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154 Galah Art


Galah is sometimes used as a derogatory Australian slang word meaning ‘fool’ or ‘idiot’ or someone dressing in a gaudy fashion, which is where the term “flaming galah” probably comes from.  However I can reassure you that the real thing, the parrot is certainly a very clever bird.


painting of my pet Galah Pele and friends!


I have had my lovely Galah for the last 28 years, her name is Pele named after the Brazilian soccer player, strange name for a girl – well at the time when she got her name we thought she was a boy.

Although I have just recently found out that there is also a connection to an Australian team of footballers that played against the Irish, in a series of test matches of International Rules Football in the late 1960’s which were nicknamed “The Galahs” so perhaps the name Pele, does fit her for many reasons.

Still to this day whenever I refer to her I call Pele “him” even though she has demonstrated many times by laying EGGS that she is a girl!


You familiar with my art would have seen that in most of my paintings there is a galah somewhere and more often than not a whole flock of them.  They are such a lovely bird to paint with the distinctive bright pink body with a pale grey to mid-grey back and rump, a pink face and a light pink mobile crest.

Pele picked all her feathers on her chest out when she was very young so she looks a little like a half plucked chicken, LOL.  The fact that she likes to tear up and hide in newspapers at the bottom of her cage doesn’t help her looks either as the black from the print turns her lovely color a little dirty too.

Without the warmth of her chest feathers Pele lives in two cages one outside during the day and then I get her to hop on my finger and she comes in to the studio where she has a smaller cage to sleep in.  If the weather is very cold she stays inside amusing herself with cardboard boxes and newspapers and toys, rustling around keeping me company as I paint.


However a check up at the vet today revealed that she is getting too fat!  My Galah is obese with some fatty tumors called lipomas on her abdomen and legs.   So now the poor bird has to be on a diet, no more treats of cheese, bread and sunflower seeds, just vegies and special pellets and budgie mix is allowed.  Poor darling I know how boring diets can be, well I guess most of us do in the western societies.

Galahs are very loyal and mate for life and Pele thinks we are married and dislikes my real hubby very much, trying to give him a nip if he walks past.

This quote made me laugh as Pele would no doubt love to do to my hubby if she could;

“Birds of a feather flock together and crap on your car.”

Till next time happy painting and sculpting and bird keeping,

Love Marie xxx

If you want to read a funny story about dogs here is an art blog about that; 28. ART & Sometimes its just about the little noises you hear

Why not come and have a look at Marie Jonsson-Harrison’s PAINTINGS FOR SALEGICLEE PRINTS FOR SALE and SCULPTURES for sale or WALLBASED SCULPTURES.  Enjoy an original artwork on your walls or perhaps one on your bed ARTnBED.

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