This is number #4 in my ongoing series of JC portraits **
8" x 10" Acrylic on wood panel, Jan. 2009
Since childhood I've been exposed to the image of Jesus Christ. Usually bloody, and nailed to a cross. I was told that we is the savior of mankind. I was also told he was the son of God, God himself, and many other conflicting things, including that he does not, and did not, exsist at all.
I have had a long and very serious relationship with this man. I have thought of him often for year upon year. Yet still, I don't know what he is, or if he is anything.
I have spent hours speaking with him, though even as I spoke, I did not know if I was talking to him or to myself. I have an idea that he did exist, yet also ideas that he was created by men to control man.
I think it is good what he, among others, represent, (usually). Something should stand for what we have come to believe is good and noble in us. I think that this is useful.
However, It seems to me that science disputes him. That even common sense dictates that the existence of he as a God is foolishness.
And yet, there is a burning desire in me that wants these "fairy tales" about goodness, and righteousness, and a everlasting soul living beyond this world to be true.
What a shame if all there is to us is this short and mostly superficial life of ours. What a disappointment.
In my home, and in my studio, I have many images of the Christ. Also, Buddha, and other persons said to be inspired from things beyond this short life span.
Even my own father, long dead, I relate to as if he were still alive. I carry on conversations with all of these people. Some would think me mad. And in a way, I must agree. Is it madness to believe in something that is logically and scientifically disputed? Is it mad to believe in magic and miracles? Is it crazy to think that there is anything more to us than this struggle we call our "life"?
If I were to live 1000 years I doubt I could be certain of the most simple question of anything pertaining to life beyond death. Jesus Christ is the symbol that represents all these questions to me.
** I used a picture from an old painting as my reference model. I found it through a google image search. I have no idea who the original artist was. I can't find that reference picture any more, so I do not know to whom to give credit. If anyone knows, I'd appreciate a heads up. Thanks. ~ RS - 1/2009
RED GARDEN (The things in my Red Garden) UNDERWORLD III
8" x 10" Acrylic on mounted masonite panel ~ 6/2009
This is the third in my series "UNDERWORLD". This is the smallest so far. It depicts a part of my garden, while I lay there, looking up at the dust particles, the insects beginning to crawl upon me. The more I look, the more I see. Underworld is the world that exists around us, within us and without us. We are part of it, but most of us have no idea that it exists.
"UNDERWORLD I" is the first in what I hope will become a series of "UNDERWORLD" paintings. When I use the word "underworld" I am referring to many tiny worlds that exist all around us, and even upon and within us. I am interested in the flora and fauna that live in these tiny worlds "under" our normal field of vision. The things that one must hunt for in the grass, in the pools of water, or even with a microscope. The small worlds of life that exist in abundance, but which we ignore in our ever more self consumed "life styles".
This subject for my work is the obvious evolution of my prior works, such as "CRUSTACEAPODS"( [link]) and my "MICROBIA" paintings. This one is subtitled "INSECTUS"
acrylics 2010, Early morning, April 29th 1917. British 2nd Division mounted another attack into the German positions in Oppy Wood, as the Arras offensive raged on. Two understrength companies of 22nd Bn, Royal Fusiliers, found the second belt of barbed wire uncut and the attack stopped into heavy fire from the German positions. The attack failed and the result was another bitter casualty list.
This was done for Mr. Thornton, to accompany the medals of 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Stevenson, who was killed in this action.
Here's a detail [link] showing the original colours, contrasts etc.
Now I have the figure pretty much done, so I begin the background. I wanted this cover to look crazy chaotic but still be very appealing and easy to look at (I've been in this ridiculous fine art mode recently). The paint is acrylic Behr house paint. I used that medal thing (black plastic thing next to the paint) to get all the straight lines and I painted artist tape to give it even more texture. The last process is smoothing out the skin with water based oils. sorry i forgot to take of pic of that
After the watercolor base is dry I lay white prismacolor pencil down to create a wax build up on the paper surface. This makes the pencils blend much better. As you go down you can see that I just keep developing the drawing, laying down color and blending it. I blend with paper towels and a blending stump, google it if you don't know what that is. The picture on the right is a picture I found in a magazine and I wanted to use that as a reference for the skin color. I like the browns and greens in it. I use photography a lot for inspiration.
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