Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Rose and I have known each other for years, but until recently have not had the opportunity to visit with each other and paint. So far we've met twice at her home studio. It's comfortable to paint there, and time passes in an instant. Before we know it, it's dark outside and late, and time for me to leave.

During our first meeting together we talked about doing a show of paintings that are spiritual in nature, and about making a blog on which we could post our progress. After struggling to find a fitting name, "Consecrated Experiments" seemed to capture the essence of what we are attempting to do. From Wikipedia: The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". A synonym for consecration is to sanctify.

So in keeping with Rose's advice to be honest, I will tell you about something I have never shown anyone. Little note cards and sketches on random pieces of paper are sitting securely on a shelf (or shelves) in my house on which I have sketched paintings that I have never taken the time to paint. They are of things I treasure in my heart, things which come to mind as I read and ponder, and things that help me to try to express deep emotion about my family and my beliefs. One reason I haven't painted them is because I've doubted that they'll come out right. I have made a few attempts at painting these ideas but have painted over most of them because I didn't think they were successful. Now I'm feeling the need to revisit them, and it may be the hardest project I've ever attempted.

There is an artist that I visited last summer whose paintings blew me away. J. Kirk Richards (also look here) had a show in his house and as I looked at his paintings I realized he had painted some of the things I had sketched on my little scraps of paper. How could it be? I did those sketches when he was in elementary school probably. Maybe it happened the same way two different inventors will come up with the same invention in different parts of the world. But I realized recently that maybe it's more that truth is universal, and if there's someone who is ready and able to paint the truth, they will be the one used to do it. And he does it beautifully, wow. I'm not saying I could do what he does. I'm only saying that there are things that are familiar, that I've wanted to do, that I've sketched. Undoubtedly what I paint will be different as our training and abilities and experiences differ.

Below are a couple of attempts I've made.

This is my Zion experiment. I don't feel that this is a successful painting, but I want to attempt to paint this idea again. I'll try to explain it in another post.
This is a painting of my friend Ruth's daughter. Does it look like she has wings? That would be appropriate in one sense, she went to heaven so early. But underneath this painting was another painting, one of my ideas that I felt was unsuccessful. It's a dove, and when I get to painting it again I will do my best to explain it.
Here it is still unfinished but you can see a glimpse of the old painting underneath.

Enough musings for today. Maybe I'll go see what I can whip up in the studio.