Saturday, September 21, 2013

 The Back Story

Harvest Psalter
24" x 24"
acrylic on canvas with gold thread
commissioned by Spark and Echo Arts
photo by Guy Gerrard
I'm always engaged in my art process.  The image begins in my head weeks before I apply paint to canvas.  This work, Harvest Psalter,  was no different with the exception that I got stuck several places along the way. 

I was commissioned early in the year as an artist for Spark and Echo Arts who have a vision for creatively illuminating every scripture in the Bible. Because that is my normal inspiration and I am a supporter of their mission,  I thought this would be easy. I had an image in my head after my usual research and reading and I enthusiastically began to paint.

But doubts soon took over.  I've never experienced so much opposition to what I thought I was supposed to do.   I ended up painting over and over the work and then  decided to abandon one piece and start on fresh paper. 

A still small voice said keep climbing the hill.  I started the second piece with only values of color, dark to light.  After some time, I stood back and began seeing the heads of wheat faintly appearing.  I kept adding subtle layers of color along the top until I stepped back and saw what I wanted. . . .a field of wheat ready for harvest! Comparing the two pieces and asking friends for critique, I had no doubt this was the one.

I began the process of adding the gold thread only to notice I did not have enough yardage to complete the width. I discovered the online site where I previously ordered the non-tarnishing thread no longer supplied it.  After research, I found a site in London that had it in stock and ordered it and waited for it to arrive.  In case you didn't count, there are 50 threads of varying lengths individually sewn into the paper! 

The next step was to adhere the paper onto a cradled board so it can be displayed.  I've done this often and had no problem gluing it on, weighting it down and waiting 24 hours for it to dry. However, .when I took the weights off I saw two small and two big air bubbles appear.  Now I was really questioning if I was supposed to do this.  I requested prayer from artist friends and one was kind enough to research and give me a possible solution.  I tried it and it worked!  I'm so grateful for my artist community and supporters.

Final step:  photograph in high resolution to post on the website by a certain date--no problem.   As hard as my husband and I tried,  we could not get good enough lighting to capture the color and gold threads in enough detail.  In the end, I was fortunate to find a professional photographer at our office that agreed to take the photo as shown at the top.  Finally complete, I could relax and truly enjoy this work!

If you've made it to the end of this long epistle, I hope you have a little more insight to the work an artist faces in the whole process of making art.  Some pieces are easier than others, but all the time it is a work of joy to serve humanity with my hands and the gift God gave me. 

To read the reflection about Harvest Psalter, visit and click on "Artist Reflections".