Patty Wickman
40 Days, 2009
Oil on canvas,
each painting is 6" x 8"

In the Judeo-Christian tradition 40 days is a symbolic period of time that speaks of trial and testing -- rain that falls for 40 days and nights, 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, 40 days of fasting in the desert. These 40 paintings likewise represent a period of scrutiny.

Motherhood has affected my work both in terms of time management and in terms of what I look at and think about. These paintings are all about slowing down and looking at the everyday, from the mundane to the ecstatic, and about working with the time that I am able to carve out on a given day. Most of the paintings are based on observation.

They are about what entered my field of vision and and preoccupied my mind on a daily basis during Lent, the (roughly) 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. In "Looking at the Overlooked -- Four Essays on Still Life Painting," Norman Bryson talks about the feminine space traditionally addressed in a still life painting -- the domestic, the intimate, the private. All of the encounters depicted in these paintings are informed by the slowing down and reassessment that has occurred as a result of being a mother.

Patty Wickman