I have completed the centerpiece for the 2016 Jung Haus show funded by the Puffin West Foundation grant: “Oak Tree With Cow.”
“Oak Tree With Cow” by Lynda McClanahan
The piece is a visual contemplation on whether sovereignty of the body is culturally available to women. When two or more interests are in competition and hard choices must be made, who or what wins and what loses: the acorn or the tree?
At 47″H x 37″W, “Oak Tree With Cow” is the largest painting I’ve done to date. It certainly stretched the limits of my workspace and technique. My hands are dry and sore and the drywall in the little dormer studio is covered with dings and splashes of paint. Hipster hubby Joel says the image is inscrutable, which has left me a bit flummoxed. I try to make my paintings open to interpretation but also capable of being read like a book by those who look carefully.
Laurel Wreath Detail, “Oak Tree With Cow”
The queenly central figure is rendered in an ultra feminine style and crowned with a laurel wreath.
Acorn badge detail, “Oak Tree With Cow”
The royal sash is adorned with badges depicting an acorn…
Don’t Tread on Me Badge detail, “Oak Tree With Cow”
and the “Don’t Tread on Me” symbol of freedom prized by libertarians.
Oak Tree silhouette detail, “Oak Tree With Cow”
To the left of the figure is the silhouette of an oak tree….
Oak Tree Sprig with Acorns detail from “Oak Tree and
…and a sprig of leaves with acorns.
Holy Cow detail from “Oak Tree With Cow”
To the right is the Holy Cow of Hinduism with a hand-print of ownership….
Milk Pot detail, “Oak Tree With Cow”
…..and the milk pot used by village women all over India.
I wonder if anyone will notice the similarity between the decoration used on the pot and the Queen’s lace skirt.
Lace skirt detail, “Oak Tree With Cow”
Taken as a whole, is this painting really so mysterious? I worry I’ve overstepped myself but, in the end, it’s a work of art. We can throw out a net, but what is captured is anybody’s guess.