Vespers. Oil on canvas, 42″ x 26″.
Vespers is a medium size painting in oil on canvas. It features a Monk Parakeet, a non-native bird, which has heavily populated Florida. The painting is primarily in greens and blues, punctuated by oranges. The clock on the wall says that its after nine o’clock. The people who live in the house are involved in evening activities, hence the title, Vespers, the term for evening prayers from the Catholic Book of Hours. The parrot appears to be flying from the suburban life underneath. Is he escaping? Or is he the embodiment of the evening prayers that have been offered by the household below?
The abundant, organic, natural life in the foreground, full of leaves and fruit, contrasts with the man made, artificial life down below, with its clock, jacuzzi, and electric lighting. Ironically, the high intensity colors in the parrot are made possible by artificial, chemical pigments. Painting has its own science. In the actual painting, the oranges have a luminous glow, made possible by first underpainting them with pure, textured white, and then, when dry, glazing them with the final orange color. This gives the oranges a physical texture and glow that can only be experienced when seeing the original painting in person.
Though there is much detail, the painting is full of physical and spatial discontinuities that give it a surreal or dreamlike character. The style of the painting borrows from Surrealist, Realist, and American Primitive prototypes. This eclectic blend of styles is a characteristic of Postmodernism.