Red Willow
24" x 60"
acrylic on canvas
Destroyed by fire - 2011
Bering & James, Houston, Texas, Red, June 26 - July 16, 2008
Red Willow was created for a exhibit at Bering & James Gallery in July, 2008 that was themed "Red."  Several artists participated in the show using red in different ways.  I chose to use the theme as a challenge to myself to create monochromatic works.  Red has never been one of my favorite colors to use, so the challenge was difficult one.

I chose to go with the theme of passion as such an abundance of red led itself to a dynamic subject.  The title is a reference to the well known china pattern, Blue Willow.

The story on the pattern of Blue Willow china has several interpretations.  The most common is the tale of a nobleman's daughter who falls in love with a servant of a lower class, thus their love is forbidden.  The father discovers their romance and builds a wall around the house to keep them apart.  He arranges a marriage to a powerful lord for his daughter.

On the night of the arranged wedding, the lover sneaks into the home disguised as a servant and escapes with the daughter.  They flee to a small island where they live for many years until the lord discovers their location.  The lord sends his soldiers to the island where the two lovers are put to death. 

In the painting, the pattern from Blue Willow is recreated in the spheres.  On the left side of the canvas flowing around the French horn is a panel representing Picasso's Guernica.  The elements of this work and the intense direct view of the woman all speak of the beauty, power and mystery of intense passion.  The power a woman wields with her heart.

Red Willow has always been one of my favorite canvases and it stayed in my home until 2011 when it was destroyed by a fire.