Gouache and acrylic on paper mounted on birch panels
12" h x 24" W
The 6th from the series Red Bean Paste and Apple Pie.
Another piece about rice and wheat; the 1st piece was It's Complicated and can be seen here.After I finished It's Complicated, I felt there was more to mine on that topic, partly because those grains are such a big and confusing part of our lives and also because I had so much fun painting the wheat fields and rice paddies.
A hole in the wall is a phrase that is often used to describe a small restaurant that might be easily missed but is quite good. It is also a phrase that often is used to describe an ethnic restaurant that is run by an immigrant family. These small restaurants are often our first exposures to another culture.
In a way, we're looking through these holes in walls for glimpses of far away lands and cultures. And it's a jungle out there!
Those are the ideas in this piece. The backgrounds of the two halves are based on two historical wallpaper patterns the oak leaf pattern of William Morris and a chinoiserie palm tree pattern. The oak and the palm are trees often connected to wheat fields and rice paddies. The two holes in the walls turn into a pair of binoculars through which a hidden person gets glimpses of distant lands. But while she's looking at far away places, she misses the small critters that are near her field mice and paddy frogs, two species that live in close proximity to our grains.
Here's how the piece started:
The background on the wheat panel and the wheat fields are going in:
I changed my mind about the storming sky in the wheat fields:
The field mice are in:
The frogs, rice paddies, and palms are mostly there:
The coconuts, the grain in the middle. I intended for the grain to bring to mind the 3rd eye. The circle in the middle is originally the focus knob on the binoculars (although quite enlarged), and I liked the idea of the connection between "focus" and the 3rd eye:
And here the grain is starting to take on a religious look. Not my intention, but it's interesting to me that the shape evokes the outline of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The cell structures look a bit like stain glass, too. Neither were intended, but I like the result:
The finished piece is the image at the top where the central medallion is more grounded.