Monday, June 6, 2011

A Painting For Pentecost

 Pentecost, mixed media (acrylic and Micron marker)
18" x 24" gallery wrapped canvas

A few days ago I finished the painting commissioned by Union Center Christian Church, in Endicott, NY.  It's simply titled Pentecost, and represents the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus' disciples, an empowerment which He promised would occur after His Ascension.  The Bible records the event, called Pentecost by the early Christian church because it was 50 days after Easter/Passover, in Acts 2:

 1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of 
them were filled with the Holy Spirit. . . .

I also used one of my favorite scriptural images, the Living Water, which is another name for Jesus Christ.  The image of water also occurs in baptism (symbolizing repentance, death to sin and rebirth), but here I was mindful of Jesus' conversation with a Samaritan woman at a well as he traveled from village to village, preaching and teaching (from John 4):

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”  11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Those two images combine in this painting, and I tried to suggest life and motion through the swirl of the colors and the fine lines drawn over the paint.  I enjoyed working with the bright, intense colors.  It's not meant to be a realistic image, but a suggestion of possibilities, an echo of fiery grace reaching down and cool mercy rising up.  There is purposely no recognizable central figure to receive the blessing - the fire and water are the focus, and any believer, from any time or place, could be imagined as the recipient of the Lord's gift of His Spirit.


  1. You are a great painter...........TR

  2. Ack, I've been hacked! (TR is my SIL - love you, Teresa!)