Write Around PAM: Harry Fonseca

Kodoyampeh and the Creation of Plants and Animals # II, Harry Fonesca, 11 5/8 in x 8 5/8 inches, acrylic on canvas. A vertical, rectangular painting featuring simplified depictions of plants and three, horned deer. White paint is thickly applied in a dotted fashion to create the outlines of the deer. Two are stacked one on top of the other just left of center and one is positioned higher and just to the right of center. Their bodies are represented by half oval shapes with legs stretched out in front and behind them, as if running. Small heads with long horns horizontal to their bodies complete the animals. The deer are superimposed over another simplified shape that perhaps represents a human figure with shoulders, torso, neck, and a round, sun-like head complete with rays. Plants are suggested by more dotted-line paintings on each side of the deer and humanoid figure. They have a long center stalk with spiky shoots. All the white-lined figures and shapes are backed and outlined with black. These contrast with the gold background that includes splashes and splatters of black and white paint. The overall effect gives the painting a sense of movement and liveliness.

Nature carries within it profound beauty and immense power. We are often drawn to the tallest trees, the widest fields, the deepest canyons, the bluest lakes, the starriest skies. The cycles of nature provide food, shelter, rest, renewal, and hope. Nature, and our existence in it, is also so fragile, as we continue to see in the effects of climate change and the fires currently ravaging our region. 

Taking time to pause, reflect, and connect is vital, especially in moments of upheaval. If you are able, we invite you to spend some time today writing about your own experiences of the cycles of nature, using this piece by Harry Fonseca as inspiration. We have some prompts to help you get started. You can choose one, both, or write whatever else comes. Set a timer for 5 minutes and just keep the pen moving. Before or after you write, take some time to learn about Fonseca’s life and art.

The days grew shorter… / Together we flew…

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past posts from Sundays this summer, and look for continuing weekly posts through the fall. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM  

Harry Fonseca, Kodoyampeh and the Creation of Plants and Animals # II, 1992, acrylic on canvas, Gift of Lillian Pitt, © artist or other rights holder, 93.58.22

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