The Harpist: artwork that inspired the family saga, “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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In the fourth chapter of The Bird that Sang in Color, Vincent tells Donna and Frank that the harp is the only instrument he still needs to learn. He reiterates this aspiration again in Chapter Eight. By Chapter Nine, he’s learned this

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The Security Guard: artwork that inspired the family saga, “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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The picture above comes from the actual sketchbook that inspired me to write my novel, The Bird That Sang in Color. In fact, all of the drawings I’ve been featuring in this latest blog series come from this same sketchbook. This drawing

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The Guitar Player: artwork that inspired the family saga, “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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Although Vincent played a variety of instruments, his favorite was the guitar. When Donna sees this picture, she thinks of all the times he played the guitar for her and remembers him saying his favorite phrase, “I’ve been

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The Priest: the artwork that inspired the family saga, “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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The drawing of Vincent during his short time in a seminary shows him looking out like he’d rather be anywhere else. As in all his pictures, Donna is amazed at how he was able to convey such feeling and emotion with a few strokes of a

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The Music in the Family Saga, “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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The theme of music pervades The Bird that Sang in Color.  The story begins and ends in music and music is played throughout with various instruments and albums. But there isn’t only music in a literal sense. There is also the music of

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The House Painter: the artwork that inspired the family saga, “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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Vincent’s sketchbook was a sort of pictorial autobiography with drawings conveying the simple, but rich life he led. During much of his lifetime, Donna encouraged him to do more in terms of pursuing a career but he chose to live life on

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The Dulcimer Player: the artwork that inspired the family saga, “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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In chapter two of The Bird that Sang in Color, Donna sees Vincent playing a dulcimer in his room while listening to one of his favorite bands, The Incredible String Band. Several years later, she sees the above picture in the sketchbook of his

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The Baker: artwork that inspired the family saga, “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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In the third chapter of The Bird that Sang in Color, Donna challenges Vincent’s decision to accept a baking job, saying that he could do so much more. About a week later, she tastes homemade bread that he baked and marvels and “how

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The Fiddler: artwork that inspired the family saga, “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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I chose to use this image as the cover of my book because I believed that more than any other picture in the sketchbook, it most closely captured the true essence of my brother. He was a simple person, but not in the sense that he wasn’t

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The Protester: artwork that inspired the family saga, “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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One of the pictures that Donna finds in her brother’s sketchbook is one of him in his protesting days. As someone who has participated in many anti-war protests, I am deeply moved by this drawing. War, I believe, is the single must

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