This is one of my latest paintings. As yet I can’t think of an appropriate title. It went through some very big changes before this completed version. The earliest painting on this board (still under the paint somewhere) is illustrated below.
Like most of my paintings the inspiration comes from a combination of Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 and the gospel accounts of the crucifixion.
This finished work contains two of the motifs I use quite a lot. (Does the use of the word “motif” make me sound as if I know what I’m doing?).
The “Y” is my variation on the cross of the crucifixion. I use it for several reasons.
1) It is an abbreviated echo of the question in Jesus’ cry of “My God My God WHY have you forsaken me.
2) It highlights the shape of a crucified Jesus instead of the wood on which He was nailed, putting the emphasis on HIM rather than upon a religious symbol that has been turned into a kind of talisman verging on idolatry.
3) The “Y” is the first letter in the anglicised version of Jesus’ Hebrew name (Yeshua)
4) It relates to a local landmark in my home town
Another symbol I’ve started to use is the image of a clock showing 3 o’clock. Im use it in a few of my most recent paintings and represents the time around Jesus’ cry of anguish and his sudden death. In this painting the time is barely discernible (less so in the photo) on the oval to the viewer’s left of the “Y”.
Throughout the painting I have also etched gospel statements into the surface. Again the photo doesn’t show these up very well, but zooming in on the fork above the “Y” shows a hint of words scratched into the paint surface.
And here is the first thing painted on the canvas. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the version between this one and the finished painting. The one shown to the left is one of my first attempts at painting scripture which was my original intention, inspired by my friend Chris who is very successful at painting nothing but bible words. But I wasn’t happy with most of my own efforts (like the one here) and I now try to take a different approach using a growing language of symbols to (hopefully) complement biblical text and references incorporated more subtly into the paintings.