If I Could I Would Give You the Bird

30″ x 30″ low relief sculpture / acrylic on mixed media
sami Peterson 2021

I think this piece is about the parts of me that feel like my dad. I tell people the things he says to me and sometimes they respond, “that’s awful.” And I’m confused because I love the things he says. Everything out of my father’s mouth is honest. He is bright yellow in your FACE; he is a quick bird darting or squawking or trying to crack something open. He cracks things open with his clacking beak or by throwing them down on asphalt for the cars to crush. 

I love the ways my dad has taught me to be awful. He taught me to be awful at being a woman. He taught me to defy anyone who sees me as one dimensional. 

So this painting says, “Fuck you!” – in that joyful way you say to a friend who really knows you, or slaps a little sense into you, or just surprises you with loud noises. This painting wants to give you the whole world, or maybe something better with feathers. 

This painting is also about the California Scrub Jay. The bird that gets called Blue its entire life, but really isn’t that fancy. The goofball bird always clamoring for a snack. You know this bird by the way they shout, “Hey!” 

So, hey! Shout something back. 


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