Monday, April 20, 2009

The Story Behind My "Proud Eagle" Painting

"Proud Eagle"
Acrylic on Wood
Framed: 27.5" x 19.5"

I painted "Proud Eagle" when I was working on a series of paintings for a show that had a Native American theme. I love painting birds and have painted many from my imagination and from watching the birds around me. After it was finished, I decided to dedicate it to my father, Edward Gruger, who died of cancer on Jan. 13th, 2008, and my two nephews. All of them proud Eagle Scouts. My father was especially fond of his memories and accomplishments as a boyscout and would retell stories from this period of his life. My youngest nephew was receiving his eagle scout badge the summer I painted "Proud Eagle" and I was there helping out on the day he did his Eagle Scout project. I was proud of all three of them for committing to becoming and receiving this honor!

I'm very interested in symbolism and learning different meanings behind icons and certain images. There is a lot of symbolism behind the "eagle" image. According to, the Eagle, can carry prayers and many Native American nations consider this bird to possess courage, wisdom, and a special connection to the Creator which echos my thoughts about the eagle. I think of my dad in that way, possessing wisdom and courage. I wanted to paint my eagle with a coat of many colors. And later I found out that a coat of many colors can symbolize a relationship between father and son (Genesis 37). I like the idea of dedicating a painting to these three men and I think of them and their accomplishments when I imagine this painting in my mind. I'm still hoping "Proud Eagle" can find a home with someone who appreciates his coat of many colors and finds beauty in the eagle image!

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