This week I started and finished a new painting. I chose this subject less for it’s aesthetic qualities but instead for it’s meaning. I chose the interior of the [now] museum at Ellis Island.
When I choose a subject for a painting, I often sort through hundreds of personal photos – either in printed or digital form – until something strikes me. Typically what strikes me is something beautiful or with strong lines and contrast, or interesting architecture, or sometimes, something sentimental. This photo has been in my “ideas” folder for quite some time, and I have to think it was through divine providence that I chose to work on it now. Ellis Island symbolizes “Freedom” for me and what better date to complete it but on the Fourth of July.
My grandfather came to America from Greece when he was just a boy. When my husband and I visited the museum at Ellis Island a few years ago I thought mostly about him, but also what it must have been like for all the people who’ve entered this country looking for a new start, for streets paved with gold, for ways to provide for their families, for freedom. There is something very special that happens when I work on a picture. When I paint a picture, I find I also meditate on the time or place that I’m working on. This time I was able to spend those moments marking the page while contemplating the journey my grandfather went on. Contemplating freedom.
Day 85: “A House in Phoenix”
Day 86: Starting “Freedom”
Day 89 – Pen and ink complete
Day 90 (July 4): “Freedom”
Day 91: Scripture Sunday