42" x 49" acrylic on board; Basic Frame
Like the lost card of some forgotten Tarot deck, an empty throne awaits the exalted judge at the end of time. The cloaked one standing in its shadow woefully unprepared for His coming. Inspired by mosaics in Ravenna Italy depicting the Byzantine exaltation of the Last Judgment. We spend a lot of energy and angst awaiting judgement from what we imagine is an ideal in some way larger than our own. But what judgement is it? Should it be ourselves holding ourselves accountable to the merits and virtues of the universe or have we surrendered the agency of judgement to someone else's ideals? Asking these questions as I worked on the painting helped me process some major life events. A long and painful transition of the ego. Pain that lingers like crumbled monuments in a cruel and unchanging desert. The journey is encoded in the swirls of the carved throne. Just don't look too carefully.
Reverse: a cross motif from an ongoing series I refer to as "The Good Thief." Since the painting on the front was already completed, the freedom to either fly or fail with this quick, gestural sketch was enormously gratifying. There's a crackling energy in the strokes of the vines that make up the cross. Normally this would be simply the first step of the process toward a finished piece. In this case it will remain at this initial gestural stage permanently. But in my future structural underpainting I will always attempt to capture the free energy that I experienced painting this one.