Thursday, October 03, 2013
Lunch at Guatemalan weaver's home - 22"x28" oil
Eleven people around a table is a challenge for me. Eleven portraits with facial and body language illustrating the group is engaged and relating to one another. There is outdoor light, reflected light from the white tablecloth, and light from a light bulb.
The biggest challenge is deciding what belongs in the painting and what would get in the way of telling a story. The composition needs to invite the viewer as though they were taking part. My device is to have the empty chair and table setting in the foreground. Central to the story is corn - the Mayan symbol for how they were created from corn. The corn plant in the opening of the home could be a ritual plant sewn by a child. The child takes a kernel from this plant and plants it again to see that each generation of corn is identical. The ritual teaches them that they are an identical seed to their ancestors. The tortillas in the center of the table is displayed in their handwoven cloth in a basket. A cloth in a kettle also made the tortillas the most attractively presented food.
This painting is almost done but the steaming volcano is important but too close to the edge so must be revised and made more prominent. Destructive explosions and earthquakes are a reality for Guatemalans.
As I keep saying every day for two weeks. Tommorrow will be the resolution.