Category: Religion

B.F.A. Thesis ~ 2009

B.F.A. Thesis ~ 2009


Religious rituals are of particular interest to me; from a certain color choice of a robe to counting beads on a string, the rituals within every faith have a similarity that is undeniable. There is an unspoken understanding when an individual wants to pray, meditate or worship that this moment is private and not to be disturbed. I chose to focus on this moment of solitude.

This body of work documents the similarity of the prayer ritual across religious traditions and it is my hope to bring unity, for a moment of time, to such a diverse and, often times, controversial subject. Depicted in these paintings are individuals who are extending themselves outward to their deity or higher being through prayer and meditation. Each person’s background is different but their purpose identical and I chose this context as a means to unify a body of work. However, through studying and understanding the people behind the paintings, I was able to make more connections of my own.

During the many stages of my creative process I came to understand it as similar to the meditative and ritualistic experiences undertaken by the subjects of the paintings. Though very different in practice, I feel we are very similar in intent. It is my intention in my work to build something substantial from beginning to end. Through intense concentration, attention to subject matter and application of my medium, I strive to attain a deeper understanding of myself, my craft and my subject. Starting from the building of the frame, to priming the canvas, and then laying down the final stroke, painting is a form of ritual, repetition and meditation.

The individuals in each piece are larger than life so as to convey the importance of their faith. In order to respect the subject matter, I want to portray the figure in a way that respects the human form as well as the medium. Their placement and size is purposeful in order to emphasize their own humanity within their faith and to help convey that behind a belief is a human. Therefore, diversity can lead to unity and within unity a mutual respect for each other and our own moment of solitude.