The Painting

(12 customer reviews)


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.




Discussion Notes:

This book tends to yank out emotions long ago suppressed and incite conversations and deep thoughts long after it has been closed. To assist in engaging in discussion whether book clubs, youth groups or even bible studies, the author has put together an extensive list of thought-provoking questions to keep the conversation active.

Sample Questions:

  1. What was the significance of the inchworm scene? Explain how the situation made Gerald reflect attributes of God.
  2. What biblical location is the painting most closely related to?
  3. List a few things Tiffany did to show Gerald friendship? How can you work some of those tasks into your own life?
  4. What was it that Gerald wanted most from the viewers of his painting? How is that similar to God’s desires?
  5. When Gerald doused the flames with the bucket of water, what  Bible story did this symbolize?


Short Excerpt:

Gerald realized his father couldn’t see the painting the way he did. He knew his father was only seeing the paint on the canvas and he wanted nothing more than to share the magic of his world with with his dad. He took his father’s hand into his.

“Dad, I want you truly experience it.”

Gerald’s dad turned to face his son who was smiling. Gerald stared at the painting, closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. His smile broadened as a gust of wind blew the hair on his head. Startled as to where the wind had come from in a room with no windows, his dad turned his gaze back to the painting. He looked upon it and watched as it came to life.

The tree branches were swaying in the wind. Birds started soaring across the sky and dolphins leapt out of the ocean waters. He could smell the salty air, the flowers in bloom. He could feel the temperature cool and then he heard the repetitive caw of a peacock’s cry.

His mouth opened as more individual sounds rushed to his ears. A jungle of acoustics and smells flooded his senses, and he felt the world call to him.

He released Gerald’s hand and walked closer to the painting. It was a massive canvas, he knew, but once it was painted it seemed even larger than he could comprehend. The closer he walked, the more he was immersed into the world. It sucked him in as if he was standing inside the piece. He looked all around. It was as if nothing else existed outside of this world.

Additional information

Weight .8 lbs
Dimensions 5.5 × 8.5 in

No, Yes

12 reviews for The Painting

  1. ebookguy

    “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!

  2. Helen

    I was very impressed. This book is well written and quite thought provoking. I look forward to reading it a second time so I can slowly digest the depth of the story.

  3. Kate D

    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.

  4. Jo Landers

    This book kept calling me back to it. Every time I had to put it down to do something around the house, answer the phone, laundry, cook dinner, it kept calling to me. I went back to it every chance I could. What an inspirational story!

  5. Jan Booth

    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!

  6. Ken R

    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.

  7. Linda J.

    The book “The Painting” is a soul searching book that makes you think about your faith. It is a warm, well thought out and a sensitive book that makes you take a look at yourself in many ways! Love it!

  8. Mary

    I just finished The Painting, and I have to tell you that the story is lovely. When everyone went into the painting and Gerald couldn’t stop them, it reminded me of an incident I had as a duty aide on a playground.

    It was in Arizona, and there was a baby lizard that the kids kept following around. I yelled at them to leave it alone, but they wouldn’t listen, and they didn’t stop. It was a mob of 6 and 7 year olds. Finally, they chased it into a cranny of a building, but the cranny wasn’t big enough for it to fit all the way in. The lizard died, and the kids didn’t seem to understand that it was their fault. They didn’t mean to do it any harm.

    They were children excited about God’s creation, but they were so excited that they destroyed it without understanding what they were doing.

  9. Angel

    I’ve just finished reading The Painting by Kathleen Shields. I think it is a great book with a story so moving that anyone could benefit from reading it.
    i really enjoyed how the journey created the destination. Alot of times writers focus only on the place they want to be and forget about how relevant and needed the journey is. Outta this world literally. I highly suggest it to anyone.

  10. Mrs Piddles

    Such an awesome analogy of creation. Such a beautiful and inspiring book. How well can I relate to this young man, so full of love and yet so mistreated and misunderstood by others. But Gerald never loses sight of who he is deep inside. He never loses the love he feels. And he eventually even learns how to forgive. The story draws the reader into a world full of turmoil, and Kathleen’s beautiful writing carries you from despair to wonder, and finally to hope and victory. I can’t wait to read The Painting, 2.

  11. Reading Teacher

    The surface story tells of a boy who struggles to fit in and has trouble seeing the good in people. This is a lovely story of many levels. The surface story tells of a boy who struggles to fit in and has trouble seeing the good in people. At its deeper levels, there are messages about God’s creation and how humanity treats it. This book is an easy read, but it makes one think about how we interact with each other and the world we are in.

  12. Five Stars

    This is a wonderful read for all ages! Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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