Transfiguration (the Crow Painting)

acrylic and chicken wire on canvas
8 feet by 10 feet
painted circa 1982 in rebellion to galleries of "pretty pictures" while 
a student at Cooper Union

by Joanna Hyde

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 In A Golden Cage

Lives My Bird Named Sam

He Likes Fruit

But Doesn’t Like Ham

He Has A Red Neck

And Is Green As Can Be

When I Look At Him

He Looks At Me

I Wouldn’t Like A Parrot

The Colour Of A Carrot —

I’d Only Like Sam

Who Doesn’t Like Ham

"I wrote when I was nine and recited it to Mrs. Lee's 4th grade class at Valley Cottage Elementary in 1971."
Joanna Hyde
January 12, 2012 The Hawk

Artist’s Note:

The Bird named Sam was a Christmas present when I was nine years old and infatuated with a pair of love birds my mother could not afford.  She had tried to warn me off them by asking, “What if you had the Love Birds and one of them died?” 

So as a complete surprise she bought an Indian Ringneck Parakeet for me to find Christmas morning.  However, as I named him Sam, He was to die that evening last remembered lying on the bottom of His Golden Cage.  

The pet store owner, feeling sorry for both the mother and daughter, replaced Sam with Sam’s “brother” who survived and is the pet described in this poem.

January 12th 2012   The Hawk


  1. kzoodedoo

    Whoa…I absolutely LOVE this painting Joanna…
    I forgot what it really looked like…
    I’m totally thrilled to re-see it!
    Wow! I want it! Whaaa!

    • Joanna Gilman Hyde Blair

      Thank you so much Joy — I’m starting to see your paintings in other things besides that sunrise — I love yelling out, “There’s another Jill Joy painting!” (One specifically is a brief winter shot of a bank of bare trees in the David Lean film Doctor Zhivago)

      • Jill Joy

        That’s so great…it made me laugh out loud. It would be fun if you could post the “Jill Joy Paintings” that you see around you. I find it deeply flattering some how. Especially since lately I feel like I’m painting the atmosphere…inside me and around me.

        I once wrapped a painting in chicken wire. I was working at the Vermont Studio Center on a month long artist residency/retreat. I felt totally trapped up there working on a clock w/ other artists around and the chicken wire was an expression of that. I think I dismantled that piece.

  2. pointsthruprose

    Magnificent. This bird actually stares you down. I love the close ups of the faces (and I see many) This is one of those pieces that is worthy of a bench and a prime location in a gallery.

      • Jill Joy

        I agree w/ Jackie. I found this piece totally exhibition worthy. And it is ironic I suppose. But being true to ourselves rather than going w/ the grain is the highest form of art in my opinion.

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