Northern Cardinal

Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red. Two exotic colors for this beautiful bird.

Painted on 9 x 12 Arches Watercolor Pad using the above mentioned colors as well as Buff Titanium, Burnt Umber, Gray, Indigo, Lamp Black, White Gouache, and Yellow Ochre.

Cardinal sightings are said to carry spiritual meanings. I have never given much credence to such things until after the passing of my sister. Work became my escape. I had to work, people were depending on me and it helped keep my mind occupied. But one day not long after her death, I was touring a home with a new family. They were excited, this was going to be their new home! As we toured the house and returned to the living room, the mom said, “Oh look! A Cardinal!” I am looking out the front window but I don’t see it. She said, “No, in here! It’s in here with us!” I turned back to look, and there it was, circling the room, in silence it flew around us. We opened the front door and it left as quietly as it had entered. And in the stillness as we watched that beautiful redbird, I felt peace.

Many people have relayed their stories of visits from cardinals and how it brings them hope and comfort. I am not sure about the spirituality of just one bird, but I do believe in the spirituality within all living things. So, yes, I look for cardinals everywhere I go. And just in case it can deliver a message, I say,

“Hello Sister.”



  1. A comforting story. I also love cardinals, for their singing from treetops, especially this time of year.
    Your painting is lovely. The cardinal’s pose is expressive.

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