Hope #1 Golden Valley

I have set a challenge for myself this month to paint a picture of hope every day of January for Perkasie Fun-A-Day 2018. When I did an internet search for images of hope, most just had the word in it. A few had a tender plant sprouting up. One had a tree sprout coming up from a crack in the pavement. That was on my list to do, already. There were candles and there were scripture verses and other pithy sayings. There were fewer than 30 unique ideas in the images. Almost all of them contained words. I started this painting with a blank, cadmium yellow 20″ x 20″ x 1-1/2″ canvas.

Bright yellow is the color Buddhists use to signify hope, blessing, happiness, or good luck. Christian iconography also uses it to signify blessing or glory, which is the “blessed hope”. I looked at it, pondered it, and let it tell me how to turn a blank, yellow square into an image that conveyed hope. The result was wheat, loaded with grain. I grew up in Golden Valley, Minnesota, the home of General Mills. It had been a crossroads for a mill since 1875, with the rest being golden wheat fields until about 1960 when the rest was carved out of the prairie to house us baby boomers and our WW2 veteran parents. The next suburbs out were Crystal and New Hope. Everyone listened to the farm reports with the futures prices, weather, etc., and the off-color, farmer jokes on the major CBS affiliate AM radio station that went coast to coast overnight. Even though half of the state’s population lived in the “Cities” (Mpls/St. Paul), everyone knew that agriculture was where their bread was buttered, literally and figuratively. Just as in millennia past, even though our Golden Valley was no longer waving with grain, but had golf courses and Kentucky Bluegrass, our hope was still in the golden fruit of the grass growing on the prairie to the west.

Painting is acrylic on 20″ x 20″ x 1-1/2″ stretched canvas.

Price: $150 plus postage

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