This painting, “Icy Repose” was one half of a diptych along with “The Mourners”. Two sides of the coin, as it were. I painted it almost directly from an old photograph of my Great Great Grandfather, Johannes Weispfenning in his burial coffin. There was a tradition amongst the Germans from Russia, (my people) to take photos of the dead at their funeral!
After the casket painting was done, I decided he needed someone to mourn him, thus the diptych. “The Mourners” was sold separately, which usually isn’t done for diptychs or triptychs, but I must have really been starving at the time!
The piece is separated into 3 horizontal parts, on purpose. The starkness of the top and bottom contrast with the middle part, portraying an overall feeling of strangeness. The colors, being muted and muddied, illustrate the sadness of the situation.