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Documenting a period in my development that could become pivotal

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Lunch at Mildred's" - oil painting complete


For the past three months most of my painting time has been devoted to painting this 22" x 28" memory of our families' trip to Central America.  At the table are representatives of three generations of a Mayan family, three generations of our family, and two generations of another family from Oregon.
At the heart of our table are the tortillas. As an invitation to the viewer the empty chair at the bottom of the painting reveals the variety of foods provided by OAT, our tour company.   We enjoyed many local foods accompanying the chicken soup. The line of the tablecloth, I hope points the eye eventually to the open side of the house and to the steaming volcano.

While painting I wondered what Mildred's values were in a land of earth quakes and volcanic eruptions. I had learned that the Mayan people believe they were created from maize. Corn is still a major part of their life along with Western China kept safe in a China cabinet anchored by ropes to a cement block wall. I have not figured how to depict the ropes meaningfully to the viewer but presentation of traditional and new foods must be high on a list of importance.

2 comments:

Ruth Armitage said...

Hi Diane,
What a warm, hospitable feeling you've created with this painting. You must have had a wonderful experience to work so hard to document it!

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

Thank you Ruth for visiting my blog and commenting on the painting I spoke of as an example of telling your story. Yes, this was certainly the high-light of our trip. It is a continuation of many years documenting in my paintings what creative people like Mildred value. Mildred values connecting with people and thus her most protected possession in her three sided house is a beautiful China cabinet secured to a cement block wall so it will not fall in the event of the frequent earthquakes.