Tuesday, February 25, 2014

First piece to be hung in the show opening on Friday.


A close up of the story. Just click on the picture it should enlarge.
The right side of the earth hills, with a little German included.

It's finished.  It's getting its final coat of varnish today. John is making the walnut frame for it. I found the prototype for the frame for a canvas in Joann Fabric's of all places. It was back on their frame shelf. They only had small 8x10 black frames. The canvas sit in the frame attached to it with Velcro strips on each side. I asked John if he could make a larger one with a little better support for the back of the canvas frame. He is using the walnut wood from the tree that we had to cut down at our old house, in town. 
I think walnut will suit this piece nicely.

I know that this isn't every body's cup of tea. Strangely it isn't what I thought I was going to be doing, in the beginning. I simply had these photo transfer skins of pictures I had taken on a trip back from Minnesota.  We were off the beaten path driving down through Wisconsin when we came to a tiny little Amish village. 

It was in the process of mentally deciding on a layout and color palette that it was very clear to me that this would be a high horizon piece down in sober, earth tones.  A calm but stark piece. One that emphasized the importance of the earth in these lives. The horizon line has three shapes. They seem abrupt, cut off from each other and as if pieces are missing from the horizon line. That's intentional. It's the feeling I have about where the Community is going if they don't make some more adaptions to living with the English.
The earth is rich in color but it is also hilly, rocky and requires hard work for its rewards.
The piece has layers of paper collage, paint, textured paste, crackle paste and type.
The story is worked into the piece as if it is part of the rows of agriculture. The story lies deep in this community, there are other stories like it.
The sky is bland. It could be early morning or that period right before dusk when the sun is starting to set, before there is color in the sky.
You can see the man, alone, in his buggy in the upper left hand side of the painting. 

And, yes it is a little difficult to read the story. You have to work at it, this isn't going to be handed to the viewer.  This is a painful, sad, story that has to be coaxed out of the painting, out of the earth. 

A place setting will always be on the table for that son or daughter, at every meal. 
The family will sit down and see that empty chair, that empty plate.
Mother, Father and siblings will feel the loss of that family member three times a day, 365 days a year and more.

They Never Came Home From Rumspringa
                Earth Stories Series
Part of the Women Inspiring Women Exhibit at the 
       Madison Senior Center - March 2014


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