Wednesday, March 11, 2009
SCRIBBLE AND DOODLE WINDOW - The Potter
Oil, 24 x 30, St. Germain
Below are two sketches I made for my painting "The Potter". This approach is somewhat of my comfort zone, when painting with the oil medium. Not to say, that this is only style I paint in, as you have seen from my pastel paintings.
If anyone would ask about this painting, to impress art critics you would say that the Ultramarine Blue combined with the Naples Yellow and Sienna shades is the mark of this painter's color approach, as well as the diagonal movement in her design. A mouthful, huh? But impressive :)
The atmosphere of a potter's studio exudes hard physical work. A cloth thrown over the pot or sculpture adds to the air of mystery. Like a still life that awakens when the artist enters the room. The potter sits down, takes the cloth off the work of art and begins to mold and sculpt the clay with his or her hands.
The hands working with the spinning motion of the wheel is the potter's world. The intensity of focus is palpable. This aspect I wanted to bring to the foreground rather than the finished pot or sculpture.
Often people like to know how I came to paint the painting and why. Here it is.
Most of my paintings have a story behind it. This one is at a time where prophets and dream interpreters belonged to the staff of Middle Eastern kings. This prophet made history because of the pots he bought from a potter.
History tells us that the prophet Jeremiah went to the potter's house, and saw him working at his wheel.
He buys a pot and goes with some city council members to the Potsherd Gate. The following is what prophets do. They call it "a prophetic act." He smashed his newly bought pot (ouch, I don't know if I would do that) as a symbol that his nation would be smashed by another ruling nation and that the population of his own country would be broken up in parts, like the smashed pot.
Another time he found himself in prison, because the king did not like his predictions (I guess it was a risky job!). In prison he gets a visit from his cousin, who convinces the prophet to buy his field. You got to be kidding! It is war, and Mr. Savvy Cousin asks him to buy a piece of real estate, while uncle is in prison?
Uncle caves in and buys the field! Then he puts the deed of the field in a clay pot, to signify that once houses, fields and vineyards would be planted again in a time of peace. Crazy or what? It does not seem to make any sense!
More than 2000 years later, I guess during the 1940ties, when they are quibbling about the Jews really having lived there before, one of the pieces of evidence is that they found the deed of the field this prophet bought on the location of his field.
How did they know it was Jeremiah's field? The Jews always have been very precise in recording events of their history. This, among other pieces of evidence played a part in the UN's decision to allow the one-Jew-one Arab rule, which led after six months to Isreael's declaration of their independence.
This is one of my favorite stories, because at the time itself our decisions, and our daily work or art may not seem to carry any weight. We wonder if some of our sacrifices and risks are worth the effort. But only time will tell.