The Foolish Cross – work in progress 2
Colouring the fire of passion
I had to laugh! The initial thumbnail was 2.5x3cm, and I was about to translate that onto Fabriano paper 76x120cm! But it worked. I mean, it worked really well!
I put this down to my intention to dedicate every moment of this joyful work to my Lord Jesus Christ. That might sound a bit strange – if it were not for the fact that, twice now, I have been woken up in the night by abstract promptings from past instances somehow urging me to see their obscure relevances to this image.
In the night the Lord compelled me to do a number of specific things in order to manifest this image – first, remember the actual time when I commenced drawing (from the point of view of “sight” being given). I can even remember the very first image – a totem pole … I happily embellished each element – something like a spread eagle, a kneeling man in song, a bear with lifted paw … and, of course, the indian chief complete with full headdress, perhaps dancing around the pole. Whatever it was the finished drawing amazed me … and the teacher – and the other pupils.
Then there were the dreams. I used to not only remember my dreams, but I could write them down in detail, then spend the next day deciphering them. I also used to have lucid dreams – so vivid – in full vibrant colour … and I could manipulate what I was doing.
And finally came the more surreal contemplations (I would have used the term ‘meditations’ but that implies a kind of systematic ritual – which these were not). These were also extremely lucid – to the point of experiencing a variety of deep emotions.
On top of this there was the interpretive element, which was ironically the most cryptic experience … especially when translating the ‘sight’ to paper. But I am getting ahead of myself. This present stage – the laying down of pastel colours – was a most exciting and exhilarating experience which I always relish every time I get out the pastels (or whatever colour medium).
Because this drawing is about exercising a specific skill, it had to include such beautiful elements as creative thought, creative imaging, the joyful revelatory experience, the challenge of translating an abstract thought into physical lines, shapes, and colours.
At the same time I was very aware of needing to control what was being drawn – and perhaps more importantly, how much or how little to manifest at this stage. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a kind of background element, which would be used to add to, or remove from, the desired contrast that the graphite would eventually demand.