|Madre e hijo por Tanya Torres|
Mother and Child by Tanya Torres, oil on canvas, 12" x 9", 2012.
I had previously posted this painting, but part of the purpose of publishing them here is to organize my thoughts about them in order to be able to talk about each. I simply think much more efficiently when I write!
This was actually the second painting I finished, and which I did before the Tree and the Heart. The story of this painting is that, as I was watching a video of a bunch of priests fighting with brooms in Jerusalem, an image of the Virgin Mary with the Holy Child caught my eye. I looked it up and remained with the impression until I was able to begin drawing it. Here is the original drawing:
Actually, his is a later version that I flipped in order to create a new painting. But it is really the same drawing, improved. (I had to rework the original one on the painting itself, my punishment for not paying good attention to the position of the baby's eyes...)
I had a lot to do that day, but a great burst of energy made me get up and start painting. I painted and painted for days, and struggled with the colors. Blue simply is not my color, but I kept reaching for it until I gave up and used most of the blues I possess. With lots of white. She had different hair colors, including blue, green, brown, and black, but nothing worked and only gray balanced the image.
In the end, I got used to the new palette, and accepted it. This painting made me decide to use similar colors in about half the paintings in this series. I don't think I had ever used gray before. In my mind, the paintings with light blue skies represent Heaven. The other paintings refer to Earth. But I had not yet realized that when I created this painting.
For a child, Heaven is in his mother's arms. For a mother, Heaven is embracing her child. Like a goddess of the Earth, she has a veil of leaves, and leaves sprout from the trees, a sort of crown on her head.
But she also still is the Queen of Heaven. The icon-like faces refer to the prototype of holiness and beauty for the human being, existing in all of us, and perhaps backwards from the understanding of the prototype for holiness by traditional Byzantine and Orthodox Christian iconography. Human is divine when we become the face of God for others.