Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day 1, 30 in 30 days "Door Knocker", Halka by Natasa Vretenar

Knock, knock, knock! Here we are at the beginning of 2015, entering a new year, making resolutions and with optimism that every new year and a new beginning brings.
I am starting my Bosnian journey with an old door knocker, opening an old door to the first chapter in my life - place where I was born and raised - Bosnia and Hercegovina!

"Pitao jednom tako jednoga vrli pitac neki:
A kto je ta 
šta je ta da prostiš
Gdje li je ta
Odakle je ta
Kuda jeTaBosnaRekti
A zapitani odgovor njemu hitan tad dade:
Bosna da prostiš jedna zemlja imade
I posna i bosa da prostiš
I hladna i gladna
I k tomu još
Da prostiš
(iz pjesme Zapis o zemlji)

9x12" on birch cradled panel

These old door knockers can still be found on many front yard doors in Bosnia. In the past, a visitor would come to the door and knock three times to let the owner of the house know they are there. Most likely, the visitor would be unexpected.

Now, I stop and think about that for a moment. When we were growing up, there were always visitors coming to our door unexpected. Even though we did not have real door knockers on our door, it seems like the imaginary one existed there. Sometimes, family members would come and stay with us for days. My parents always welcomed them with open arms. The relatives would bring with them stories, sometimes sad ones, sometimes hilarious ones, and sometimes quite dramatic ones. They often brought gifts of food or homemade goods with them too.
This is something that just does not seem to happen in North America. Here, we do not have door knockers on our doors, not even imaginary ones. Unexpected visitors are creatures that do not exist :). We schedule our social commitments days, weeks and months in advance. We are so busy with work to welcome a friend who comes knocking.

So, if you are in my neighbourhood, please knock three times to let me know you are there (or in our virtual world, at least leave a comment :))

For this painting I used crackle Golden medium to create the look of an old cracked door. It takes a few days to really dry completely so I planned this ahead and had the board ready and dry before the challenge started.

In the next 29 days, small format paintings will be posted on my blog. I don't even know what I will be painting yet, but it sure is a challenge for me to paint bits and pieces of my memories.

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