I started this mixed media 6 months ago, maybe even a little before that. Although I liked the images, it just wasn’t right.
So I hung it on the wall in the living room for the past two weeks so I could look at it every day and maybe be struck by an epiphany of what was wrong with it.
The road to Emmaus story in chapter 24 of Luke’s gospel is one of my favorites of all time. It is a revealing story. Dr. Esther Meek really enjoyed camping out on it too. I had been using a print from a old tourist scrapbook of Rembrant’s Emmaus painting as the main focal point in this mixed media with some light color added for emphasis by my brush:
Other images in this piece included a black and white photo of a fire escape, the withered and healed hand (The Gospel of Mathew chapter 12), a photobooth slot advertising development. I wanted this painting to provoke thoughts of a developing faith, especially with Jesus’ identity revealing moment, but the irony is as a developing artist, my work was sucking. I couldn’t get at the moment I wanted to represent.
So I literally started tearing the pieces of this work that I had affixed to the canvas months ago, off. At first I tore very carefully, but as soon as the Rembrandt print refused to stay intact, I realized what was wrong with the composition. Everything was too neatly juxtoposed like a scrapbook page so that it looked blocky and obvious-even the color was color blocked like a scarf or a dress instead of a painting.
But it was in that singular gesture-the breaking of the bread-that at last the two disciples recognized Jesus.
So I reworked the piece, breaking down what I had already created, even breaking my preferred color pallet of primaries, switching green for yellow.
The result now forms the banner of this blog: