Reflections by a Gathering of Friends



An interview with a ‘gathering’ of four friends from a book study class, briefly sharing their individual reflections on an original oil painting entitled “Gathering”

Peggy:  It seems like the title is very apt, and I see it in two senses: the gathering of the birds, the five birds, and the implication that there are many more birds outside the picture. And then the gathering of the waves that gather toward the shore, and then the obvious deepening of the water as it goes out, and the idea that there are many more waves coming from beyond the frame; at the top also.

So there’s this chaotic thing with the waves out here in the water, but the very, very smooth sand has a sense of calming and stability.

Anna:  I see the gathering of five birds, but yet there are two together, and three others looking in different directions, and thinking different things and just calmly observing everything that’s around them. I don’t know if they’re waiting to eat, for food, or for the rest of the group to come.

I particularly love the different colors of the waves coming in, and the different strengths of the waves coming in. Some waves are more forceful, some are more gentle, and I can almost hear the sound of all of that, coming in and then kind of splashing gently on the shore. It’s almost like the gathering of birds are listening to that and observing what’s going on.

As I look out into the deep, that almost scares me. It’s frightening to me, the depth of it, just knowing the depth of it. And it’s kind of different stages of life even; looking out into the depths and being afraid and wondering and the mystery of all that out there, but then the gentleness as those waves come in to the quietness of the shore.

Jan:  The title “Gathering” is appropriate, as Peggy said. Often in a gathering you have a purpose, and these birds are here, gathered, for the purpose of food. When a wave comes up, it will bring little crabs and little things. I don’t even know what’s there that burrows in the sand. Those birds try to catch them before they can get very deep. So I see them there gathering for a purpose, and unlike what Anna said, I see the promise in it because the wave that’s coming may bring a whole feast for them. They don’t know. But they’re there waiting and that’s so indicative of birds and what they do on the seashore. But I also, like Anna, can hear the sounds, and smell the smells, and your picture evokes that sea experience beyond just what you can just see.

Deborah:  The whole painting speaks to me of serenity and tranquility, calmness but yet there is an anticipation there. I love to look out to the water. This evokes the beauty of the creation of the sea for me. It represents a natural phenomenon that was created by God, and it always brings me closer to him when I consider it, and the varying things that go on in the sea that you can’t see underneath. Your colors are just magnificent, beautiful and varied. I like the linear quality of them coming across; it gives a very balanced picture. I love that these little birds are gathering at that seashore, all aware of what’s going on with the other, although they appear to be looking in various directions. They’re waiting in anticipation for something to be brought, the sea to provide for them, and yet they’re together because this is what they do and they enjoy their company. It’s a very natural thing. And they are very calm with each other. They’re happy to be there, content.

And just as a person looking into this picture, you know we’ve seen this scene before on the seashore, and we’re intrigued with that natural element of nature, how nature feeds nature. And it just gives me a very good sense of well-being and beauty in the harmony of everything. How it all works together.

Thank you for reading their reflections, and please join the dialogue by adding your own comments and observations below.

“Gathering” (pictured above as a Framed Canvas Giclee reproduction) is available at










  1. Deborah Keys

    Thank you Rosemary for sharing the unique beauty and expression of your art. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in giving you and others my impressions of your lovely work.
    “Gathering” brought back idyllic memories of my childhood spent on Long Island shores. This was a very special time for me, and I want to thank you again for helping me to remember it. Keep creating dear one.

  2. Dear Deborah,

    We share the love of the Long Island shores growing up, and so I am honored you shared your reflections of this painting. When we are willing to voice our impressions, they can come from such great depths and draw on years of experience, to hopefully be meaningful and helpful to others, as well as healing overall by the mere fact that it may encourage others to express their thoughts and feelings that may otherwise remain unvoiced. Thank you!

Leave a Reply to Rosemary Begley Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *