Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Psalm 23, The Lord Is My Shepherd

Oil on Canvas
with Palette Knife

Sometimes, I get a image in my head so strong that I cannot rest until it is painted. 
This is another painting inspired by the music of  John Rutter's Requiem

The text is Psalm 23. 
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
     he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters;
     he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.
 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I fear no evil;
for thou art with me;
    thy rod and thy staff,
    they comfort me.
 Thou preparest a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil,
    my cup overflows.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    for ever.

Although the psalm is full of many beautiful and powerful images, I tend to gravitate to imagine a pastoral vista of green fields and running streams. This is a completely inspired work. I had no visual references when I painted it. It is completely from an image in my head—molded and shaped on canvas as the painting evolved. I recalled experiences plein air painting and combined them with a new loose abstraction I've been developing. 

What really changes this painting from a pastoral scene to a work of theology is the light in the sky. It is not unlike my very first painting in this blog, And The Spirit of God Moved over the Waters. The light represents God and God's outpouring of grace (my cup overflows). That "overflowing" is the stream running towards the viewer. The painting is an impression of the peace and serenity the comes with "dwelling in the house of the LORD, forever." A peace that not only will be enjoy in the future, but one that is ever present here and now.

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