Monday, December 23, 2019

Advent and the Annunciation

The story of the Annunciation is probably the most familiar and famous account of an angelic encounter in the Bible. The Virgin Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel, the messenger from God, who delivers the news that she will bear God’s son. Her humble and simple “Let it be to me according to your word” echoes down through the ages as a response not of mindless submission, but of opening her heart to the Love of God.
I created a watercolor painting of a version of the Annunciation scene for my church to use during the season of Advent. Advent is a season in the ancient church of four weeks before the great excitement of Christmas day when Christians around the world celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ to the world.
Advent is a time of quiet contemplation and prayerful waiting for God's revelation to us.
I made my art after looking and contemplating much of the Annunciation art from art history. There are a lot to consider as it was a popular image for  Church commissions in the Early Renaissance and beyond. 
An artist that I am particularly struck by is Fra Angelico. Here are some of his works showing the Annunciation scene.
 I worked to make the expressions on the Angel's face and Mary's face have layers of meaning. The angel is serious but kind, Mary is frightened but looking up bravely with belief. I used ink cross-hatching to build up some deeper tones and make the realism more solid. I only used shades of purple and violet, blue and white with watercolor. These are traditional Advent colors. 

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