WITH HOPE AND HARD WORK... ACRYLICS ON RED CEDAR SPRING 2020
I like to paint seasonally and originally planned to do this painting in the fall. But with Covid-19 impacting all of our lives in a major way, I thought this subject fitting for this spring. Coming out of the pandemic will be a major challenge not only for the world and our nation, but for each individual as well. How successfully we meet this challenge will determine how soon we can return our lives to some semblance of normal—if not the new normal. I have chosen a salmon, fighting to overcome the challenge of the waterfall, as a symbol for our times. Singular of mind and exerting all of its physical abilities, the salmon’s only goal is to ascend the waterfall and make its way to its native spawning stream. It may also require such a Herculean effort on our part to climb out of the physical, psychological, and economic hole we find ourselves currently in. But with hope and hard work, we too, like the salmon, will succeed. I was inspired to paint this by seeing Maruyama Oyko’s stunning painting of a carp ascending a waterfall. In Japanese (and Chinese) legend, this subject is a symbol of perseverance and valor as the carp leaps up the rapids and transforms into a dragon. My painting has a simple painted border in place of a frame.