Reflection on Easter, 2017
Acrylic, gold leaf, charcoal + ash
6wft x 6 ft on stretched canvas
One of the gifts of my partnership as artist-in-residence with Holy Family HTX is that I have been commissioned to create 9 liturgical paintings for the community over this next year. Each painting is a abstract reflection on a liturgical season of the Church. The only paramenters I have are size + the palatte to an extinct.
This past Saturday, April 15, I offered 2 of the 9 paintings at the Easter Vigil for Holy Family HTX. This painting was one.
For those who have been following the journey + were unable to see the pieces in person, I thought I'd take a view minutes to share the process + inspiration behind the work.
For this piece I used a process of layering + subtracting paint to make sure that every circle on the painting is connected to the whole, that each circle consisted of varied textures + that each circle has gold coming through some part of its composition. Some of the specks of gold are so tiny you may need a magnifying glass to see.
The underpaintings consists of words written in in charcoal and ash from palm branches. There are lines from Mary's Song, traditional words of praise for Easter and the line "I can breathe" a number of times throughout.
The three gold circles, Trinity circles, on the east side of the painting represent the Risen Christ.
In 2005 while living in Leeds, England, it was not unusual to find me in a coffee shop reading + blogging. One day I picked up Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II + did not get to0 far before stumbling upon words that struck me to my very core. They were simply that we are all Divine manifestations-- every single human being.
To be honest, as someone raised in the church all of her life, I'd heard those words articulated differently many times before. It was not really all that new.
BUT for some reason, at that particular time in my history, they had a profound impact upon me + provided a new lens by which to see the world around me. It was surreal actually. On my way home from the coffee shop, every single person I passed was aglow-- seriously.
It was like I was seeing people, but they all looked like candles walking.
It was beautiful.
It was hopeful.
It was empowering.
As I reflected on what the hope of the Resurrection + began working it out on canvas, that transforming moment kept coming to mind + I know I had to figure out a way to point to this beauty in this painting.
You have to get close to the painting to see the details.
In some of the circles the gold is immediately evident to the eye. Others you have to search pretty darn hard to see it.
Some of the circles are strong in composition-- alive.
Others are a bit faded-- representing the saints, whose light still shines.
There are circles that are heavily textured-- full of story, full of a past.
Others are textured just a bit.
All have gold.
All are connected.
Lanecia A. Rouse