Artist: Painting is Designed to Engender Mixed Emotions In The Viewer

Add to the conversation and post your thoughts about the painting.

Earlier this week, Patch featured a painting by by East End Arts Council member and artist Robert Mehling and asked readers what they thought of it in a series we call, First Impressions. 

The following is what readers had to say:

Nikki D. Caravella wrote, "Seems like no one came to Thanksgiving. Lonely..."

theresa said, "Unfortunately for the artist, the first impression is sadness and loss. Unless of course that was what he had in mind. Neverless, it's sad, especially when you notice the empty glass of wine, the family picture in the background. What the cross is doing there is anyone's guess. I'm wondering where's the cranberry sauce and stuffing."

Laura Ragus added, "The artist's work is breathtaking and so real. My impression is of anticipation and desire. I'd like to say the feast is laid before him but you only see one part of the table, the rest is complete with family waiting for their patriarch to cut the turkey and begin the celebration. I give thanks to the artist's beautiful masterpiece.

The Artist's Turn

Robert Mehling  says the painting, called, "Thanks"  is a painting designed to engender mixed emotions in the viewer.

He said, "Initial humor at seeing the giant turkey before the glum-looking banqueter becomes nostalgic memories of Thanksgivings past. For many of us, such introspection turns into holiday-inspired loneliness, a time of year we stop to reflect on our personal regrets. Over the seated figure's left shoulder behind him is a television. Does the commercial of a young nuclear family on the television represent the regrets of a white-haired bachelor who never got married? Does the crucifix at his right contrast the spiritual with the television's materialism? Is he perhaps a celibate priest? The empty wine glass adds to the introspection. There's too much turkey for one person but turkeys must be sacrificed to observe tradition. Soon he'll overstuff his stomach to compensate the emptiness of his soul- in vain."

If you are an artist and would like your work featured in our feature, e-mail Erica.Jackson@Patch.com


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