2019 | Acrylic on gessoed carbdoard and canvas | 12in x 12in
Painted over cardboard taken from the packaging of the milk cartons my children are nourished by, I realized there are means by which we are nourished in life. Not all of these means are ingested physically. Some, like sunlight must be entered in. And like sunlight, it sometimes finds you.
Buried in centuries of memory and dust over hand made paints and gesso, symbols came to life for me. I was in Jacksonville, Florida for a work project. My wife came with me and as we had some time to enjoy the town leading up to a photoshoot, we found a local art museum. It was in the 14th century Flemish paintings I discovered wonder. I had been meditating for some time on a concept of Christ entering into frailty and dwelling among us. What a paradox that is. The invulnerable becoming vulnerable. And what is more vulnerable with a small bird? Thinking this was uniquely my idea, I was shocked to discover a small golden finch looking back at me from Christ’s hand in this 600 year old painting. It was a moment of heaven’s laughter with me. It turns out that the golden finch was a poetic method in medieval art of referring to the incarnate Christ.
And so, as a kind of inside joke with Jesus, here again is the beloved Golden Finch. In this piece, I was exploring how to cause the finch to appear to lift off the surface. It transcends the work of my 14th century flemish ancestor brethren. And transcends my rough 21st center rendering. It cannot be contained, but rather, paid attention to. Hunted after like the aroma of fresh baked bread to a starving man. We can become aware of its presence- of his presence. And in that attending, become aware of radiance falling about us. Where do you hear that song today? Where is sun shining on you in a smile or light? And in that awareness of something more, we walk out as if into sunlight. Something in the Deep unknown is there and radiance falls on you. It is the presence of Christ that nourishes, heals, burns away the chaff and cancers of life east of Eden. Like milk to calcium hungry growing bones, we need this radiance on our souls.
We artists leverage contrast to add interest, but also soft and hard lines. Color: saturated next to desaturated. Complimentary tones and harmonious hues. These are our tools to reach into the Deep and draw forth a draught to share now with you. Bask in the radiance of wonder today friend, and be refreshed.