At the beginning of the week, I shared this photo of some drawings.
The Story Behind It
In January 2013, I left my employment of over 20 years due to surgery that left me unable to perform my duties. I immediately went back to school full-time to finish a Bachelor’s degree which was completed in December 2015.
In my first semester back at school, I was placed in an advanced drawing class. I’m not really sure how I ended up in a class like that. I had taken a drawing class years earlier but I really didn’t feel I was ready for an advanced class.
As it turned out, I learned a ton of things during that semester. The result was this series of drawings. The series was displayed one time during an art show at Texas A&M University, Commerce, TX in May 2013.
Each drawing measures 12” x 24” and was drawn on ¼” thick MDF using pastel oils and colored pencil. It was part of a semester long project.
I wanted to draw something religious. I received many suggestions about how to do it but the ideas did not resonate with me. One person suggested that I look at renaissance images from many years ago to get ideas. I looked but nothing was in line with the direction I wanted to go.
I wanted to produce an art piece that was contemporary in nature and represented the life of Jesus Christ. The name of the piece in its entirety is “Life of Christ.” It’s based on the scripture from Matthew 11:4-5 which says “Jesus told them, ‘Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.’”
The First Drawing
This is a drawing of a droplet of water in a pool. It loosely references Matthew 3:11 which talks about how John the Baptist baptizes with water for the repentance of sins but the Messiah will baptize with the Holy Spirit and Fire. It signifies baptism and the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ.
The Second Drawing
This drawing is an attempt to show a bionic eye. If you look carefully at the iris, you will see what appears to be circuitry. Jesus healed the blind by using his spit and mud. This is a more contemporary view of that idea. The Six Million Dollar Man comes to mind. There actually is a bionic eye implant that can help some people restore partial eye-sight. Here is an article from the Science Daily website on the topic. Now it appears they are coming out with a new version called The Six Billion Dollar Man which has been adjusted for inflation. Ha! I thought that was funny.
The blind see was the first statement Jesus says to the people John the Baptist sent to Him asking if He was the Messiah.
The Third Drawing
This image is of a Marine who actually lost both legs. It represents Jesus’ healing of the crippled and allowing them to walk again. Technology today is amazing in that there are so many things available now to help people who have been injured during war or car accidents or simply because of tragic things happening to them.
The Fourth Drawing
This is a line drawing with a look of stained glass. It represents the Communion elements that Christ initiated during the Last Supper with His disciples. It represents the body and blood of Christ, freely given for us during the Passion and Crucifixion. It is a Holy Sacrament in many Christian denominations. It reminds us to repent, believe the Gospel, and treasure our inclusion in the Body of Christ, the church.
The Fifth Drawing
Christ crucified is the ultimate gift from God. It represents atonement – however you define that. A gift from Christ that He would lay down His life for us while we were still sinners. That proves God’s love for us. We are a forgiven people. It is a gift of grace. Totally undeserved. It was freely given so that no one can boast about all the things they have done to receive it. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
The Life of Christ was a passionate effort for me. It is not an attempt to rewrite the scriptures or come up with a new theological thought process. It was a way for me to express my faith in a more contemporary way.