Provision

Provision (2005) ((16″ x 20″)
collage and acrylic on canvas
The clearest statement regarding God’s provision is found in the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus first argues from the greater to the lesser and then from the lesser to the greater: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Consider the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they.” (Matt. 6:25-26)

Plague

Plague (2005) (16″ x 20″)
collage and acrylic on canvas
A surprising amount of art in the Middle Ages was preoccupied with the various plagues to which they were subject.  Our current-day plagues may be different in some ways but are still present. We should constantly remind ourselves that all things, even those we consider to be “bad,” ultimately come from God and therefore can be used by Him for our purification and edification.

St. Paul

Gold Icon: St. Paul (2005) (11″ x 14″)
collage and acrylic on canvas
This piece captures two moments in career of Paul. The first is at the very start of his life as a Christian when he was still blind (both physically and spiritually) and being tested by Ananias.  The second event is found at the very end of Acts when Paul and his companions have been shipwrecked on their way to Rome and he suffers no ill effects from a presumably poisonous snake bite.  Paul’s story is a truly amazing one from start to finish.

St. Peter

Black Icon: St. Peter (2005) (11″ x 14″)
collage and acrylic on canvas
This composition captures Peter’s amazing transformation from a simple fisherman to one whom Jesus entrusted to “feed my sheep.”  Whether you consider him the first pope or a leader among leaders, his example is certainly one to follow.

John the Baptist

Red Icon: St. John the Baptist (2005) (8″ x 10″)
collage and acrylic on canvas board
Sometimes John is more known for the lurid and gory story of his death than for his role as the forerunner of Christ. According to the angel Gabriel’s words found at the start of Luke’s Gospel, this role was prophesied centuries earlier.  There is still controversy whether John’s coming is the total fulfillment of the prophecy that Elijah will come at the Last Days, but the best interpretation is to take Jesus and Gabriel at face value and assume that this event has already happened.

St. John at Patmos

Blue Icon: St. John at Patmos (2005) (8″ x 10″)
collage and acrylic on canvas board
I created several “icons” in this style. This one pictures the aging Apostle Paul in exile on the Island of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. The image I used for John is one of Ezra Pound, the American visionary poet who lived part of his life in exile in Italy.

Hell

Homage to Bosch (2003 (16″ x 20″)
collage on canvas board
I have been especially taken by the surrealist artists, including their precursor Hieronymous Bosch. This is my attempt to use the technique of collage to duplicate the bizarre visions of Hell that Bosch conjured up, whether or not they portray in the least the actuality of that place.

Epistle to the Romans

Romans (1986) (5 1/2″ x 8 1/4″)
mixed media construction in wooden box
This is the most elaborate of the three similar assemblages based on Paul’s letters. It is composed of wax, Plaster of Paris, epoxy resin, pen and ink, and various metallic inserts.  The third row from the top pictures Paul’s enigmatic metaphor in the eleventh chapter comparing the church to a tree in which the branches of a cultivated olive tree are broken off, others from a wild variety are grafted in, and then perhaps branches from the original tree will be re-grafted.  This passage has been the subject of endless debate between two different schools of theology–the Successionists who feel that the Church has taken the place of Israel as the people of God and those who feel that God has entirely separate plans for Jewish and Gentile believers.

II Corinthians

II Corinthians (1986) (6 1/2″ x 5 1/2″)
mixed media construction in wooden box
This is the second piece I completed in a series of boxes with colored wax. I found that it is an interesting and challenging exercise to try to represent a sky with clouds using only crayon shavings and a wood-burning tool.  As far as the symbology employed, at this point I will have to say with Robert Frost, “When I originally made it, only God and I knew what it meant. Now, only God knows.”

I Corinthians

I Corinthians (1986) (5 1/2″ x 5 1/4″)
mixed media construction
The 16 chapters of this letter are portrayed visually through the inscribed symbols in the circles above. The whole construction is formed of colored wax and (appropriately) communion cups in a wooden box frame. I realize that the symbols are faint, but you might be able to figure out what they stand for.