Marhaben! Hello! Today was the opening of the show. We have had technical difficulties. Three of the paintings just will not stay on the walls without framing. It’s very very frustrating. I think we may need to cut some plexiglass and clip the paintings inside it. Sunday we may be able to solve the problem in Jerusalem at the supply store, or at the framer. However, it was still quite a successful opening. Some Palestinian painters also have come to see the work. I’ve had some good conversations at the opening. Pastor Mitri came to open the show. He said some kind words of introduction in Arabic. He then also said some kind words in English for my benefit.
The show is called “Conversations” :
”Exploring the Inner and Outer Landscapes in Watercolour”
Bethlehem, 23/10 – 9/11, 2009
“The world around us is bursting with beauty, and pregnant with metaphor. Ancient trees endure. Flowers glow with holy light. The world within us is a story that longs to be expressed as we walk through pain and joy. And the world between us is a conversation full of possibilities and challenges. In this show, Chris explores these, the landscapes of the heart, using color and light in watercolor.”
Some of the more abstract pieces invite discussion. So we talked among ourselves about what kinds of genuine encounter are possible between people of different worlds and world-views. We talked about the need to dismantle stereotypes and to begin with mutual respect and humility. One young man in particular spoke of how he feels unable to move, stifled by the situation here, maligned and misunderstood and controlled.
We now have 20 or perhaps 21 students altogether. No one seems to know for certain. We will manage somehow tomorrow and pick up a few things for the overflow crowd when we go to Jerusalem. Tomorrow the lesson involves only two colors, so we are able to manage without too much trouble. In preparation for this class, I have done a simple value study across complements in ultramarine and burnt sienna. It is a study in manufactured warm and cool greys because these two colors make a variety of grey colors when mixed. We will use this exercise to study how to draw the eye to a focal point, among other things. My study is an abstract, but a couple of Palestinians who have seen it have seen a bird in it. “It is a bird flying. We need to be free!” Actually my intention was for a seascape or even a landform like desert sands; it’s all waveforms. My Swedish friend immediately saw the sea in it and only saw the bird when I showed her. I am eager to see what will emerge when the students do their own value complement study tomorrow.
Tonight I hope for sleep. Last night was sort of delayed jet lag.
Hey mom! Sounds like you’re having a great time so far…it’s cool to hear about a different experience abroad since I’m still figuring out the culture here I forget there are other places and people out there sometimes!
Oh, I’m a far cry from figuring out the culture. There is this truck that keeps going by playing the same loud music over and over. No words. Just the tune. He’s got a bunch of jugs in the back of the truck, but no one seems to stop him for anything. Then this morning a group of pilgrims led by a priest came by singing some hymn in a foreign language. They are headed for the Nativity Church, which I have been too busy to visit so far. My street is narrow but cars can go on it. At night the young guys do the loop here. It’s loud until around 1 pm and then quiets down.