Or The Gospel According to Landscape
My artwork seeks to express the basic Gospel message of Christianity-that
Jesus died in our place to bring forgiveness and reconciliation with a
loving God-in an accessible, non-traditional way. Subject matter such
as mine can be approached in many different ways, including forms of preaching
and teaching. My intentions, however, are more subtle and open-ended.
I want to inspire personal reflection-to invite thought and discussion
in a comfortable environment, stimulating the visual sense as a gateway
to the spiritual sense resulting from an engaging visual experience.
My decision to deal with Christian subject matter in the genre of landscape,
rather than with traditional figurative paintings, creates a metaphorical
visual language in order to speak to a larger, more diverse audience.
Many modern viewers can easily relate to the landscape because they see
some form of it regularly, while they may not feel a connection with traditional
robed and halo-ed figures from biblical times. Instead of using iconic
representation and symbolism, I seek to create a visual metaphor by portraying
a spiritual quality in an intimate sense of space and by connecting it
to a title hinting at the message of Christ, often through a cited biblical
passage. A visual metaphor does not directly illustrate or embody an idea,
but rather makes meaning by connotation, creating images that can be seen
to parallel the message of salvation through Jesus, for a new understanding
of that message. My paintings simply want to say, "Hey, come look
at Jesus this way," and leave it up to the viewer to take a look
for themselves and respond as they will. They can decide to simply enjoy
the landscape at face value, or can explore any cited (or un-cited) biblical
passages, do some searching, and engage with the art and its meaning on
a more personal level. The experience can continue as the viewer returns
to everyday life, and may consciously or unconsciously recognize and remember
the visual motifs from my paintings and have the opportunity to reflect
more on the basic belief of Christianity-two subjects now intimately tied
to each other by my artwork.