Friday, November 30, 2007

The Line

Line, Oil on Canvas, 12" x 6", © 2007 Jennie Traill Schaeffer

Just completed before Thanksgiving, this painting is a continuation of my investigation of Italy and response to my trip in March. It, like all of the other paintings, is done from photo reference I took. What drew me and continues to drive my interest is the laundry line against the backdrop of an old-world building. We were walking through a magnificent Tuscan town, Castellina in Chianti, when I spotted the elegant laundry line. Perceiving laundry lines as elegant is a foreigners' perspective. But, it makes me reconsider my past critical views of Americans who hung laundry. It's a fabulous tradition that really makes a lot of sense both for reconnecting to the past and bridging to a future where global warming fills the headlines and being "green" is en vogue.

I am reminded of an article entitled, HOME WORK; The Quiet Pleasures of a Line in the Sun, in the NY Times last year about the tradition, resurgence and the art of hanging laundry. The author truly beautified and realized the process of hanging a line. I have never hung laundry to dry myself; we moved into our home two years ago and cut down the rusty looking clothing line that stretched 50 feet to the back yard. My mom never hung a line that I can remember. Maybe one day I will return to it when I have the chance to learn the art of hanging a line.

In the meantime I will continue to deal with the laundry line through my artwork. Here's relief print I did depicting a laundry line from Siracusa, Italy after returning from studying abroad in art school:

Memory of Italia, limited edition of 5, linoleum print, 10" x 8", © 2000 Jennie Traill Schaeffer


poppy said...

I LOVE your new line painting. The colors are so vibrant and exciting. Under the Tuscan sun!!!

Crow said...

Jennie -- Wow! I could study this one for hours. The light is palpable and that is the vehicle by which we are transported to the "fine" in "fine art!"


rachelj said...

I just read this and it really hit home - as you may remember, my mom has a laundry line (where she hangs even now in the January cold) and her mother does as well. I can't say I carried on the tradition but it is more out of laziness than anything else.

I love the painting - it really beautifies the everyday task of doing laundry!