gypsy camp painting


Artist Caryl Westergren Original Paintings

Dare you give our fire, but a glance, or join the campfire of the Roma Gypsy Travelers? Gypsy Camp by Caryl Westergren

Caryl Westergren; Gypsy Camp; 2007; Painting; Acrylic on canvas; size 2' x 3' ft.
Copyright © All rights reserved.

 Gypsy Camp is an original painting of an imagined Romany (Gypsy) scene.  Note from Caryl -  I am using the word Gypsy in the place of Rom, Roma, and Romany, because of my artistic association and in the positive spirit of the nature of the word.


So there are three strangers looking upon us, each with the same knowing smile. What does she know that we cannot fathom unless she tells us?; Amongst the night as a back drop, we are offered a glimpse into the lives of gypsies; their reds, blues, and in some cases turquoise, blends into the star lit night in an effort to provide us with a metaphysical dreamscape, underlining the often mysterious ways they practice apart from our mainstream world.   There is almost a specter which becomes bigger than the horizon itself, their horse --- with ghost white and the same moon lit pale imbued in the bluish mysticism that generates from the three sitting by their fire.  Westergren tells us she had heavily studied the gypsies, and in this particular multiple-portrait, her views come back by the heavy folktale atmosphere, using night, the symbol of the fire, and nocturnal colors that becomes the narrator through Westergren’s depth perceptions.

 There is a wise and sudden exhilaration with the flame’s shadows that leaped upon her face, but we keep walking in the end for who are we to intrude?  So we take our attentions elsewhere lest we disturb something sacred.  She looks up with her daughters, whom have black eyes and long raven hair, twisted and bound in intricate weaves.  We cannot escape the flowing colors and dangling bangles, it’s an ocean made from the rainbow spectrum,  our souls becoming the transient ships which rise and then fall upon each crease of their dresses.   The scent of crackling birch and carefully split oak gently relives our hesitation for it’s the comforts of the old ways, when the power suddenly goes out and all of your electronic splendors are silenced, forcing you to bring yourself into a huddle by the candle light. “ Come weary travelers,”  said the woman, “  Its impolite to move on a perfectly lit camp fire without sharing some mysteries through song and tales spun,  lent over from generation to generation.”

Upon the soft melodies What mystery should there be?

Roads, valleys, rivers and meadows,

Miles tracked upon a hoofed stead

Where the creek and yawn of a caravan

Rocks you to sleep as eucalyptus and spice

 Roams into the senses,

It is the beginning of a beautiful catharsis

 Upon the soft melodies

Story and Poetry by M. Baines; 2013.

Artist Caryl Westergren Original Painting

A note from Caryl - I have researched the Rom Gypsies by reading books, videos, movies, a documentary, and hundreds of images of Gypsy life and Gypsy scenes and people themselves known as: the Rom, Roma, Romany, and Gypsy. The professional painting Gypsy Camp is a colorful original Rom Gypsy
campfire scene with a Gypsy boy, Gypsy girl, Gypsy woman, and a Gypsy Horse by Caryl Westergren.  The image is an original created work. The Gypsy horse is known by many names, including Gypsy Vanner, Gypsy Cob, Irish Cob, Romany Horse and Tinker Horse. ©

Thank you for your lovely story and poem.