This is section two. Section two only has one painting in it. And it's called Three Women. I just finished it this August, August of 2017, although I've been working on it since 1993 off and on. It's oil on linen40 inches by 46. So it kinda dominates the space. The painting is of three women who are all on a porch of a kind of rustic looking house. You can't see much of the house because it’s a pretty close up view - mostly you just see one pillar of the porch and the steps, and a little bit of the house behind them.The porch part of the painting is in the foreground, and behind the porch is a pretty long distance vista - there’s a blue sky. Behind the porch in in the blue sky there's a very large thundercloud looming up on the right. And below the thundercloud it's very dark; there's a deep dark purple shadow cast. And against the deep dark purple shadows cast there is a a distant city, it looks like kind of a New England mill town made of red brick. And it has a tower rising above the city in theFlorentine style of Architecture that you see a lot of in New England mill towns, and other buildings. And then as you come forward, there is a nice a little green camelback truss bridge across the small river, or perhaps it might be a mill race. But it's a little piece of water between the city and the little bit of countryside in front of the city. And that brings us back up to where the porch is, which is on top a hill. And you as a viewer, we as viewers, we seem to be approaching the porch maybe from down the other side of the hill. In the foreground there is an older woman, looking out at us from the painting - or just looking out of the painting, at approximately eye level. Behind her there is a women who might well be her adult daughter. You can probably assume that these are three generations of a single family. And then what is probably the early teenage daughter of the mother looking out over the valley. And they form this kind of interlocking pattern because the mother is in the middle of holding up a sheet; she's clothes pinning a sheet to a clothes line. And the wrinkles in the sheet she's holding up connect her gesture with that of her daughter who is holding on to the pillar and leaning out off of the porch as if she was about to fly off into space and into the distant painting; and the older lady who is sitting down on the steps, and who seems to be somewhat supported by the lines of force from the sheet.The reason why these are all held together is that I want the painting itself to express the relationship of these people to each other and to their own sense of where they are in life, and to their futures and possibly their pasts. So for instance the young girl, the adolescent, is looking into the space of the painting. in other words, she's looking into the world as created by the painter; into a world that is, that we know as the audience is not actually real; it’s a made up world. But to her, she takes it at face value; it's real, it's her future. She wants to get off that porch, and go and meet her future. And in the future, there is this great thunderstorm coming, and I think to her, it’s frightening but it's also exciting. It is you know all the stuff that’s going to happen to her in her life, and she’s just ready to fly off and have her life.
The mother is in the plane of the painting. And she's holding up the sheet which is also in the plane of the painting. And in those lines,of folds and the force of her pulling up the sheet against gravity: those are her supporting her daughter, and keeping her daughter from flying off the porch before it's time for her to do so, and keeping her mother alive and cared for in her old age. So she's kind of in the stage of life where just dealing with the everyday stuff is what you do. She doesn't have a lot of consciousness of greater questions beyond that. She’s in the present, just dealing with her daily to do list.
Now the older woman is sitting on the steps looking out of the picture. So she's looking into our world. Our world which is, you know, in a Platonic sense of things, maybe the real world of which the painted world is only a shadow. So for her she's thinking about what is beyond this life, possibly. And does your future include anything beyond this life. And she's looking pretty skeptical. She may intuit that there is something beyond this picture, but - is it gonna do her any good? Is she going to be able to escape this picture and have a life beyond it? Well, possibly - because now you've seen her, and she lives in your mind.
[Kelsey] It’s interesting too, because when we were prepping for this and you were kind of just describing this photograph, you had mentioned that the mother, who's hanging up the clothes line, is wearing scrubs, or what look like scrubs?
[Matthew] Yeah, that’s right.
[Kelsey] And that- it's kind of an interesting thing that, if she’s wearing scrubs, my assumption would generally be, she might be a nurse or something. and, just like, that being the case, it’s very interesting because she’s clearly probably a caretaker for both of these other women - so that’s kind of a interesting thing.
[Matthew] Yeah - she's not only one having to deal with her domestic life, but she’s got her job that she goes to, and her job is probably also one where she cares for people - yeah, that’s a part of it.
So there's a lot of levels this can be read on, and I encourage everybody to read them on whatever levels you see. That's kind of what I had in mind when I did it.