Eye Test

Eye test

Isaiah 5:20

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Matt 19:24

I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God

proverbs 10:10

He that winks with the eye causes sorrow


My latest painting is below. It measures 102cm x 75 cm.


It started out like this, until I added several layers of diluted, transparent paint (blue-black and cobalt blue). I also painted over the red diagonal stripe, scraping away some of the paint to expose a short section of red in the middle:


Past Present Future

past present future

In the centre, round the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and behind. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all round, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

‘“Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,”
who was, and is, and is to come.’

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

‘You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.’

“I AM”: names of Jesus

Most of the time my initial idea for a painting will turn into something completely different by the time I finish it. Here is a clear example.

This is the first version.


For the next stage I stencilled various names given to Jesus onto the canvas, making the letters contrast with the background, using black where the background was white and vice versa. I also stencilled the word “Truth” over the red “Jesus”.

While I could imagine the result I wanted, my technique wasn’t up to the challenge. I’m far too messy with paint and a lot of the stencilled lettering smudged, or the paint bled under the stencils and tape.

I could either perservere and try to neaten up the rough edges, or I could try something different. I took the second option and this is the result. I took the photo yesterday evening.


I covered most of the painting with “blue/black” diluted with acrylic paint medium. The “blue/black” came out more green than blue. Any blue in the painting comes from a weak wash of Cobalt Blue.
I reinstated the large white “I AM” by wiping some of the surface paint away with a damp cloth, then I used touches of Titanium White to give a few desired highlights.

The result has much more subtlety than the stark black and white image I’d originally intended, and I think the final painting is much better. Completing it has been encouraging. There is a local exhibition early in April and I’ve wanted to enter some new paintings. My progress has been very slow in recent weeks and I didn’t think I’d have anything ready in time, but now I’m feeling much more confident.

Here is a second photo of the same painting that I took this morning with a different camera. The only change I made to the painting was a slight adjustment to the bottom of the “I” in “I AM” but the difference in colour makes it seem like a totally different painting; proving the difficulties I have photographing my art. Neither photo captures the painting as seen in person.

Jesus said “I AM…”


And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

…the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

Jesus said, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

I AM the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst

I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.

When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.

Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM

Most assuredly, I say to you, I AM the door of the sheep.

I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”

They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus said to them, “I AM.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Then the Lord said, “I AM Jesus”

The Rage of Nations

My Psalm 2 painting is now complete. It took longer than usual because we’ve had some extremely hot weather and conditions in my studio have been unbearable for more than a few minutes of painting at a time. But here it is, I finished it last night.

psalm 2

My series of flag paintings was started in response to some disturbing expressions of patriotism I saw on a few blogs and forums; in which I perceived an unholy hybrid of national pride and religion. While most of this seemed centred on the USA, I was especially concerned that some groups were trying to introduce a similar sentiment to Australia.
One of those groups is being led by a notorious Australian false prophet and false apostle who decided to establish his own political party.

I named that first flag painting “Unholy Hybrid” after creating a rough merging of the Stars and Stripes and the Australian flag, stencilled with a few phrases of text. The painting is in my 2013 gallery here: https://onesimusfiles.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/7-2013.jpg

With the new painting I took a more ordered approach, avoiding the rapid spontaneity of that first one. Instead of the roughly applied lines and stars, I used a lot of masking tape for straight lines and created stencils for the stars, using downloaded images for templates.

I’ve always had problems with the text I’ve added to paintings and very early on abandoned trying to write it freehand. Most of the time I’ve used commercially available stencils, but for this painting I felt I needed something with a much smoother, neater appearance than the almost industrial look of stencilled lettering.

So for this painting I printed my desired words in a suitable size and font. I then painted over the words with two or three layers of paint, cut them out and stuck them onto the canvas with a bonding agent.

I also have text printed on several of the small white stars in the bottom left of the painting. Originally I cut the stars out of newsprint, highlighting one word in each star. At first I was happy with the result, but as the rest of the painting took shape, the news print looked more out-of-place. So I chose to replace them with stars cut out of copy paper, on which the required words had been printed.

The message in those stars isn’t easily seen on the photo, but it reads:

“Why do the nations rage against God and His anointed”

Raging Again: revisiting Psalm 2

This work in progress is my newest painting inspired by Psalm 2

“Why do the nations rage…”

psalm 2

It is the neatest flag painting I’ve done. Previous flags were much more spontaneous, with less concern for straight lines (in other words messier).

On several of the small stars on the lower left, I have pasted portions of news clippings, each with one word highlighted. The words together read “Why do the nations rage against the Lord and His Christ” – an abbreviation of the first lines of Psalm 2.

My earlier flags:


Why do the nations rage

Each flag references the Australian flag, the union flag and the stars and stripes.

Self Portrait 1, 2014

This is the latest of my self portraits.
I don’t want to offend friends and family by trying to paint them. I’d rather offend myself as I experiment with “portraiture”.

This one started out as something purely abstract. I started it after looking at some of De Kooning’s work and his use of colour.
I had it propped against a cupboard for a few weeks until I could decide what to do with it.
Then I turned it around and saw a vague head shape…


Why Do The Nations Rage?

Why do the nations rage
Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”