I love to paint from life. It’s important to connect with my subject. At best, connecting allows me to become part of—or to recognize that I am already a part of—the person or landscape I see. It’s a privilege to experience this unique beauty in this time. In my figurative watercolors, the strokes are quick and juicy, describing large shapes of light and shadow, capturing the gesture, expression, and energy of the individual. The colors are those I see as well as some that I feel.
The painting, Your Presence My Light, expresses my responses both to the hymn, Be Thou My Vision, as well as to the model. J. who grew up across the street from me to become a lovely young woman of faith, strength, and a sweet playfulness. I usually draw in pencil or water-soluble crayon, with attention to accuracy, but this time chose pen and ink to render her in rhythmical, fanciful line. She closed her luminous eyes for this pose, evoking tenderness. The lines in the hymn, “You my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping, your presence my light,” came to me.
Although I often pray to see clearly, I have seldom prayed for a vision. Years ago, in a time of deep concern for a family member, however, I asked to see what lay ahead and had a dream—an image—of my relationship with my loved one. The truth of the dream has been a touchstone in my life since that time.
Recently, Psalm 34 has become meaningful, especially verses 4-7:
I sought the LORD and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed. This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD, and was saved from every trouble. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
My prayer now is to rest, like my young friend, in God’s care, and to trust in God’s vision for my life and art.