The Teacher, Oliva

I finished this painting this afternoon (2007). I started in last Friday Afternoon as a demonstration for the Advanced Watercolor Class. The work was done to demonstrate value painting, how to lose edge into shadow and the simplification of shapes by combining shapes of similar value and my theory of painting design.

April and I met Oliva three years ago (Fall of 2004) in Mbale town on the East side of Uganda. She is a joy. the photo for this painting was taken by me as we sat waiting out an intense thunderstorm in a small mud and wattle hut with a dirt floor North of Mbale town. It was very dark in the hut as there were no windows. This was the home of seven boys orphaned by aids that we had gone to visit.

Oliva works with an NGO called Women's Concern Ministry. They minister primarily to the orphans and widows of aids. They assist them in getting on their feet by teaching them survival skills and providing them the most practical of material assistance. For instance they teach them to plant and to nurture their own crops for food. They give them seeds for their first crop and hoes to work the soil with. Women's Concern Ministry has been recognized by the UN for their work.