Moushrabiyas, Picasso and the Red Line – Morocco, Spain and California

rolled-2288

New version of ‘Rolled’ – unfinished   click on image to enlarge

Paintings evolve. Sometimes painters work on a painting for years. Picasso did. Going back to the studio I looked at the painting ‘Rolled ‘ which I thought was finished.  It’s so dark ! I can’t see the variations in color! All shapes are the same size! Auughh It needs work. So I started to paint. One stroke changes the painting. Another stroke needs to be done. I turn the canvas in a different direction.  I looked at  ‘Ghost  Horse’ and thought, how can I relate this canvas to that one? On paper I sketched my hand, foot and elbow, cut out the shapes and pinned them on the canvas. (I know, I’m not supposed to puncture the canvas with holes according to the old rules) Now I have to integrate the bigger shapes. The red line needs to be stronger. Well, maybe it is ok……

‘Rolled’

One of my blogger friends looked at this painting . His response was To be honest, I don’t really get paintings, esp. illustrative, abstract  paintings. It is nice to get into the mind of a painter. Er? Any hint … interpretation? I’m totally dense.
OK . You have challenged me! You are from S. California so you probably swim in the ocean. Ever get rolled by a wave when you are in the ocean and don’t know which way is up? So if you look at that painting, on the lower right just above the red line you will see a little white paint shaped like me falling legs and arms up with curved back, If you look around the painting you see bits of blue sky The painting or ocean is dark with flashes of light. all kinds of shapes, fish, kelp, water swirling maybe you get slammed against a rock and get a flash of pain (red line). So my painting is how I felt when I got rolled. Or how I felt with some situation going on in my life. How I felt in my head.
Abstract painting is like interpreting jazz. Abstract painting is made up of variations of color, form, line, texture, space. It’s how the painter feels. How does Branford Marsalis feel when he plays his saxophone? He makes that instrument talk using variations of sound. How do you feel when you respond to these abstract music rhythms and sounds?
Squint your eyes when you look at a landscape. It reduces your ‘picture’ to basic shapes, color, line, texture, space.

‘Zellig’ by Carla Trefethen Saunders available on Amazon.com

This painting has many layers. It started out in the year 2000. The painting was about how I felt about moushrabiyas. In Morocco, in strict Islamic tradition, moushrabiyas or intricately carved geometrical screens were designed to keep Muslim women hidden from view. These screens on balconies and windows allowed women to observe their surroundings without themselves being seen. I was told they were to protect the women from men’s eyes. As a western woman I interpreted that as taking away women’s rights. Our world is in a turmoil when it comes to the issue of women’s rights.

4 thoughts on “Moushrabiyas, Picasso and the Red Line – Morocco, Spain and California

    • I’m glad to hear from you, Karen. I was wondering what kind of reaction I would get. It’s new for me to share with the public something that isn’t ready or completed. And I don’t know where it is going!

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  1. Love the development Carla, I actually prefer it rotated where the red lines are to the right and vertical but I know with my work its got to happen from all views. Love the painting on the book on the left hand side, reminds me of Howard Hodgkins. Keep on rollin’ Cheers Sue

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