Unveiling

after the fire a whisper

On Saturday, I participated in an event in the home of Joan Moody, my art mentor. It was called the Unveiling. 6 months ago she invited 7 artists to create a piece that would stretch them beyond what they have done before. It could be in any medium, needed to challenge them in a brand new way and could not be shown to anyone prior to the event. Each artist could invite 3 guests. In between appetizers, dinner and dessert, each artist presented their work. It was a beautiful experience to be a part of. I am still processing everything from that night and what I learned from stretching myself for this work.

Each panel in my piece was 48 x 30. So it was my largest!

Here’s the presentation that I made before I unveiled my piece.

I wanted to start by saying how thankful I am for Joan. I think what you see tonight is an absolute direct result of having that one person who has said, “I see you. I see you and I believe in you and you have something of value and you are not completely crazy.”

My point of inspiration for this project began with the Ghent Altar Piece. I first heard about these paintings while watching the movie The Monuments Men. I was so taken back by the passion that these men had for rescuing art, particularly this piece. So the composition is directly inspired by that work of art.

As I began to paint, I thought a lot about who we imagine God to be and how we perceive our own value based on that definition. I reflected on the beauty and the freedom that comes when unknown becomes known. What I hope translates in this piece is that our attempts to define God fall so short. They are inherently limited and yet what we end up with, what our minds discover or become comfortable with shapes our lives and how we treat those around us.

I felt that the abstract painting style was a great fit for this concept. The figures can be interpreted from many perspectives. The numbers and letters in this piece can represent ideas and symbols that no longer hold the same meaning that they once did as we continue to be transformed by authentic relationship.

The title of this piece is After the Fire, a Whisper, which references I Kings 19:12. This reads, The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

I’d like to end by playing for you the 2nd work of art that heavily influenced this work. It is by Gungor and is called, Cannot Keep You.

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