El Salvador Series 1

Now is a great time to open the doors of our hearts a little wider and tap into the overflowing graces that surround us. Recently, my sister encouraged me to share an old series of paintings that could inspire us to continue to pray for peace in our world during this Lenton season.

Running like a river through this series we see the theme of margins and centers. This El Salvador series (2002-2009) looks to the margins of society for its subjects and themes hoping to center these difficult issues and beautiful scenes in our hearts.

Each painting carries a line from the song “Here I am Lord.” I remember hearing it in mass when I was a child and feeling powerful emotions similarly expressed in the song. “Here I am Lord, is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.”

This painting addresses the environmental issue of rapidly disappearing wildlife in El Salvador. This is due in part to deforestation caused by a transnational economy that feeds burgeoning construction of shopping malls, factories, and new housing complexes. In addition, most rural Salvadorans are subsistence farmers who rent land and are usually not concerned with the deforestation of land that they do not own. Fifty percent of rural Salvadorans also still use wood for all their cooking needs. All these factors contribute to making El Salvador the second most deforested country in the western hemisphere. In this painting, the shadow of the torogoz, the brightly colored national bird of El Salvador, represents the country.
And as you can see that I did not fill it in with color, it is a silhouette. Almost like it was there and then it flew off the canvas. This is because I am trying to ask the question...Where is all the beautiful wildlife going?

How might this painting deepen your compassion for creation?

"I The Lord of Sea and Sky" Oil on canvas, 25” x 48” 2002