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The Story of Naomi the Pelican

We knew the house was ours when we saw her. She was sitting by the edge of the pool, watching over the yard. We both felt something. A spark of joy. 

Her body was made of stone... but not her soul.  

She was pale, she needed color. 

“You have to paint her,” my husband whispered to me. I took a deep breath. I knew I would some day. 

She had so much energy. We were going to make her come to life.

I’m referring to this pelican sculpture. 

To someone else, the sculpture may have been a burden. It hadn’t been moved in years. The paint below her didn’t match the rest of the pool deck. 100 lbs of solid concrete.

For us? We bought a pelican and a house came with it. 

I freaking love pelicans. They remind me of happy times on the boat, at the beach, near the water. When they soar, their wingspan is magnificent. Majestic. A beautiful bird. 

They are a symbol of motherhood and self-sacrifice, known to be extremely attentive to their young. I have some real fresh experience with that.

When a pelican crosses your path, you are supposed to get rid of your negative feelings. (I’m not making this can google it.)


It took me 8 months to finally paint her. I needed to think about what I wanted her to look like. She would live at the edge of the pool, but where? I wanted to see her all the time. From the kitchen, the living room, the backyard, especially while I was in the pool. 

I used these pics from google for inspiration. 

It took me a day to paint her. 

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

As I was painting her, I started to ponder the value of art. My husband used to install really expensive artwork in Miami. He handled a piece once that cost $20M.


He picked up the piece at the Miami airport, followed by an armed guard with an uzi. They followed his truck an hour back to the warehouse to inspect the painting. Insurance agents went over every detail, while the guard stood there holding a machine gun. To protect a painting. Why? How? What makes one piece of art cost that much money? Is it the artist? Is it the actual art? 


I thought about staging her in some fancy houses, in an attempt to create this myth of prestige for a pelican that we essentially got for free. 

How much could I sell this pelican for? $500? $10,000? $2,000,000? 

Truth is, I would never sell her. She’s so special to me. She reignited my creativity. I admire her daily. Staring at her makes me happy. 

How much is that worth? 

I started gardening the week after I painted her. Now I’m selling Fun Garden Flags on the internet.

You can buy as many of those as you want. 

But the pelican, IT’S NOT FOR SALE, FRANCIS!

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