John Dyer Painting. Family Harvest, Isla Taquile, Peru
A glimpse of Peruvian life is perfectly captured in this delightful John Dyer painting. The rich warm earth colours complement the deep blue sky perfectly. A family harvest their potato crop in front of their home, they have made a small earth oven and cook some of the crop for their lunch. Butterflies and yellow flowers add warmth and sunshine to the canvas. Read more below:
John Dyer: In the 1950s simple neutral frames became popular for St Ives artists. John chooses an off-white so the lightest tones appear in the painting. The moulding is a variation of 'Salvator Rosa' from Italy. Hand finished in almond white paint.
Ready to hang
Strung with picture cord and ready to hang
In the far south of Peru, near the Bolivian border, you find the genetic home of the potato. Peru is where the humble potato originated from, and this is also the place to find not only the biodiversity but the culture and ceremonies associated with it. 45km into Lake Titicaca is the island of Taquile which has some of the oldest potato terraces in the world. The people (Taquileños) of the island run their community as a collective and adhere to the Inca moral code: do not steal, lie or be lazy. This is a very traditional but rich society. The clothes worn by the men and women are the same throughout the year, the hats of the men being particularly interesting as they indicate their marital status by the use of colour. After a day and a half of walking to find the harvest, I painted this canvas as the family gathered their crop and again it became a wonderful way of communicating with the people. As I was watching them they watched me. Yellow butterflies flitted about and birdsong filled the air. To slow the harvest up a little, and as a courtesy to the family, I provided plenty of coca leaves and beer which seemed to work a treat! The harvest continued at a pace I could keep up with and a crowd of locals gathered to watch the spectacle. The family cooked some of the potatoes in a small earth oven they constructed and the farmer blessed my painting with beer for Pachamama. He was pleased with the length and straightness of the line the beer left on the earth, stating that this would bring great fortune to the painting. John Dyer.