Well, it is! I have finished my enormous canvas! While it is far from perfect, I'm very pleased with it. Now it is time to give a recap of my theme as well as the meaning behind chosen elements.
My theme consisted of three different elements when given to me:
"Give us this day our daily bread"
and I was given the 3x3 ft. canvas. I am one of five artists creating these same size pieces to be used as part of our Good Friday service, Easter Sunday, and then the following week, a 24/7 week of prayer.
I prayed about the theme for a few weeks and this is the vision God gave me... EXACTLY! I have never worked without photos or live models, so to speak so this was a first coming completely out of my head. I was taken back at how exact the piece turned out compared to what was in my head!
The entire canvas was collaged first with calendar pages which, for the most part, got completely covered up with paint. However, their texture gave shape to the background. The sunrise, obviously, represents "daily". Something I learned through this was that this line of the Lord's prayer means more than food to eat on a daily basis. But Jesus says "I am the bread of life". When taking communion, the bread represents the body of Jesus so I began to see that "daily bread" means Jesus himself. Jesus is life!
I painted the woman in the desert not because I live in it but because it represents a place of thirst. Also, Biblically, it was almost always in the desert that people went to meet with God and hear him. Even Jesus most often 'retreated to the desert' when he needed quiet time with God.
The Sajuaro cactus in the foreground represents the cross of Jesus. I put the cactus blooms on the top representing his crown. There are two other Sajuaro cactus in the background of the painting representing the crosses of the two thieves crucified with Jesus. The cactus is also a symbol of suffering.
In the up-stretched hands of the woman, I wanted to created a reach of desperation, which I hope really shows in her arms and cupped hands.
The blood into water... well, this part is what, in my opinion, gives the power to the piece. It caught me by surprise when I added the tar gel to the canvas and then stepped back and looked at it. I was moved to tears immediately. The reaction words from my mouth were "It is finished"... which is now the title of the piece. It seemed fitting in so many ways. The blood represents the sacrifice of Jesus. "It is finished" were the last words Jesus said before he died. It is in blood that there is life and power. Jesus also said "I am the living water" which is why the blood turns to water as it drips into the woman's hands. Another thing is that when Jesus was pierced in his side, water mixed with blood ran out. Medically, from what I have heard, this phenomenon is not normal and only occurs when the heart is "broken".
Truthfully, there is so much going on in this painting, I feel that I've barely scratched the surface.
Something on a funny note though... looking at the painting, a couple of old hymns case to my mind from my "southern Baptist" days of childhood. Mind you, my family is from the south so hearing these songs in my head with a southern twang make me giggle. This is what one would sound like should you pronounce the words as I'm spelling them:
Thar's pair in thu blud, pair in thu blud.... You have to say "power" just like pair but almost like two syllables but not quite! LOL!
Another hymn that came to mind was:
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
I hadn't thought of these songs in many year but they came back to me seeing this piece of artwork.
and so.... It is Finished!!!