This is the painting that I have been working on since November. Since, I started this painting of Christ seeking the little lost lamb, both my three-year-old niece Laney (she would have been four-years-old today) and my Uncle Mrywin have died. Laney died right after Thanksgiving and Myrwin passed away three days before Christmas.
Since they were both on hospice, I started this painting as my personal memorial.
I thought I had it done weeks ago, but then decided it just wasn’t right. So I kept at it and at it. Today, I am finally done and am satisfied with the outcome.
After weeks of trying day after day to get the effects that I sought, when it all started to work I was done in about an hour. Can you tell the difference between the first picture and the final one?
It was the water…that was bugging me so much….its lighting and wave action was wrong. I wanted to paint a rising mist that forms in the morning when the warm sun hits the cold water. I wanted it to dance in the light, just little Laney is dancing in heaven.
I also wanted the rocks to look more like agates…I love agates! I like finding, inspecting and painting them on canvas. I have always thought that Agate Bay in the Gooseberry Falls State Park was something of a rip off because the cliffs are not solid agate. As Uncle Myrwin used to say, “Now, wouldn’t that be something!”
There also needed to be a cave to explore. A cliff without a cave is just a big rock. Unless it has a waterfalls, then, without a cave, it becomes a big rock with a runny nose. Although my good friend Janis will take one look at the cave in this painting and know that I painted the empty tomb.
Christ’s face was facing straight ahead in the first painting. It was just easier to paint that way. It needed to turn towards the lost lamb. There can be no mistaking that the Good Shepherd finds the little lost lamb. The lamb is looking up trustingly at Jesus for it knows it is completely loved and eternally safe. Christ’s hands too were changed. His hand is open, gently inviting the little lost lamb to come to him.
The addition of spring flowers were added just for me. Winter gets long here in Minnesota and I am already looking forward to the new flora and fauna of spring. Besides they always add more color, and I wanted color in this painting. Pink for Laney and blue for Myrwin. The sunrise is pink, oh so very pink and quite riotous. Just like the brightness and havoc young children bring into our lives.Of course the painting needed to have a certain color blue in it. In our family this shade of blue is known as “Myrwin Blue.” This color has now been added.
Lastly, I love it when at dawn the sky looks like it is rising right out of the water. Early morning sunrise reflections sometimes make it almost impossible to tell where heaven begins and earth ends. The separation is a very fine line only crossed by the warmth of the Son.
There are two islands in the brightest light one is for Laney and one for Uncle Myrwin.
My painting is done and the frame ordered.
Now, I can move on.