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Holy Wisdom?

Holy Wisdom / by the hand of Gay Pogue / Acrylic on board / 14 x 11 x 1 inches

Holy Wisdom / by the hand of Gay Pogue / Acrylic on board / 14 x 11 x 1 inches

Holy Wisdom / by the hand of Gay Pogue / Acrylic on board / 14 x 11 x 1 inches

Holy Wisdom / by the hand of Gay Pogue / Acrylic on board / 14 x 11 x 1 inches

 

Two years ago (2014 -2015), when we were homeless and unemployed, we lived out of Ron’s Taurus for four months. We stayed with patient family members and forgiving friends, and in hotels and motels of various sorts. I had a portable “studio” and a few supplies.

While we were with the Tripps outside of Gunnison, Colorado, I finished the icon of the Holy Wisdom that I had begun in Michigan. I had an extra board, but no extra pattern. So, I just painted the same image over again. I tweaked the pattern a bit before putting it on the board. The icon with the blue border was painted first; the gold border, second.

The icon of Holy Wisdom is essentially Jesus as he is imagined to be in heaven — his heavenly transfigured self. It is a controversial icon because Jesus is portrayed without a beard — an androgynous being. That bears some contemplation.

What strikes me is how different they are. Some of the differences were intentional; some were not.

Looking at these has led me to consider what would happen if I took an old icon pattern and intentionally painted it in different ways — not changing the central figure but rather those things that surround it.

Stay tuned.

The Color of the Saints

Icon of Saint Christopher

Saint Christopher / by the hand of Gay Pogue / Acrylic on board / 14 x 11 x 1 inches

Some of you may recall that I have already painted this particular icon of Saint Christopher at an icon workshop led by Suzanne Schleck in the spring of 2015. I especially love the swirls of water echoed in the clothes of St. Christopher and the colorful red sky.

After arriving in Denver, it seemed appropriate to paint the image again as a meditation on how God, the Saints, and the Angels have cared for us and protected us in our moves.

Additionally, I have been meditating on racism, my own and the evidence of it I see in our nation. What can I do to help quiet this beast that attacks us on all sides?

When I paint the images of Jesus, the Saints, and the Angels, I know that I am supposed to project the figures of transfigured beings. But why is it that “transfigured” beings are usually depicted as White, Northern Europeans? Repeating those features and surrounding them with golden haloes does not seem to say that all God’s creatures are beautiful just as they are, no matter what their skin color happens to be.

So. I decided to paint Jesus and Saint Christopher with dark skin. In truth, there is no evidence to say that their skin was otherwise.

May the Peace of God be with you.