I love Christmas! I love the lights, the trees, the scents, giving and getting presents, being with loved ones, everything about it! Many good memories, so many blessings. I know it’s not that way for everyone. There is much heartache in the world. And each year it might be different because our circumstances change, loved ones pass away, relationships end (or begin!). You can’t count on a “white Christmas, just like the ones we use to know”. Shoot, I’m getting all choked up. But you know what really chokes me up? It’s the Hope that Christmas brings. It’s the whole story. In this painting, I intend to tell the whole story. Beginning with Love, then the star, the baby in the manger, the thorns, the cross, the light, the hope. The story seems to end with the words of Jesus on the cross, “It is finished”. But it’s far from over. It’s just the beginning of eternity. And so Christmas isn’t just about the birth of a child. It’s about when Glory laid His head on a bed of hay. It’s about Redemption.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
The “Sacred Heart” is a Catholic devotion. The traditional image is of a heart on fire, pierced and surrounded by a crown of thorns. It is a symbol of Jesus’ divine love for humanity. As most Catholic families, we had the image of the Sacred Heart in our home and I remember praying in front of it when I was a kid. I chose to use this image as my first blog post because hearts have been a reoccurring theme in my work for many years. This was one of the first hearts I painted. I included the heart, the fire, the thorns, and added deeper symbolism as I meditated on the meaning of the Sacred Heart. The blue area represents baptism–a redemptive cleansing where you die to self, submerging in the water as a symbol of the grave, and rise again as a new creature in Christ. As in most of my work, there is the underlying theme of light overcoming darkness. Let me know what you think!
It’s priceless to hear how my art moves and affects my viewers! I always welcome your interpretation of my work and how the piece speaks to you. However, most people want to know the heart of the artist–where their ideas come from and how they reached the image they create. The purpose of this blog is to open my heart and let you in. To reveal my creative process and to inspire and touch your soul. I’m just getting started so stay tuned. I appreciate your comments!