air Balloon ride just above the tree tops?

14. Sandra Bell Kirchman - September 30, 2013

Great painting, Nancy. For some reason it puts me in mind of Rex Harrison’s Dr. Dolittle in the 1967 movie, and his song “Talk to the Animals”. Probably because it looks like those zebras can talk fluent Zebrish 😉

nrhatch - September 30, 2013

Thanks, Sandra! I’m grinning from ear to ear ~ I LOVE Dr. Dolittle almost as much as Dr. Seuss. And the only thing better than talking to a “chimpan chimpanzee” would be chatting with a cheetah or, better still, Zebra! :mrgreen:

15. Stuff By Us | Spirit Lights The Way - December 30, 2014

[…] * Making Your Dreams Come True * What Have You Created Lately? * Why Do We Keep Stuff? * When Pigs Fly * Adults Have All The Fun . . . […]

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