Ave Maria – Watercolor – 9 x 13 inches.
What makes something interesting to paint? At first, this room in a little town near the Mediterranean coast of Spain evoked an awareness of the past. But during the two days it took to paint it, the feeling changed from something that might have occurred a long time ago into an ominous sense of something that hadn’t happened yet, but was about to.
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One thought to “Ave Maria”
“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” (Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues, 1965). However, this painting is anything but obvious. The wind may be blowing (witness the drapes), but could this be an “ill wind that blows no one any good?” Certainly, the shotgun is ominous, but could be innocuous: i.e. just looking forward to a day of bird hunting outside of town. Or it could be much more threatening. The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) might be the time and place of the painting. The basin, the period photo, the church out the window point in the direction of another time, another place. Certainly the Catholic Church in Spain took sides (the side of Franco’s Nationalists against the Republic). So the cross on the church, the variation on the cross in the grillwork, the obvious cross in the balcony door, might be pointing to an alliance between religion and the gun.
But the painting remains ambiguous, unresolved, (as in the dresser drawer partially opened) as well as prayer filled (“Ave Maria,” after all). To pick up on your own premonition in your comments on the painting and to draw Bob Dylan once again into the equation: “Something is happening, but you don’t know what it is.”