This painting can mean many things to an observer. The following comments reflect my thinking processes and what it means to me, but I realise that a painting can be interpreted in many ways, so please allow it to speak to you!
To me, this painting is a visual metaphor of the nature of God. It’s true that God is a mystery, but I don’t think he is unknowable. In fact I think it was Richard Rohr who said “Mystery is endless knowability.”
This painting is like an invitation to go on a journey of faith into eternity, where we are continuously discovering something new about the nature of God, which is an ongoing journey. I’ve used multiple layers of oil paint, liquid leaf and gold leaf help to describe the “multi-dimensional” nature. Sometimes, as soon as we think we’ve understood something we discover an entirely new layer underneath to enter and explore. A bit like a relationship, discovering and enjoying new things about a loved one. We can go deeper if we want to or remain on a superficial level.
Even though sometimes it feels like falling into an abyss, it is the greatest adventure, source of endless creativity, where tenderness, sensitivity and radiating passion is all around. I see God’s work in the ineffably enormous and in the tiniest detail, and I’ve tried to portray that here….someone invisible who is beyond human comprehension, yet resonates within the deepest part of the human spirit. He resists the proud, and is controlled by no-one.
“The times where we meet or reckon with our contradictions are often turning points, opportunities to enter into the deeper mystery of God or, alternatively, to evade the mystery of God. I’m deliberately using the word mystery to point to depth, an open future, immense freedom, a kind of beauty and truth that can’t be fully spoken or defined.” Richard Rohr
I don’t read or agree with everything Richard Rohr says, but his short article on “Paradox: Mystery Is Endless Knowability” seems to make sense in relation to this painting.
Also, some people liken it to an “all-seeing eye”. I like to think of God being the ultimate observer (heads up quantum physics nerds!), seeing everything in existence simultaneously, as an omniscient being. He is able to see hidden and invisible things like the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. The Bible has much to tell us about this, most obviously in 2 Chronicles 16:9
The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT
We also read about God’s “sight” in Hebrews 4:13.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13
Rather harrowing, but it’s what it says. I’m not sure if this painting communicates all that, but it’s been washing around me as I painted it.
Many thanks for reading this article.