Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Framing the family: a holiday memoir

     Many celebrations occur around our dining room table from Easter to birthdays. Always crowded and askew, the table is an ideal setting for another family portrait. When Joe asked me how I wanted to frame it, I suggested he invent a solution. He cleverly took hints from the shape of our house so the dining room could be in the house. All I have to do is paint it. I have started to do so.

    Family members are crowded around the table, but I wanted some gravitas. I had looked at Van Gogh's favorite group table painting, The Potato Eaters. I put that on my lap to show granddaughter, the reader. I let the horn in grandson's hand echo Max Beckmann's in his self-portrait on the wall by the windows. Beckmann used crowns in paintings, but these are from our poppers honoring the great organizers of our families. I needed one more painting for the wall so I added the Van Gogh flowers since I had recently looked at his irises and roses at the Met in NYC. I replaced the floral centerpiece with a drooping sunflower in my hand as a symbol of Van Gogh's or any painter's challenge to paint. This group portrait effort is/was certainly stressful, although I forgot the pain once I thought of the sunflower centerpiece.

     Joe gessoed twice (the saint) and screwed his frame onto the painting. Today, I have started to paint it. The other building and painting this month, was Joe's letting grandson build and paint a car. Joe helped David hammer and drill and they finished it in an evening. Enlarge the photos by clicking; and thanks for visiting!