A young woman is waiting for someone or something in abandoned surroundings. Waiting has been a powerful central theme in Western art since the Odyssey. Penelope waited faithfully and patiently for twenty years for the homecoming of her husband Odysseus. And what are crucifixion scenes if not early examples of waiting art? Jesus hangs on the cross, awaiting death. Believers gaze upon him, anticipating his return.
Samuel Beckett wrote in 1952 a play about the despair of waiting, “Waiting for Godot,” in which two men sit among a desolate landscape, expecting someone who never arrives. Waiting is also the central theme in my painting, Misty. The young woman, too, may be waiting for someone who never arrives.
Waiting is so intensely human. But the lonely lady has company—a marabou. It is not a probable scene, although it might be possible. It seems absurd, but there are layers in Misty. The marabou is traditionally an allegorical bird, impersonating the vices and virtues of human. In this case he symbolizes the virtue patience, while the leash signifies holding on patiently and persevering until the waiting is over.