Mixed Media Spotlight: "Food for Thought"

“Food for Thought” is a watercolor and prisma color painting on 140 lb. watercolor paper. This painting is one in a series of works that addresses our global experience in the twenty first century. The painting was made in layers of color, imagery, texture and meaning. The dominant figure of a young boy sits near the center of the composition and around him are the haunting figures of third world children. The situation is a tenth birthday celebration where party foods are set on the table. The birthday cake announces ten years of life while the smoke from the candles obscures and jeopardizes the imagery of the hungry children. The comparisons of colorful and drab, healthy and malnourished, party foods and no food, set up the dichotomy of the children’s life experiences. All of the figures glance pleadingly to the viewer.

Most children in our culture have heard at one time or another expressions that encourage them to eat on behalf of starving children all over the world. Since my father experienced China after WWII our dinner table was sprinkled from time to time with phrases that implored us to eat on behalf of the starving children in China. What was “worlds” away and so remote fifty years ago however, has become one of the layers of reality in our twenty first century life. The media, television and internet have brought powerful imagery of third world countries right into our homes. The world is indeed a small place and the choices we make do indeed affect our global community. This painting “Food for Thought” is just one small expression of this global reality.

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