“I get so excited — I mean, really giddy — when I paint Ethiopia. Here is this country that has come to mean a great deal to me, where I have spent long quantities of time and energy, experienced incredible joy, and then … heartbreak.
“This country is complicated, as is the vast continent of Africa that it is part of, right in the horn of East Africa. But its landscape is so peaceful to me, so very beautiful. When I leave the chaos of Addis Ababa behind and travel the countryside, Ethiopia begins to reveal herself. The countryside is vast and villages far apart, watching the lovely scenery unspool as we pass by. The peacefulness is only disturbed by the many, many potholes you’re riding over, and the stream of children that rush to greet you as you approach the next village. It’s a contrast to the streets of Addis Ababa: always crowded, teeming with life and crowds and mini buses and taxis and — well, just about everything you can imagine.
“So it is this countryside I paint here. Most people are surprised to learn Ethiopia is mountainous, with Addis Ababa standing proud at over 8,000 feet. But the landscape is gentle in most places: The hills roll softly into the next, and occasionally you pass a young man carrying water or women with lumber on their backs, backs not made to carry such a load. You run across a farmer and his goats, and children running and playing. I have watched out the window of a mini bus so many times with tears streaming down my face touched by the intense beauty, the rawness, the purity — and the heartbreak. So much emotion is the stirring of art, and the roots of this painting. I look forward to a time in the near future when I can more fully dive into this series, ‘Ethiopia.'”
Size: 12 x 12
Medium: Mixed media on canvas
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