Alan Friend

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A Bird in the Hand


The title is taken from the saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." which is meant to mean that holding on to what you have is better than taking the chance of losing it in order to attain something more desirable. In other words, fear of loss deters you from taking action. My painting goes beyond this saying, depicting not just fear of loss, but fear per se and action. The bird and the hand are each symbolic. The bird represents action and the hand is fear. The painting of a hand grasping a bird is about the universal truth that the desire to take action is, in many instances, held back by fear. The quote from Shakespeare's “Macbeth” is apt. Lady Macbeth says, “Letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would. Like the poor cat i’ the adage?” The poor cat in the adage wanted to eat fish but hesitated to go into the water because it would get its feet wet. We let fear stop us doing what we want to. Acrylic on Board
32.00" h x 30.00" w
Original piece:
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Prints available from

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