This has been a fun collaboration with the MVL Art Factory.  The crucifixion imagery is based on my preliminary drawing from the St. Mark's Triptych (see it at this link).  The visual message is a juxtaposition of dark subject matter with bright, joyful paint.  The concert at MVL is called the Spring Sacred Concert.  It involves Lenten AND Easter songs.  With that in mind I've worked over the years (with choral director, Jon Ziesemer) to produce concert artwork that speaks to both Jesus' passion and resurrection.

Charcoal preliminary drawing from St. Mark's Triptych.
MVL promotional poster.

From a process standpoint, this is about layers.  A drawing is made on the bare paper, then obscured by some random toning colors.  The drawing is "reclaimed" with purple and white tonal painting to bring the figures to the fore again.  Next, some "joyous" paint is gleefully applied.  This obscures parts of the figures.  So the figures need to be "reclaimed" again.  It's not efficient, but sometimes its the way to go.  By repainting the figures several times and sandwiching layers of atmospheric paint, the piece achieves a complexity and richness that is surprising to both the artists and the viewers.

It was interesting how many comments we got from around school at this stage.  Why did we ruin it?

If you painted it once, you can paint it again!  Reclaiming the dark and light values.

Finishing touches.


Ready for transport.
Taking down the Christmas artwork. 
Here is the statement I wrote up for the concert program:
The “Grateful Songs” in this concert guide us through Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.  The artwork made for this concert also seeks to evoke the dramatic transitions of Holy Week.  This is a painting about paradoxes:  dark and light, order and disorder, Law and Gospel, God and man, death and life, ending and beginning.
The gruesome consequences of our sin are on display in this painting.  Ours is an ugly, impossible debt to the Living God whom we continually offend.  Jesus’ crucifixion was the sacrifice that payed our debt.  While he endured our horrific punishment in body, mind, and soul we can realize our own relief.  Jesus’ death on that Friday was the end.  The end of separation from God, of the Law’s oppressive weight on our hearts, of eternal fear.  
But something else was just beginning.  On that Sunday came the exhale of all time.  There was an unbelievable rumor.  The news that Jesus wasn’t in the tomb became the core belief of the Christian’s faith.  Jesus confirmed that news when he appeared to his disciples many times.   The truth is that “It is finished”.  Jesus, our savior, our rescuer, has secured forgiveness and eternal life for all people.  With the Holy Spirit churning away in our hearts we can reflect the love of God to a lonely world.  That ultimate comfort informs the bright, joyful palette and technique on this painting.   
Beyond the narrative of this painting’s content and materials there is an underlying trust in the viewer.  The student artists let out the leash a bit and allowed for “happy accidents”.  In the process of creating this piece paint was dripped, poured, splashed, swirled, and dabbed.  Random images may occur to your eyes.  The image is loosely woven in layers pigment.  Our imaginations are happy to cooperate with your’s.

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