In the Belly
A New Painting for the New Year
I am currently at work on my latest large scale piece-large for me being in this case 30″ x 40″. The image above is my first crude underpainting for a piece that I will be working on for the next several months.
The current subject came to me in a vision, as my imagery often does.
Right now I don’t have to fulfill any commission. I don’t have create a piece for any particular theme show or call for entries. Being so free to choose out of the many painting ideas I have could be challenging. However, as an intuitive artist, I am provided guidance. I know the right idea to proceed with because it’s the one I keep thinking about. I can’t get it out of my mind. I’m going to need to paint it out.
The story of Jonah describes a man who tried to dodge his responsibilities, and wound up being swallowed by a great fish-temporarily. One of my favorite artists, Albert Pinkham Ryder, painted this subject before.
Albert Pinkham Ryder “Jonah”
I have visited this theme before, in a small work.
Richard Bledsoe “Leviathan My Friend” acrylic on canvas 12″ x 12″
2020 looks like it’s going to be the year of getting stuff done. We can’t remain the bellies of the various beast that consume us. We must do the work we are called to. That is the energy I am pouring into this new piece.
It’s powerful theme, that everyone can relate to in some way. As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:
As I work on the paintings, I come to interpret them. Patrons will often share insights with me on my works as well, telling me meanings that I didn’t even realize, but which become clear once indicated.
Such is the seductive beauty of symbolic expression; even when manifesting universal archetypes, a symbol caresses the spectator in an intimate manner. While symbols can communicate concepts shared in common, each person experiences the thrill of recognition in a unique way, different as fingerprints.
I will periodically post updates on this work, and share the progress.
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