20 - 30 different types of erasers and drawing instruments were used to make Observed and Recorded Permutations of The Holy Spirit listed under OARPOTHS large and small.
These images are referred to as erasings. 90% of my time making these images was spent erasing.
It takes one month to create the large images. Approximately 8 hours per day, 6 days per week.
My process begins when cotton balls are first coated with pastel and then smeared on the paper until the desired effect has been achieved. Once the pastel is applied, the additive process is rarely revisited after the subtractive process of erasing begins.
Panpastel, my brand of choice, is packaged in a round, plastic casing and is referred to as a cake.
Duralar, an industrial paper referred to as film, was chosen as a symbol of some of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit. Duralar does not tear, absorb moisture or discolor with age. It is a semi-transparent paper that allows light to pass through. It is heat resistant, acid free and archival.
Each Holy Spirit image is a vertical landscape.
Each Holy Spirit image is simultaneously a portrait of The Holy Spirit as a form of wind.
All images are my interpretation of an important event on the day of Pentecost:
Before Jesus died he asked his disciples and apostles to wait for 50 days in an upper room in Jerusalem until they received power. This power a.k.a. The Holy Spirit, was described as a, “mighty rushing wind” that fell upon and entered the hearts of 120 people.
Wind becomes visible when it collects and forms particles.
Wind becomes visible when it gently or violently assembles and moves physical objects.
My process and materials are a near facsimile of wind. I try to embody wind while literally moving, assembling and collecting pastel particles to make these images.
Erasing, a subtractive method, is a direct reference to a bible verse quoting John the Baptist as he speaks about Jesus. “He must increase and I must decrease”.
When looking at my images the evolution in most cases, is clearly visible. God’s directive for me, stated by John the Baptist, came later in my process. After I read that verse, I literally stopped creating additive marks on the surface. They are easier for me to control. Subtractive marks have an element of surprise that provides an opportunity for me to yield to the process. With that in mind, as you look at the images, the ones that have both pencil marks and smudgy erased marks are prior to God revealing that verse to me. The pieces that have only the smudgy erased marks came after the revelation.
These images were originally created for the Bakersfield Museum of Art in California which were then expanded into the body of work featured in this show.
Once an actor is given a role in a movie and filming begins, he/she often constructs elaborate means so that breaking character does not occur. This is done as a form of creative discipline. For me, that discipline and creative process meant restricting secular information and cultural normative activities in and out of the studio for 2 years.
Praying consisted of:
-a traditional conversation with God before and during each studio session about how to depict his Holy Spirit.
- while in the studio, I listened to contemporary Christian worship music and sermons in both English and Spanish.
-reading the bible briefly in an app twice per day, in the morning and at night.
-going to church 3 times per week.
I am madly in love with one of Bernini’s most famous works of art, The Ecstasy of St. Theresa.
For the past three years, my goal has been to add to this body of work that is very minuscule in breadth. It’s about a spiritual experience St. Teresa had with God. Bernini was a renegade in his time. To reinforce this reputation, he picked a moment that was unfamiliar to the 17th century population and created a 3D rendering about this intimate, transformative moment in a religious person’s life. He made a very personal experience available to the rest of the Italian community and consequently, to the rest of the world several centuries later.
After I researched 2000+ years of art history, I found very few works of art representing this spiritual experience, and thus the series, An idiosyncratic path toward . . . was born.