Monday, April 21, 2014

Lenten series

Easter is here! Allelujah! The Lord is Risen, He is Risen indeed.

I was inspired during this Lenten season to create a series based on the ancient Kyrie. We sing this every Sunday during Lent as part of our Great Litany.

I take part in a life drawing group on Saturdays, and my favorites are often the 5 or 10 minute sketches that we do to warm up. Every once in a while I sort through the pile and save a few.  I saw these sketches through new eyes as the words and music to the Kyrie were in my head. Sorrow, humility, contrition, gratitude, and worship as spoken and sung through these physical gestures.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Christ is risen from the dead,
By death he hath trampled down death,
And on those in the graves
He hath bestowed life!

The Paschal troparion or Christos anesti (Greek: Χριστὸς ἀνέστη) is the characteristic hymn for the celebration of Pascha (Easter) in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.  Wikipedia
Janice Skivington April 20, 2014
I drew this in Church while listening to music during the glorious Easter Sunday service. I was using Sketchbook for Android on my phone, And I hope not too conspicuously.
 (forgot to put my signature on it)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

foot washing Thursday

It is ironic that today, which is Maundy Thursday should end up being the day I struggle with painting the feet of Christ. "The word Maundy has a rich meaning. It comes from the word mandate. On the Thursday night before he died, Jesus gave his followers a mandate, a new commandment: "Love one another just as I have loved you"(John 13:34). On the night before he died, Jesus washed the dirty feet of his disciples before they ate the Last Supper together. It is a church tradition on Maundy Thursday to participate in the events of Christ's life by washing one another's feet in love,and then receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in communion." (Church of the Resurrection service)

I have been  working on the last of the 10 Old Testament canvases which are hanging in the narthex of my church.

Every so often, I have posted about the process of finishing this huge project. I have been taking the paintings from the church and keeping them here in my studio to continue working on them. It seems a never-ending process. It became my Lenten discipline yet again this year. And as so often happens, a Lenten discipline suffers failure, and can only be successful with the help of God Almighty.
The text for this painting is Zephaniah 3:12-20 (the theme we are emphasizing is "the gathering of God's people")
I will have to write another post about the entire painting and the composition and complicated back story and symbolism. For now, the subject is the feet of Christ. Christ is standing on the head of a snake, representing the powers of death and evil, crushed under His heel, ending the stranglehold death has on the earth. The triumphal and resurrected Christ is gathering the faithful to Him. The top half of this composition is based on a romanesque style sculptural tympanum. The bottom half is a medieval mappa mundi to show the ancient world and the history of God's care for His people.
I spent a while looking for images of feet. I had originally based the art of Christ's figure on research of the tympanum from various 10th century churches. But the feet needed some work. Finally I found these feet of Christ in the The Baptism of Christ by Verrocchio.  These were my models to work from today, and then I had to hang the painting back up in the church for the Maundy Thursday service tonight.

I am still not finished! Much more work needs to be done on this one, it has been a slow process, almost as slow as building a romanesque stone church.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

All glory, laud, and honor

The multitude of pilgrims
With palms before you went,
Our praise and prayer and anthems
Before you we present.
All glory, laud, and honor
To you, Redeemer, King
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

Hymn # 102 from Lutheran Worship
Author: Melchior Teshner

Tune: Valet Will Ich Dir Geben
1st Published in: 821

Illustration from a Bible story page for David C. Cook Publishing. The story is The Good Samaritan, but today was Palm Sunday and I thought about this donkey as I participated in our procession and liturgy.

Kyrie eleison

Friday, April 11, 2014

one more little texan sketch

A little quick sketch made while walking about a lovely Texas State park near Houston. I was in love with the magnificent spreading branches of the live oak trees and the soft veils of spanish moss waving from all the branches.
Under the fishing pier in the background there is a big alligator perched and waiting for those fishermen to catch something.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I can see a tiny bit of green

It may be early spring but it is still very gray out there. We have variations of grays that are greeni-ish and brown-ish, blue-ish, black-ish, gray-ish, pink-ish, olive-ish, but still it is gray.
My current work on canvas here in my studio is coming along. I am excited to be painting in oils.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

the sun came out for a minute

Early hint of spring here in Northern Illinois. I found this in my front yard. It is called the Lesser celandine and is all of a half inch across. Sunshine and a flower? After many long months of winter, I'll celebrate.
And here is a detail of my current painting in the studio, a joyful oil on canvas 40x30 inches. Buckets of yellow and pools of blue skies, this is a commission for a particularly sunny client.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Enjoying some ribs in a typical Texas BBQ joint, with appropriate country western music and beer.

Monday, April 7, 2014

alligator revisited

I added an alligator to this scene from Florida which I posted about back here in late January/early February.
I am going to visit Houston, Texas with my husband. He is speaking at a conference and it is my spring break. Maybe I will have some paintings from this trip to share. My husband is a big fan of alligators and wants to hike around a wildlife reserve on the Texas coast. Most people don't "hike" there, they drive on designated wildlife viewing roads. I have cautioned, "hiking might be a dangerous idea, let's be careful, honey". Honeee! ( I might not come out alive.)

Thursday, April 3, 2014