Monday, July 21, 2014

Lessons From "Moses at the Sea": Believing God for the Impossible.

Of course, I need to show you the finished product (although it was completed earlier in the month). The process was a simple matter of using pure pigment and a gloss acrylic medium through direct painting and glazing. 
The problem I encountered was in maintaining a consistent perspective: the landscape, as divided by Moses' body, has a different perspective and proportion in each section. I wanted to show the expanse of the 2 million plus Hebrew people, while still showing some detail on the more distant Egyptian army (I thought that by including the cliff, even more separation would be suggested). And the water needed a more prominent part (to balance out the Shekinah pillar and dark sky) which forced a much higher vantage point than the other side with the crowd. If I were not in the hectic process of moving, I would have tried to resolve the matter. But, I decided to let composition win the debate and left it at that. If anything, I can explain the problem away by saying that the out of sync perspective helps to point out the multifaceted pressures heaped upon, there!

I also wanted to share with you this image of another icon which I painted much earlier this year as a commission for a friend. I forgot to take a picture of it after its completion, so ended up taking care of that with another visit to its new home.

Jean, the friend who hired me to make the fresco, loves gardening and wanted the icon to represent St. Fiacre: the "real" patron saint of gardeners! She expressed great frustration with the fact that so many gardens have statues of St. Francis in them, when he is NOT the legitimate patron saint of gardeners!

As with all stories about the famous saints, there are some very interesting legends associated with St. Fiacre. The most tenable is the story that he used herbs to help cure people of their ailments. In general, he was a compassionate man who loved people more than he did plants.

One of the more spectacular stories is that he tilled a huge garden in a matter of a few hours by merely dragging his staff over the dirt. I guess, if we're talking about Moses believing God for the impossible, we shouldn't be surprised when miracles happen in answer to prayer and faith.

My next installment will probably have something to do with my new art teaching job in Missouri.