“Vulnerable” 6×6, oil on canvas Bid Here SOLD

Yesterday I did a small painting in one sitting with the intention of doing so as regularly as I can no matter what larger paintings I have lurking at me from the corners of my studio.

And yesterday’s painting went so well, brought me some much needed joy that I revisited a similar image today. But to mix things up, I painted the background dark instead of light first. I wanted to see what it would be like to layer lighter colors on dark rather than the other way around. My plan was to allow the dark to remain as the shadows in the faces and clothes but eventually my paintbrush got a little crazy and I covered everything– almost. There’s still a darkness to this piece that isn’t in my other paintings.  

I paint these types of images from statues– either ones right in front of me or from photographs of statues. The idea of incarnation so present in the image of the newborn Christ and his mother, speaks to me for many reasons, one of which is the idea of art being, each day, an incarnation. The art I make is still flat and unmoving, but I love the thought of ideas becoming “flesh”.  I love the idea of creating color from the reference of a grey statue.

I love the idea of statues coming alive.

I try to balance realism with abstraction. I’m trying to balance work and relationships. I’m trying to be a good mom. I’m reaching. Hoping. Never quite landing but confident that Love, that abstract thing, quite often takes on flesh and dwells among us. All of this is vulnerable, uncomfortable.

Recently, I listened to this Ted talk on vulnerability and it’s been in my head for a while now. Today’s painting is partly about love, partly about vulnerability. And, like all my paintings, partly about hope.