{ Jesus } ~ Is Just Alright

Acrylic on canvas illustration for the Ottawa Citizen's Weekly: a Broadsheet Magazine which was printed March 30, 1997.

During this period I was a regular contributor to the Ottawa Citizen and they had just reformatted their paper for a Sunday broadsheet 'magazine'.  This format allowed for very expansive articles and themes.   For this particular Easter weekend, the editor opted to devote the edition to an examination of Jesus - both spiritual and historical.

I was called in to meet with the Art Director, Kit Collins, and the Editor, David Warren, whom had decided they wanted to go with an illustration for the cover.  The Art Director envisioned a 'portrait' of Jesus based on the Shroud of Turin, but in festive spring colors.

The Editor's parting thoughts before I set about my task: 'Now remember, you're dealing with a subject that has been treated by Rembrandt and Rubens'.  As I recall, they were paid a King's ransom; my financial compensation would be much more modest. 

If I recall correctly, it was around this time I was taking courses in Late 19th Century French Art and Early Modern Art at Carleton University: an intoxicating mix of  Expressionism, Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Toulouse Lautrec among others.  This is evidenced in the 'broken stroke' application of colors - done with a palette knife and applied in thick chunks of vibrant colors. It was Monet and Cezanne's mindset that captured the desired spirituality behind the concept:  Cezanne tried to reveal the beauty of the world through a simple, humble apple. The choice of pure, vibrant and festive colors capture the eye first but they all add up to a greater whole.

Above a digital photo of the canvas; below a printout of the cover.

Happy Easter 


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