The Painting

The Painting

Gerald is given a blank canvas and he paints a world - a world he loves so much, it comes to life!

We start our lives as a blank canvas. It's our diverse experiences that add color and definition to our painting.

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About the Book

We start our lives as a blank canvas.
It’s our diverse experiences that add color and definition to our painting.

Gerald’s world was often harsh and challenging. Feelings of loneliness and isolation were normal for him. The people in his life didn’t understand him and as a result, often ignored him, or refused to make time for him. However, the nature that surrounded Gerald inspired the most sympathetic and caring young child you could ever know.

It was Gerald’s love of the world’s creatures and all of its beauty that enabled the magic of his painting to come to life. The personal growth and the steps Gerald took to protect his creation is what truly made him exceptional.

Series: The Painting Trilogy, Book 1
Genres: Christian, Inspirational, Tween
Tags: Adult | Young Adult, Award-Winning Books, Recommended Books, Religious / Inspirational, Tween: Ages 8 and Up
Publisher: Erin Go Bragh Publishing
Publication Year: 2015
Format: Paperback
Length: 220
Narrator: Heidi Allred
ISBN: 9781941345269

List Price: $9.95
eBook Price: $2.95
Audiobook Price: $13.08
Kathleen Shield's introduction to The Painting is a kaleidoscope of beautiful paint in all of its colors, textures, mediums and values folded into her book's canvas as metaphors, representing life's joys and sadness, as well as options life either affords or denies. From the outset we meet Gerald Oliver DeLaney, the loneliest child you can ever imagine, and one who suffers terrible abuse by his peers. Thankfully, his parents love him and show kindness, but encourage him to deal with his life outside the house by working through the bullying. Instead, he spends his time on the way to and back from school engaged in watching the beauty of, and offering his kindness to, nature, such as helping a worm cross a cavernous deck crack, or trying to save a tadpole the mean boys submerge to its death, and replanting sprouts the same boys crush deep into the soil. Gerald decides all humans but his parents are unkind and completely disengages from them. We wonder, what will happen to Gerald? Can he be saved from that cruel, lonely world of his? That's when his father finally intervenes, but not by accosting the bullies. No, he buys Gerald a huge painting canvas and palette to paint his own world. Gerald is ecstatic. He paints dark shades because he knows that shade all too well, then his dad encourages him to balance it with light. When he does the artist in hm comes alive, and he fills his canvas with every color imaginable and with all natures creatures "great and small' (James Herriot). From this point on, the book is imbued with biblical allusions. Essentially, Gerald creates Eden without Adam and Eve, His work can magically come alive when he lets his dad walk near the painting. His amazed father has him initial his work with his G. in the lower right corner, and Gerald says contently, "This is good," which harkens back to God's words in Genesis. Gerald finally finds a friend in a young girl new to the school named Tiffany. She defeats his skepticism by remaining kind and trustworthy. Unfortunately, she convinces him to let some people see the painting in the greenhouse he's built. That works well until the whole town hears about it, rushes the greenhouse and destroys the painting by causing a huge flood, another biblical reference. God and Gerald win out, though, because Tiffany further inspires him to rebuild and repaint, which he does in cosmic proportions, peoples his creation this time by painting an image and likeness of himself and an image and like of Tiffany, Adam and Eve, perhaps, to as caregivers, in a creation devoid of evil serpents. Gerald decides his creation belongs in the galaxies, in space where it will remain forever unharmed and pure. He finally claims it as his by painting his initials in the lower right corner: G.O.D.
– Peggy Marceaux
The Painting was a great read and I highly recommend it. Kathleen does an incredible job of drawing you into the world of Gerald Oliver Delaney. Gerald is a quiet, sensitive and lonely boy who is having a hard time making sense of the complex and often cruel world we live in. Through the medium of paint, and with the help of his true friend Tiffany, Gerald learns about trust and vulnerability. He not only experiences the sadness and darkness of life, but also how beautiful and fulfilling relationships can be. Kathleen uses biblical allusions and brilliant imagery to create not only a world that we can all relate to at times, but also a world we all long to inhabit. Gerald’s masterpiece teaches us that life is not always easy or happy or “good”, but if we keep searching we will find that goodness and love are everywhere: in nature, in each other and in ourselves.
– Kristen Grady
This is an inspirational book for youth and adults that illustrates how seeing life from a single viewpoint can cause disappointment, resentment, and isolation. But allowing others to show how that viewpoint can be seen from another perspective--while not always having a positive effect--helps to break down self-applied barriers to open up a world of understanding which then fosters nurturing and growth. You’ll find it hard to put down once you start reading.
– Irene
The Painting is an inspirational tale of a young boy who overcomes feelings of immense loneliness and isolation through his painting of the beauty of God's creatures here on earth. Through he had no formal training as an artist, his creation on canvas was so remarkable that many others were drawn in by it's magical quality. It speaks to the blank canvas to which we are all born with and how we ultimately will paint our own. I wholeheartedly recommend this thought-provoking book by Kathleen Shields.
– Ken R.
This story will find a familiar path in most any of it's readers. We all can recognize how Gerald sometimes views humanity. Be it on a small personal level from our childhood, or a day to day perspective of strangers we mingle with. Throughout it one can find nuances that give us insight as to how our actions can affect the world around us in ways we don't ever stop to think about. But God does. A unique view point indeed! Definitely worth the read.
– Kate D.
Award-winning children's author Kathleen Shields' first book for younger and older adults is a triumph! What a refreshing delight to read God's perspective from a child's eyes! The book is a beautiful metaphor which will enhance readers' spiritual growth and lead to a great deal of discussion about parallels in scripture. I can't wait for the continuation of the story in The Painting 2!
– Jan Booth
“The Painting” is a work of art in itself. Gifted author Kathleen Shields, paints a colorful canvas of words in this creative and magical story. I enjoyed relating to the characters, they captured my attention throughout the book. The added dimension of Gerald’s painting sparked my imagination into a dream escape, making the story come alive. Much to my delight, that wasn’t the end of the story. I encourage you to find out what’s missing in Gerald’s perfect painting too. It may shine some light into your own life. I highly recommend this book and I’m looking forward to “The Painting 2,” the next book!
– David S.
About the Author
Kathleen J. Shields

Kathleen J. Shields is an award-winning author having won First Place Best Educational Children’s Series from the Texas Association of Authors for “The Hamilton Troll Adventures”. The Hamilton Troll series is educational and inspirational, teaching young children social skills, animal characteristics and how to handle real-life situations.

While awaiting illustrations, Shields’ writes chapter books for Tweens. While still infusing education into each story, Kathleen endeavors to entertain young readers, igniting a desire to read that will span a lifetime.

Shields’ also runs a website and graphic design company called Kathleen’s Graphics. She designs colorful, eye-catching websites, logos and advertisements for businesses and authors. She enjoys being challenged to learn new things.

Additionally, Kathleen writes an inspirational and educational blog regarding her endeavors as an author as well as a business woman and Christian. Her views are always light-hearted and thought-provoking and are intended to get the reader thinking.

For more information about the author, and her books, please visit: or follow her blog at: