Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Sad Painting

Entropy, acrylic, 24x18
In the early 80's, I read the book by Jeremy Rifkin--it stuck--and became the working title for this painting (partly inspired by a tank baffle I use to hold a bird bath). The painting was almost finished when ABC evening news reported on Kenya and its lack of rainfall--no rain for a year. The people, their livestock, and the elephants are dying. The report aired on the same day we discovered a major water leak under our house. Gallons of water had been wasted; the plumber said he worked in at least six inches of murky water. (We had heard what sounded like a motor running for several days and thought the problem was our new heat pump system--part of which is under the house. The noise was gushing water; our water pressure was a bit low but no other sign of a leak.)
I was upset not at paying a high water bill, but, at the unfairness of life. For a month I could not go into my workshop and face this painting without tears. I stayed in the house and worked with pastels or drew with pencils; I sent a small contribution to help Kenya. Yesterday I got back to the painting and finished today. Each night I ask that rain be sent to that area, and this painting will always remind me of thirsty people, livestock, and elephants.
I usually stick with humor--I couldn't find it this time.


  1. I get why you couldn't stick with humor. Your post is full of life's irony. Also painful and hard to wrap the brain around, but not so the heart, which aches upon reading.

  2. WONDERFUL! Sometimes laughter isn't the best medicine. Thank you for baring your soul with this painting and your words. I'm glad you worked thru the emotions of creating this and shared it with us. May your prayers be answered and your contribution make an impact. God bless. -Don

  3. Indigimar and Don--thanks. Without the painting or blogging I would never have been able to talk about this without blubbering. My emotions have always been just behind my eyeballs--I can cry or I can laugh.

  4. HI HW - I posted a comment about this remarkable painting but it looks like it got lost! I'll try again. I love, love, love this painting! All the pain and angst of this disparity in resources is marvelously expressed on the face of your character. The surreal feeling of the entire painting supports your message, and the design is ... well ... masterful! I'm wowed by this one.

  5. Kathy, you have no idea how much your comment means to me. After learning a lot from your blog where you share insights about Arnheim's 500-page book (especially the two about Balance) I spent hours thinking about adding something to the empty left side of this painting--played with it in Corel. In the end, I felt that the emptiness actually had weight. Your blog really makes me think!

    We just received our water bill--50,000 gallons wasted.

  6. HW, the painting is perfectly balanced as it is. This is one of those paintings that just lingers in my memory - can't shake it. To me, that makes it a great painting! Kudos.