Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

Birdhouse in Your Soul
Copyright 2015 Hirschten
Acrylic on Canvas
22" x 28"
Prints Available on Fine Art America
This painting is inspired by the They Might Be Giants song "Birdhouse in your Soul."  The song is about a blue bird nightlight that brings comfort to the listener.  In the painting the bursts at the bottom represent the opening beats.  The eggs represent youth.  The young girl in the center of the painting is my daughter who is currently age nine.  I hope that she can keep the nightlight in her soul burning bright!

Part of the composition was inspired by a piece by Eldzier Cortor that is currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Loved it!
Jewels/Theme IV by Eldzier Cortor
Another element that inspired this painting is a photo of my father when he was in the first grade:
John Wooten, 1952, Knoxville, TN

I feel this photo really captures his spark, a unique youthful quality in him.  I attempted to get the same quality of image from my daughter choosing a direct gaze and replacing the "I Like Ike" button with the birdhouse- ha ha!  My father was a musician who taught high school marching bands.  Many of my first memories are of watching him direct his students to the rhythm of the beat.  This beat, this light "that doesn't rest" is what we need to push away the monsters in the shadows.

Also my mother is a birder who has always had numerous bird feeders and houses in the sanctuary of her yard.  For me- this is a painting rich in personal family symbolism.

"I have a secret to tell
From my electrical well
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
So the room must listen to me
Filibuster vigilantly
My name is blue canary one note* spelled l-i-t-e
My story's infinite
Like the Longines Symphonette it doesn't rest"
-They Might Be Giants

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Flowers in the Kitchen

Flowers in the Kitchen
Copyright 2014 Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"

"I need my friends.  I need my house.  I need my garden."
-Miranda Richardson

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Birds of Syria

The Birds of Syria
Copyright 2015 Hirschten
Oil on Canvas 18" x 36"
Prints available on Fine Art America
War is always disruptive to families.  This painting is about how many Syrians have had their home, their nest, disrupted by the Syrian Civil War.  Like a flock of birds that have been startled, the people of Syria have scattered in all directions.  If a nest was thrown up in the air, the twigs of it would also scatter.  Yet here a mother holds a new delicate nest.  It contains the egg of future generations. She is carrying it until she can find a safe place that will be her new home.

This painting is also inspired by my friend, Dima Kroma, who is from Syria.  She is creating paintings of her homeland.  One of her recent paintings is of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus with birds flying up around it into the air.  It is a beautiful scene.

Here is a photo of her painting currently on display at the Indianapolis Art Center:

Umayyad Mosque by Dima Kroma

When my friend Walter saw my "Birds of Syria" painting it he was moved to write a poem about it:

Birds of Syria 
by  Walter Biskupski
Fly away now,
Your precious lives are on the wing.
Let the currents guide you
Through the troubled air,
And bring you to shelter
Until the storms subside.
Allow those who love you to provide,
To lessen your fear; to ease your pain,
And like the winged migration through the year,
you may yet return home again.

It is my hope that the "Birds of Syria" painting will bring comfort to all Syrians who are suffering and that it raises awareness of the human rights violations that have been committed.  I am so glad that Dima, her family and others have escaped to my country, the United States, yet I can only imagine the pain of not being able to return home.

May peace come again to Syria.  May love fill your hearts.

Here are some in progress photos of this painting:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin, Germany
Copyright 2015 Hirschten
Acrylic on Panel
11" x 14"
"I'd rather live in a cave with a view of a palace than live in a palace with a view of a cave."
-Karl Pilkington