(The Sacred Heart Series)
2021, oil on linen72 x 42 inches
The Sacred Heart Series is a contemporary approach to visual contemplation. Just as mandalas traditionally represent the spiritual journey, starting from outside into the inner core, through layers, my paintings focus attention, establishing a sacred space as an aid to mindfulness and meditation.
This painting is a collision and a marriage, where the Eastern mandala meets the Western icon of the Sacred Heart. The jumble of roofing nails comes together to form a heart-like composition. The nails reference the theological connection between suffering and redemption, and is a fracturing of my previous mandala paintings, yet is still a conduit for contemplation.
Much of my work aims for a hybridization of still life and landscape painting, and is a visual examination of the material world as a doorway/ threshold to the unseen world. I also see my work as a contemporary extension of Baroque painting. Just as Zurbaran, for example, represented objects to reference an underlying person or narrative about the human condition, I too seek transcendent moments within the mundane around me. Light as subject matter, is also a symbolic Baroque element. I use intense chiaroscuro and complimentary color theory to dramatize the picture plane.
My work is informed by my research into science, psychology, and various contemplative practices from the world’s “Great Religions” to indigenous spirituality (and drawing inevitably from my own Catholic spiritual practice and the many/varied traditions and iconographies within that Judeo-Christian history), as well as current events and my own lived experience.