"Lightly Beaten" is my working title for this painting. Being an idea driven and symbolic painter, I could not get the piece I heard on the radio out of my mind. Did I hear right? In Pakistan, a law has been proposed that allows a husband to lightly beat his wife.
That sent me to the computer to verify and read more about this. Here is a brief quote from the Washington Post: "The head of a powerful Islamic council is refusing to back down from a proposal that makes it legal for husbands to "lightly beat" their wives in Pakistan."
My brain started churning. How could I paint this story? I started looking at the attire of Pakistani women and children (my theme in this series). I looked at photos of Pakistan and a painting began to take shape in my mind. The mosque became the backdrop for the figures as a symbol of the extremist religious leaders proposing such a law. The women are in a posture which says, "what can we do?' And the child is jumping away. What will her future be?
I'd like to share the details of the actual painting of this piece. As I took on the large task of simplifying the architecture and decoration of the mosque, I found I really enjoyed creating the detail and patterns in the mosque. It was painted with admiration and respect for the beauty of the building, despite my symbolic use of the structure.
As I painted the women, I thought of them as gems. The colors they wear and poses as they sit are so feminine.
And the child--I painted her leaping into an unknown future. But I hope it is a future of more freedom!