While most people are thinking about Christmas, my mind seems to be on Easter. The process of working on these Holy Water Paintings has brought me into a state of reflection, and God has really been speaking to my heart as I work on these. This piece in particular I developed while working on a multiple spread of what I call background sheets (developing the background, base art on which to paint the illustrated Bible verses). I decided to use one whole sheet to explore a concept that suddenly hit me.
I dripped the watery paint across the page and used a straw to blow streaks outward – a technique I remembered from high school. Sometimes I would have to blow really hard through the straw and of course my saliva would come out onto the page, on the other end. Repulsed at first, I thought, “OH NO. These are supposed to be Holy Water paintings – not spit paintings!” But then I thought about the deeper meaning that was going into this. I remembered the crowd who spat upon Jesus as they followed him to the place of his crucifixion. I thought about the hate that followed him to the cross… and then the answer was evident to me about which Bible verse to paint onto this piece: “Father, forgive them…” I am teary-eyed, just thinking about this. Through all the horror and hatefulness he endured, in the end he did not lose his love for mankind. Like a mother’s love for her child, his love and sympathy for man endured, despite their ignorant hatred.
I had tears in my eyes as I painted the final words on the piece. This piece I am keeping for myself to frame and hang in my home. I will be making another version of it to sell, but this first one I keep for my own collection. I am currently calling and emailing churches in Ohio to try getting these pieces into church art galleries, and this piece will follow the show, listed not for sale.
I love the tenderness and magic of Christmas, but it is hard for me to think about the Birth without also remembering the Death — which was the purpose for the birth. Any time I see a film about the Nativity, I cry when I see the baby Jesus, knowing the fate that awaits the innocent babe. As a mother, it tears me up.