Aurora, Paloma, and the Melangolo Tree
by Jill Slaymaker
Aurora, Paloma and the Melangolo Tree was painted after a trip to the Mediterranean in 2006, where I became ill and spent two weeks in a "sanitorium," formerly a 12th century monastery, in Rome. After a week there, I was introduced, in their garden, to a 900-year-old melangolo (bitter orange) tree still bearing fruit. I was so awed by the tree, I sat under it every day and made watercolor paintings. Within a week, I was healed and ready to return home.
Ever since, I've put orange trees in my paintings as a symbol of rejuvenation and hope. The woman in the painting is releasing a bird from its cage, back into the wild. As a long time environmentalist, I believe compassion toward the earth and all its inhabitants is important. Recently, I've been including endangered and extinct animals in my work.
Jill Slaymaker’s work is in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; and the Davis Mini-Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, as well as many other international public and private collections. Jill received her MFA in painting from Texas A & M and lives in Manhattan.