Monday, September 20, 2010


Occasionally, art is created on stage during our church services. The purpose of creating the art is to augment the messages delivered in the sermon. During one particular service, my job was to visually present, in paint, some of Jesus’ impact on the world. I chose to illustrate Jesus’ role in creation (He Spoke), His incarnation or arrival on Earth (He Came), and the salvation He offers (He Saves). All three paintings were partially completed before the service. Large portions of two of the paintings (He Spoke and He Saves) were covered with frisket, a plastic material which sticks to the painting surface but can be easily removed without disturbing the painting beneath. Prior to the service the frisket was painted to obscure the painting beneath and to set the stage for the painting that occurred during the service. At appropriate times during the service the frisket was removed to reveal the painting beneath. This technique allowed one panel to be used to show two different images related to the same event. The paintings below show the final paintings after the frisket was removed. For example, the picture of our present day Earth (He Spoke) was revealed when the frisket was removed from an abstract painting of creation painted during the service.


This 36” x 36” painting started as a black square with a white rectangle at the center. Painted frisket obscured the painting beneath. The white rectangle was there only to allow me to show a bright red form at the center of the painting. During the service, the Earth as a formless mass, the waters above and below, and light were painted abstractly to illustrate some of elements of Genesis 1. After people had a little time to view the finished abstract painting, the frisket (and abstract painting) was removed to show the Earth, as we know it today.


This 30” x 75” painting started with the graduated sky leading down to a low horizon line with the upside down cross painted lightly at the bottom (to foreshadow the sacrifice to come). During the service, the star was added at the top of the painting, the swaddled baby Jesus was painted, and the hills and land mass were added at the bottom. Actually, the face of baby Jesus had been painted prior to the service and was covered with frisket which was removed during the service.


This 40” x 75” painting started with the orange-yellow color down the sides leading to the bottom of the painting which showed a darkly painted head of a downcast person. The central area of the painting from the top down to the head was painted white or with light values. During the service a large, rusty Roman nail, representing Christ’s suffering, was painted toward the top of the painting. A narrow stream of red (blood) was painted down from the tip of the nail toward the downcast head. A drop of red separated from the stream and headed down toward the head. Toward the end of the service the congregation sang the song entitled, “Jesus Paid it All.” The refrain for that song is: “Jesus paid it all, 
All to Him I owe; 
Sin had left a crimson stain, 
He washed it white as snow.” As the refrain was being sung, the frisket was removed from the top and bottom of the painting to reveal a smiling Christ and a person in praise with outstretched arms – He Saves.