Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sneak Preview! Wrestling the light

A tight crop of the sketch for my next painting, based on the biblical story of Jacob and the angel.

For those unfamiliar with Judeo-Christian-Islamic stories, Jacob fought from night until dawn with an unknown assailant and wouldn't release him until the attacker blessed him, at which time Jacob was blessed with the name Israel, which means, "prevailed against the divine."

It isn't actually written in the Bible that Jacob tussled with an angel, but that's the common interpretation. It's the interpretation I've chosen for my next work, because I think it's a rich and beautiful image, full of symbolism: How many of us struggle with our divinity? Our conscience? The basic worth of who we are?

In my research, I've found that in many pictures, the angel is depicted as effortlessly winning the match, but in the story, it's the angel that asks to be freed as dawn approaches. Even after dealing a terrible wound to Jacob, Jacob doesn't relent (and that's how he gets to negotiate a blessing--perseverance!). I've decided to depict my scene with the angel at Jacob's mercy.

The background I believe will be abstract, to continue my exploration of expressionism.

Invite Beauty,

I.
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