A major local exhibition is approaching, but I’ve done very little painting over the last year or two. I missed the same event in 2016, but want to participate this year.
My hope of completing one or two new works has been undermined by the weather. It’s been too hot to work in my garage studio. This month we’ve only had one day below 30 degrees C, and throughout January it was the same. Most days we’ve been in the high 30s, with a few over 40 degrees C. Not the best conditions for painting in an uncooled garage.
As a compromise I’ve looked back at some of my earlier paintings and have decided to rework one of the larger canvases. What started out as this:
Now looks more like this:
The difference in the crucifixion image is an illusion caused by different lighting conditions when the two photos were taken.
No change was made to that part of the painting.
More work needs to be done, but at this stage I’m considering two or three different ideas. Entries for the exhibition need to be in by 3rd March, so I have a little over two weeks to finish my changes.
This is the latest of my political paintings based on flags.
I painted it after reading A History of the World Since 9/11 by Dominic Streatfield.
I added a simple frame to this older painting and I think it has vastly improved the overall appearance, when hung.
I’m now a “professional” artist.
Last week one of my paintings sold – my very first sale.
Gloria and I went into our favourite coffee shop, where some of my work has been displayed over the past two or three years, and the shop owner handed me an envelope containing money. I hadn’t even noticed that the painting was missing until she told me it had been sold.
For about a month now I’ve been saying I should change the painting for another one – but kept forgetting. I’m now thankful for my forgetfulness.
This is the painting, called “Overshadowed”.
The painting contains the following symbols and text.
1) The cup of wine representing the shed blood of Jesus.
2) A doorway with blood applied to the posts and lintel (think Passover)
3) The word RE ME MB ER spread around the corners
4) The letter “Y” – a symbol I use to represent the form of the crucified Jesus
5) The image of a parrot, that I use to represent tradition and the way teachings are so often “parroted” from generation to generation.
I haven’t painted very much recently. This is my latest completed painting. (approx. 60cm x 60cm)
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
And God said to Moses “I Am Who I AM” (Ex 3)
Jesus said…”I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I Am Who I Am.” (John 13)
The Lord says to my Lord:
‘Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.’
The Lord will extend your mighty sceptre from Zion, saying,
‘Rule in the midst of your enemies!’
Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy splendour,
your young men will come to you
like dew from the morning’s womb.
The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest for ever,
in the order of Melchizedek.’
The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
He will judge nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
He will drink from a brook along the way;
and so he will lift his head high.
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.”
To what extent should an artist need to explain their work?
That’s something I started to think more about this morning. I was showing Gloria one of my recent paintings and pointing out some of its features. She appreciated it much more afterwards, saying that prior to my explanation the painting looked … well I can’t remember her exact words, but they weren’t complimentary.
She now realised that there was purpose behind the painted marks and symbols, she could appreciate they had meaning and she liked the painting a lot more.
Her response raised the question of what viewers expect from art and how many are interested in something more than pretty pictures. How much effort are they willing to put into looking an art work?
In my paintings I try to express ideas related to scripture, using text and symbols. Some of those symbols may seem obscure and the casual viewer may miss their intended significance. It might be easier if a glossary of symbols was displayed next to each painting to explain what everything means, but what room would that leave for the viewer to discover things for themselves? And surely discovery is part of the joy that we can get when viewing art – as long as we are observant, patient, and give the artwork enough respect to SEE it rather than merely glance at it.