I had lunch with my friend Adam the other day. We were talking about how to promote my art work. He is more interested in marketing than I am but we had a good chat. One thing came out of our talk: while I have a lot of images of my work on my web page, I do not have much of anything at all in the way of a text description of the paintings. For people who are familiar with me and my work, my web page is easy to find but if someone is just searching for a particular image of something unless they get lucky and enter the title of the image into a search engine the chances of finding my work is slim to none. So, I am going to add a text descriptions of my paintings on my web page over the next few months. I thought I might initially post them here as well. Below is the first one I have done for the older painting, Easter Morning.
The title of this painting gives the subject matter away. But rather than try to paint a literal resurrection I tried to paint how the resurrection might feel. I love flowers and zinnias are so bright and colorful, gaudy in their exuberance. The brilliant flowers against the dark sky explode like fireworks, like resurrection. Wouldn’t it make sense to set of fireworks at the end of Easter Vigil?
The table is covered with a cloth, divided up into squares that are the colors of Easter Eggs. On the table is the bread and wine, the Eucharist which is the presence of Christ with us, the resurrected Christ, body and blood, present in the bread and wine. It is not a mere symbol but the reality of the resurrection.
Behind the table is a modern cityscape. This brings the event of the resurrection into the present. It was not just a historical event. The risen Christ is here, in our city, in our town.
On the opposite side of the painting are three houses over which hang three moons, representing the three days Jesus was in the grave. In front of the houses are some strange animal topiary and a man with an Easter basket. This is a reminder that grace perfects nature and what the pagans new about fertility, spring, rabbits, eggs and new life are all signs in nature that point to the greater truth of new life, the new life of the resurrection.
Finally, on the vase is a depiction of Jonah being spit out by the large fish that had swallowed him three days earlier, one of the old testament stories that pre-figure the resurrection. This is one of the oldest images found in Christian art and can be seen on the wall of the catacombs and on funerary carvings of the 3rd century.
The composition is a circular one, which is the only explanation I can come up with for the airplane in the corner. The composition just seemed to need something in that corner. An airplane filled the bill but I can’t really say what that has to do with the theme of the painting, so in that sense might be considered less than optimal.