In May of 2011 traveling abroad with students in England I was smitten. At the National Gallery in London I saw in the flesh Veronese’s Four Allegories of Love. Painted around 1575, the awkward angles, staged narratives, and stilted compositions had me at “Hello.” I picked up postcards of all four paintings and put them on my studio wall in order to stay in dialogue with them. Meanwhile in the back of my head I was thinking I wanted to move from painting singular figures of which I had been painting for the past two years or so, back to narratives. I also desired to work big again. In terms of content I have been struck over the past years by what I can only call “messy” Old Testament stories, and so I decided to try my hand at mimicking elements of Veronese’s compositions with characters such as Balaam, Jonah, and Job. Submission & Revelation (Balaam) is the largest painting I’ve created since 2001, and is simply the first painting of four, each based on a Veronese composition from The Four Allegories of Love.
(This paintings have been made possible by a George Fox University Faculty Development Grant.)