Oh, The Irony

Hello, Pigments!  It’s been a while.  As you may know, I’ve been primarily blogging over at Better Here With You, but I decided to stop back in with an art related post.

Eric and I celebrated our sixth anniversary last month.  Eric is not a huge gift person.  He doesn’t really care about getting them or giving them, but I wanted to try to think of something that he would appreciate.  He has been so good at giving me anniversary gifts over the years even though it’s not his natural inclination.  Something that we did together this summer was watch the HBO John Adams miniseries (does anyone else like to pronounce “miniseries” like it’s one word?  Min-NIZ-urreez).  The series intro gets me all hyped up when I see it.  It features many of the flags that were prominent in the Revolutionary War.

Eric and I both love the Join or Die flag with the red and gold, so I decided to replicate it for him on a canvas.  And just for good measure, I decided to do the Gadsden flag as well.  Using a projector and a pencil, I traced the two images onto 18″x24″ canvases.  Then I took the two canvases outside and sprayed them with fixative so that I could apply a wash of burnt sienna over the pencil.  When I was bringing the canvases back inside, I tripped on one and snapped the wooden frame.  AND!!!!….

Guess which one it was!!!


I TROD ON THE GADSDEN FLAG!! Oh, the irony is just too much.  My favorite part is the big footprint to the left of the snake.

Although I was really annoyed at myself for being so careless, I decided to forge ahead and focus on the other one.  I used acrylic paint, oil paint, and gold enamel spray paint to complete it.  I think that HBO might have added the red and gold to the original image.


As far as I know, this image was not a flag, but a cartoon drawn by Benjamin Franklin during the French and Indian War.  There was an old superstition that a snake cut into pieces would come alive again if the pieces were joined together before sunset.  It was supposed to illustrate the importance of the colonies joining together with Britain to defeat the French and Native Americans.  During the Revolutionary War, it symbolized the importance of the colonies joining up against Britain to fight for their freedom as an independent nation.   Just as the meaning of the cartoon changed over the course of time, I believe it can still be a symbol that is relevant today.  I think it could symbolize the importance of states’ rights and the necessity of joining up against a federal government that is taking away our freedom more every day.  The federal government has been–and is repeatedly– ignoring the Constitution designed to keep us free from the tyranny of a runaway government.

So, the end result was a success.  Not because I was super creative (because let’s be honest, I copied the image), but because Eric loved it.  My goal was to create a piece that would inspire him, and somehow it does.


About Melody

My name is Melody Martin. Check out my art blog, and learn all about the steps and techniques that go into oil paintings.
This entry was posted in Musings, Painting Update and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Oh, The Irony

  1. Lynna Ross says:

    Loved the mini series. Love the flags!

  2. Erika says:

    Wow, Mel! So talented! I have to say I laughed a little bit at the irony of it all…but NOT that it was dropped! =)

    It looks great!

  3. Eric Martin says:

    I’m very impressed, and I get to look at it in person right now. Thanks so much. The picture doesn’t do it justice. The gold really glistens.

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