A painting that is getting stuck and winding down, becoming sluggish and hopeless, is all too familiar. The final result, if it survives the painter’s disappointment at all, is a contrived embarrassment.
I can’t remember when it occurred to me to use Psalm 22 for imagery in a painting of the crucifixion, but the extraordinary nature of this psalm comes as it were, from within the suffering, confronting us with naked humanity rather than processed tradition.
The book of Job is found in the Jewish scriptures; the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. It is written in the form of a drama that is set in Heaven and on earth. Job is a good man, wealthy and happy with a large family, but then disaster strikes. The suffering that Job endures raises questions about his life and faith.
For a long time I had resisted the idea of depicting angels on the grounds that they represent a now unfamiliar way of understanding the world.
The image ‘The Dream of Jacob’ is reproduced from an oil sketch inspired by the familiar Bible story of ‘Jacob’s Ladder.’ As with much biblical writing, distant events and characters confront us with our own story, offering the chance to identify our experience in a context that is not merely personal.
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