The Wishing Window (1973) 2×2.5 ft oil on canvas
This painting was made early in my marriage when I was living in three rooms shared with my husband and I, his parents, sister and brother. In front of our home was a big wall behind which flowed a river of sewage, black, dark, and smelly. Not to mention the mosquitoes and flies that also made this place their home. There was a decent garden in front of the house which looked large but that five families shared. There was no running water. The only way to obtain water was from the single shared hand pump.
I had such a deep wish to create my art that all these difficulties did not stop me. I used a big dining table that was placed outside on a portico as my temporary place to make my art. I had to set up all my art materials whenever I could paint, only to pack everything up so everyone could eat there.
It was quite inconvenient but all this did not stop me. At times flies got stuck in my wet paint and I had to remove them to continue. The flies did bother me by continually coming for a break to sit on my arms or face as I worked!
The painting is of a beautiful window with a view of an apple orchard seen through a clear, clean window. A freshly cut melon rests on a windowsill, showing another fascinating world inside itself. I added a steel vase with bright reflections and filled with flowers.
It was a dream that I painted. l worked and lived in my painted world.
In this old photograph the colours look faded but they were bright and natural. This painting was given to my godmother, “Zus”, in the Netherlands for all she did for me in my life. She gave me peace and refuge during my tumultuous childhood.
This is one more painting that I have no idea about where it is now. The painting was stolen one day when my godmother went out and thieves broke into her house and stole everything, taking this painting away in their moving van as well.
My mother, who is a tapestry weaver, really liked this painting. She made a beautiful tapestry based on it that is just the same size as the original. It is included here.