About Me

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Documenting a period in my development that could become pivotal

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Produce Stand turned to Welcome Immigrants

This painting is not available for sale.
Starting in October I painted on location at the Barking Dog Produce Stand in Kirnville. After painting over the first rain splattered runny colors, I gave much thought to why I was drawn to the site. I was especially interested in how discarded trash metal was made into bird sculptures and rod ironwork. Here was an example of art and agriculture coming together to make community. Here in Oregon I saw the restoration of the original farming communities in Eurasia. But when I painted the Asian drinking from a bowl that just didn't say enough. I felt that I had more in me needing to get out. I became aware that I wanted to paint the spirit of pioneer communities. This spirit is here and also in my ancesters past. Almost everybody has immigrant ancestors some where in their family tree. Some of mine were immigrants to Palestine at the end of the 19th century. My great grandfather David Widler was appointed by the Ottoman Empire powers at the time to be in charge of helping Jewish immigrants. So I have painted my grandfather learning to watercolor. Also painted his sisters with a great uncle learning to be still with animals and love music. Another great uncle studied photography. I have no pictures of them in Israel but I have gone and retraced their steps. Why have I painted them? Because it was their hopes for their children to repair the world through agriculture and art making community. In this painting there are emotions beyond words.

3 comments:

Rain said...

I really like that how you are painting a family history but also a history of a people but more a possible path for a people. Funny I have been past that produce stand and never so much as gave it a second glance, always worried about the curves in that part of the road *s*

Parapluie said...

Rain,
Thanks for your comment. I can understand not seeing anything special about
a produce stand. I wouldn't have seen anything special either except in
1994 I went to Israel looking for a picture to paint that summed up Israel
and my family in one image. On my way back to Karkur from a disappointing
trip to the Rail Museum in Haiffa, I was walking from Pardes Hana, when I
saw a stone wall with a rod iron gate that excited me. Just above center
was a Star of David appearing to float almost without visible support. A few
pointed spear-like rods helped to hold it in place and one rod just a little
left of the center of the star poining to it's heart but the arrow was too
short to reach it. Two rivers flanked the star like in the flag of Israel.
In this gate the rivers were represented by "S" waves facing the star.
Strength was the reason for the curved rivers from a design point of view.
They were not only the main support of the star but this design brought
together the opposites of angels and curves making a harmony. On top of the
gate were two smaller scrolls with the split tail common with Chinese
abstractions of water dragons. Was this an accidental reference to Imperial
China? Because the rivers are so supportive of the star, and the top
possition of the water symbols as though garding the gate, I doubt that this
is an accident. I never found out if the iron worker had been to China like
my family but to me this gate is a parallel work of art to Chinese Imperial
Workshop pieces that brought together Manchu and Chinese traditions. I
stopped to sketch what I later found out was the local synagogue gate. Other
metal art spoke to me in Karkur. In addition to the gate there were other
metal sculptures made of war surplus metal. It makes me feel good to see
some creation made from the trash of the past.
When I went to the outskirts of Jaffa where the old family property
had been the old buildings were overrun with governmental activities and the
most graceful sign of age is the old rod iron work from ship ballast.
Another endearing site in Jaffa were the fruit stands and bakeries. Here in
Oregon at the Barking Dog Produce Stand the sculpture suggesting rebirth
from trash. The sculpture enriches the experience of shopping and creates a
place to linger and talk. The fruit and the bread is for sale, a tradition
of sharing community cooking continues here in Oregon as well as in Jaffa,
Israel. This kind of market is a common link of communities and caring of
all.
One motive of my art is for me to understand my family. Wouldn't this
journey be great if I could help raise consciousness of the similarities of
all peoples.

Parapluie said...

My paintings are mostly for sale but this one is not available.