Abused Woman at Heaven’s Door – Painting Review

May 8, 2009

Today we (myself and everyone of you out there tuning in) have another chance to look at one of my Dad’s paintings and give some feedback to the artist himself.  Please take a moment to leave a comment for my Dad and let him know what you think, how the painting makes you feel, if you like it, if you don’t, what do you see in it.  The last time we did this my Dad really enjoyed hearing other peoples perspective, and he welcomes all feed back, even if you don’t like it.  Because sometimes you don’t like a painting for an interesting reason!

My Dad was a policemen in Metro Toronto for 35 years, and during that time he saw a lot of crap.  Some of the worst crap that humans visit upon other humans.  He was involved in countless rape investigations, and was witness to the sufferings of all those women, and perhaps men as well.  That many years, that many horrible things to witness, imprints on your psyche in an indelible way.  Recently my father has been expressing some of those memories, as well as reflecting on other indignities being inflicted on women around the world.  I can join him in being extremely upset by politicians in Afghanistan, a country home to countless problems, wanting to pass laws making it illegal for a woman to refuse her husband sex.  Potentially legal rape.  In a country with problems with poverty, violence, such a huge list.  This what is important.  This painting is titled “Abused Woman at Heaven’s Door”.  My father has a clear vision of what he was trying to portray, but what do you see?

Abusted Woman at Heaven's door

Obviously, copyright my Dad, 2009.


9 Responses to “Abused Woman at Heaven’s Door – Painting Review”

  1. Billy said

    Congratulations to your father. I really liked the painting and, the more I look at it, the more I like it. But, more than that, congratulations because painting takes courage, specially after a life of doing something else.

    I wish him all the best!

  2. sayingthings said

    I see a woman who is afraid to go in.

    It is a scary painting.

    Also, there are people veeeery close to me (but not married to me, fortunately) who think that rape within marriage is “impossible.” Unbelievable.

  3. Mike said

    I see my mother, Anne. My father raped her back in 1991, and despite the fact marital rape had been considered rape since the mid-1970s in Michigan, his defense was that he was “making love” to his wife — after he found divorce papers in her purse. His defense did not fly, and he was found guilty of first degree criminal sexual conduct. To this day, I truly think he thinks he did not break any laws, because Mom was his wife then, and isn’t that a wife’s duty? My mother had her very own Afghanistan. I’m proud of her bravery and self-determination to prosecute him and win.

    Your father has a beautiful soul. For him to work out the trauma he, personally, felt as a result of cases like you mentioned through his art is a gift for him. It’s communing with the creative and holy, with Muse and Spirit. It’s also a gift to those of us who are privileged to see his work and hear his stories.

    At the college where I teach, we held V-Week, which was inspired by Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and V-Day movement. I was on the committee that decided to make it a week-long awareness campaign. I was lucky enough to moderate the V-Men panel (men talking to the community about how men could end the violence against women) and blessed to be co-director for The Vagina Monologues. Your father is a V-Man! He’s a valiant man who fought to end violence against women. The stories I heard during, and after, V-Week, from women and men alike, must be similar to those your father witnessed.

    Thank you, and thanks to him, for sharing this art with us. I’m moved, and touched, and inspired all over again. V-Day and V-Weeks are needed all year long until we can stop the violence from happening to mothers, sisters, aunts, friends, wives, colleagues… It must end.


  4. J.Ciccone said

    Wow, this picture makes me physically cry. More then that it congers up so many powerful emotons of sadness, for her, for the life she lived, the guilt she feels, the sorrow. All the unjustice she still carries.

    WOW, he is truly an artist. to be able to reflect such raw emotion on canvas is truly a gift.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    • knittingunderwater said

      Thank-you for the lovely response to the painting. My Dad paints alone (except when my Mum is around, they’ve been apart lately as she was in Toronto for a back operation and he was back on the island in Honduras) and he really appreciates some feedback. He is pushing himself, and digging down deep to express so many emotions, its interesting to see it happen, especially when it is translated into a painting. He doesn’t sell his paintings, just gives some away when he wants to.
      Thanks again,

  5. Cheryl S. said

    I’ve come back to look at this several times. It’s such a strong and moving piece – it makes me weep. Such pain.

    I have two thoughts. One is that she feels such grief and shame from what has been done to her that she feels unworthy to enter.

    Yet on the other hand, the doors are closed, which makes me wonder if God has (or she feels that God has) turned his back on her.

    Whatever your dad’s intent on the message, the painting is incredibly moving. I truly am in awe of his talent.

  6. Jewel said

    Your Dad is very talented! Its such a sad painting!

  7. dad said

    I was in a white room with a painting in my hand.I was painting feelings and things that were not there. I asked some friends to drop by and give me some direction. Thank you for comments. Martin

  8. Fran said

    Hello Martin,

    You are an extremely strong individual to have witnessed that kind of brutality for so long and keep doing your job; I admire individuals like you. You are also exceptionally talented. It seems that although she is at Heaven’s Door, the trauma is still with her and always will be – sad.

    Thank you for giving a voice to those victims.

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