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  Susan Weinberg
  Studio 409







susan@studio409art.com















Putting a Face on Family History








 

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I have been involved with family history research for many years, but began to paint it when I found myself at an impasse, hopeful that it would bring new insights.  I had source material in the form of stories, photos and documents, but more than that, I wanted to really get a sense of who my ancestors were. 

Somehow painting someone always makes me feel that I understand them better, perhaps it is because I study them so intently.   When I succeed there is a magical moment when they step out of the canvas. In painting my family, I used names and words in the background. I particularly liked the graphic quality they added to the paintings. I also used metallic paint to both create the feel of a Russian icon and as a symbol of the veil that the present represents as it obscures the past.

   

Beyond the imagery there are some larger themes that emerge in family history, especially in Jewish history. Genealogy represents a knitting together of families that have been torn apart by the Holocaust, immigration and the natural dispersion of families over time. In many ways this is an important time to be doing family history. For but a short time, there are still survivors of the Holocaust that can tell us of a world that no longer exists. The Internet enables us to easily access resources such as Yad Vashem and communicate with distant relatives with ease. Iíve found my family history to be a fascinating journey and the visual representation of it has added considerably to my understanding of it.
         





Click on thumbnails to view larger image and accompanying story








  


Piercing the Veil 2007
Acrylic on Board  36"x24"

Zehava 2007
Acrylic on  Board 36"x24"
Schloime 2007
Acrylic on Board 36"x24"














Waiting 2007
Acrylic on Board 36"x24"


The Enigma 2007
Acrylic on Board 36"x24"
Memory of Blessing 2007
Acrylic on Board 36"x24"














       
The Twinkle in His Eye
Acrylic on Canvas 30"x24"



Blue Feathers 2007
Acrylic on Board 30"x24"
Starzakonny 2007
Acrylic on Board 30"x24"











Transmutation 2007
Acrylic on Board 36"x72"





        

They Stayed Behind  2007
Acryilic on 24"x36"



From There to Here 2007
Acrylic 36"x48"
















It is Good to Donate the Knowledge 2007
Collage


Kamenetz, Not Communist 2007
Collage
The Key to the City 2007
Collage



     




















    






















 

















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©Susan Weinberg 2012