Saturday, February 18, 2012


I get pretty excited when I embark on a new painting. There is something wonderful and compelling about a blank, unprimed and unstretched canvas which cries out to an artist of it's need for the creative process to begin. I can feel it when I am there: there is an anticipation of that first mark, that first brushstroke, that beginning.

The new project is substantial, and I have a sense that it will be important.

The subject will be challenging and rewarding if I can manage to capture the feeling and convey it into the space... to allow the people who inhabit the space to get the sense of a presence there, or to be reminded of the unseen.

An interesting subject, Angels. Something I hadn't taken a large amount of time to study. They speak of protection and assurance that the message they carry is true. 

The image above was something that came fairly quickly... or as quickly as large letters can come while dipping a black bamboo carved pen into ink and attempting to lay down letters on raw canvas. One of my favorite times in a painting is this exploratory stage, trying things out on practice canvas to see how it translates. The table below the painting is ancient by today's standards... there is speculation that it may have been in the Notre Dame Cathedral at one time. I know not if this is true, but this image of the cross comes from the center. Like those who take rubbings of inscriptions, I laid the canvas down on the carved-relief cross and made a rough sketch. 

Beginnings are always interesting... the start of a new journey. I am looking forward to what is around the bend.


  1. Oh Randall, now you have me excited also--I can't wait to see what transpires--would you please take pictures of the process and keep us posted?! I am praying that this canvas will become a masterpiece that speaks to millions of people through generations to come of the awesome protection God has promised us through his messengers, angels of the Lord!

  2. Thanks Dianne...I will be keeping progress pics... I'm looking forward to the process.

  3. So now it truly begins! Seeing the first inspirational sketch takes my breath away. There is somethings unusual about the timelessness, the eternity of this piece, even down to the historical reference you shared about the cathedral table that priests sat around to share meals. It is as if their communal time is now part of this new history being created. God's voice and vision is moving through this process.

  4. look so little next to the massiveness of your canvases. this work will be so powerful when you complete it. what an awesome subject matter...angels. i am sure they will be watching over you as you create this beautiful piece.

  5. Kathleen Dunning-TorbettFebruary 21, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    I am excited for you. Your work is always so inspiring. Agree with Louis that the angels will be with you on this one.