Of Robin's and Foxes

As many of you noticed, last year in particular, I started creating many artworks that depicted foxes and robins. I began to look at this pattern and wondered if it had some type of subconscious significance.

So firstly, I like the fox in general – it’s sleek like a cat, with cat-like behaviour and they really are quite adorable. However, when looking into the fox, we see initially that the fox is cunning, sneaky and always seen as the predator, stealing the chickens from the hen house – but let’s dig deeper again – the fox is adaptable, resilient and clever. These are characteristics we all should embody.

When I started painting robins, I chose them because they were a sweet little European bird. I had been travelling around Ireland, fell in love with the place and dearly wanted to go back. Initially, the robin for me represented the UK and Ireland and my passion for them. I also see the bird as symbol of freedom. I had conquered a big fear – travelling someone major on my own. I found freedom in that.

Historically the robin tends to now represent the coming of spring and also is used extensively throughout Great Britain to represent Christmas. This came about because the postmen of the time wore red coats and were called “Robins”. However, digging deeper into folk-tale and legend, the robin has been used quite significantly in various cultures. But probably the tale that pops up the most is in British and Irish Christian folktales. The robin tried to fan the flame on the fire to keep the infant Jesus warm on a cold night and she scolded her breast, or more often mentioned, the robin felt for Jesus on the cross and began to try and pluck out the thorns surrounding his head, resulting in his blood touching her.

Yes another account mentions how she sang to ease his suffering on the cross and when she came close, she got some of Jesus blood on her breast.

Whichever way you look at these, they all have something in common. The robin was a seemingly ordinary little brown bird, she freely offered what she had though, and then when she was touched by God, she was emblazoned with her amazing orange/red breast. We are all very much like this robin as Christians. We might think we are just ordinary boring brown birds – what do we have to really offer? But the truth is, if we give whatever we have, offer whatever talent we’ve got, then we can receive a touch of God and something amazing will happen. This bird is famous internationally – it is recognized, it is seen. This bird is not a nobody – and neither are any of us! So spread those little robin wings and offer what you have to the world. Offer what you have to God! And watch Him do amazing things through you!

The robin is now something I hold very dear – and I can see myself using it more in future paintings. So, now, I will introduce again all the paintings that depict this bird in order, and share a little bit about what I was thinking when I painted it. So far, all my robin paintings have been significant to me.


(Click on any of the images of the paintings to see the speed-video of their creation)


My first robin painting was “Gilded Freedom”. This was a painting straight from the heart for me, and would start my series and fascination with the robin as a subject. “Gilded Freedom” was quite raw at the time, and represented the feelings of being trapped, even though we are technically “free”. Through my journaling over the last year, I have come to realize that we are often trapped by our own mindsets. Just like an elephant who was raised with an iron-chain, still feels trapped wh