Desertscape Series Image Synopsis

This group of small paintings was initiated to help me with my compositional layouts for future surrealistically styled works.  (Most of these paintings are 9 x12 and smaller.)  When I sketch, it’s just black and white line sketches, so these smaller paintings help me to explore different color combos and land placement, as well as, define the themes a little more. 

When considering various themes, I focus on the overall mood, which is peaceful and calm, so I tend to shy away from turbulent skies and a lot of “action” taking place in the painting.

For the figures, I’ll choose:

1) One or two figures either wandering around in the desert trying to determine the best path OR

2) A person lying down at rest. (Recouping after a long journey, healing after a hurt, or dreaming) OR

3) A figure sitting prayerfully at the foot of a cross, viewing a cross at a distance or just a simple cross in the desert, which can be used to help communicate:

• The peacefulness of focusing on Jesus’ presence in our lives.

• Taking time to contemplate Jesus’ work on the cross.

• Pondering the path of faith that we travel along with Jesus.

• The beauty of the rugged cross.


I also look at the spiritual aspects involved: Is Christ specifically represented in the composition by a cross, Christlike figure, or other Christian symbol?   Or does His visual absence in the scenario speak louder?    If so, how could this be interpreted by the viewer?      Positive or negative?

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