Recent Work May 16 2018

The Confessor (self-portrait)
Oil on canvas,
30″ x 24″

This is my entry into this year’s Southwest Dallas Arts Festival which had the theme “Healed!”.  In connection with spiritual and physical health and healing, I’ve been thinking about James 5, especially the two “one another’s” in verse 16.  This seems to me to be encouraging confession among all of us “one another’s” as opposed to confession to a priestly class.  This work was made thinking about that idea.

The Confessor and The Listener
Both Oil on canvas
Both 30″ x 24″

The painting on the left is a self-portrait, painted in late April.  The painting on the right is my friend Paul and was finished around 20 years ago.  I keep some of my older paintings in the stairwell in our home, so I see them every time I go up or down, which is many times a day.  I have great memories of painting “Paul”, because my first art teacher and mentor was very enthusiastic about the unusual composition and how it turned out.

I think that Paul is listening to something that is very troubling.  I imagine him to be on the receiving end of a confession, so he’s a perfect “Listener”, to my “Confessor”.  That’s why I hung the 2 paintings in the festival exactly like this. It was also interesting since they were done so far apart.  They are speaking to each other in a spiritual way (confession), but also across a couple of decades.  The painting of me turned out pretty intense.  I seem to be staring down my friend Paul, daring him to respond to my confession.  But after I finished I reflected that confession itself, to our chosen “one another“, is a very intense and frightening idea.  Perhaps the withering glare is somehow appropriate.

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