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Promenade


Promenade, n. (Fr., from promener, from L. pro, forward, and minare, to drive.) A walk for pleasure and show or exercise; a place for walking in public.

     An old weathered piece of plywood is the ground of the painting, abundant in its own history, and providing an interesting texture. I began with the board on the floor, spontaneously sketching the figures around the edges of the painting, filling in the center with buildings and fields. It is narrative image that depicts figures dancing, walking, playing, with urbanity in the midst of this humanity, and the countryside seen in the distance. The large sized face rising up from behind the hills is perhaps a sun or corn goddess spreading her wings of gold, encasing and protecting all that lies within.

     The hills, trees, and fields of corn could all be seen as symbols of fertility. Corn is also a symbol of peace; hills, symbols of freedom and eternity; trees, symbols of divine wisdom, the feminine, and the link between the three worlds, heaven, earth, and the underworld. Towers can represent strength, man, hope, and aspiration. The sun traditionally signifies absolute cosmic power, the universal father, knowledge and warmth, glory and splendor. The moon refers to the feminine, the universal mother, inner knowledge, and the rhythm of time, as it embodies the cycle. The dancers are also linked to rhythm and transforming time into motion, as well as being symbols of joy and celebration.

     The painting is really quite uncomplicated and direct in terms of content. The visual language is complex due to the quantity of elements, each one clearly defined. Its most unique quality is the manner in which the colors reflect light, somewhat differently than oil on gesso on board, containing a richness absolutely delicious in sensibility, a depth of color that satiates the eyes in pleasure. It is a painting that speaks of the lushness of color, nature and the human world. It is an imaginary land inhabited by familiar strangers. Together they form a picture of community, one of the most timeless attributes of human life.



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