The Spirit of Merchandise, 12" x 12", acrylic on canvas board, 2009

acrylic canvas board. different strokes from different folks josh Karin Jurick

This my entry in Karin Juricks DSFDF, the reference was a tray of vegetables, something to depict harvest. But when I saw those crops the first thing that came to my mind was Africa and its market places. African Markets are the most colourful places to behold. There is life, energy, colour and vitality. The noise of the hawkers ans sellers will wake anyone from the dead!

I know in this part of the world it is seen as child abuse when children sell in market places but in Africa it is a matter of survival, not that I support it, but I remember having to sell some soft drinks and ice fruit drinks for my mum. I had to carry it around on my head and sound the call for customers to buy them!

So, in a bid to reconstruct something I recall from Africa, I have used this challenge to depict the spirit of merchandise. This piece is titled thus, because sometimes the markets run till late and everyone seems to never give up or go home until their goods are sold. Traders would even reduce the prices of the goods by half at those late moments just to have something to show for a hard days work.

I have used my son Josh as the model here and I have painted this with acrylics with a slow dry medium to help me work and blend while the work was in progress. His contemplative face could be all that captures one of the passers by or people willing to buy and they might just purchase his goods out of pity! The style used here is more of expressionism, not paying attention to details but just using my brushstrokes as calligraphic marks to depict my feelings for the scene. I wanted to capture that buzz of feeling in such places while using Josh as the focal point to tie the whole piece together.

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