I chose this painting because of the colors and shapes; it reminds me of a person taking a nap haphazardly in their yard after a busy day. I identified the colors immediately with African colors if there is such a thing. I did not know the artist was African American, but I later found he was an African American self-taught artist.
The shapes arranged, yet scattered around the napping figure, led me to believe after a busy day of running here and fixing that, he or she lies down on the hammock and fell into a deep and much-needed sleep. The shapes surrounding this exhausted figure remind the onlooker of a person who had a full day. The background of natural wood, of a time when adding paint, was a luxury.
The person is possibly dreaming of fish he or she needs to catch in the off in the distant lake or river, or maybe he needs to get up and clean the fish he just caught. There are shapes of sleeping pets, which means there is not much going on in the area.
The person has a distinctly shaped head, positioned to allow the idea of a person semi-conscious. A leg extended outward in comfort gives assurance the person has found a peaceful place to rest. The business of the yard reminds me of a long-ago way of life amongst African American people. I have memories of my grandparents and my grandparent’s parents living areas extending to the front, side, and backyard areas. The various scattered shapes and colors suggest familiar ideas and activities.
The draw for me to this art was emotional, but the idea of working hard all day with strangers and coming to a place that would allow immediate release of exhaustion to instant rest is heavenly. There is a longing for these kinds of safe outside living areas but with serial rapists, serial stalkers, and toxic neighbors on the rise; this kind of living is better left in the past.