About This Listing
This is a 6x8 studio gouache painting completed on professional-grade watercolor paper mounted to a cradled wooden panel 7/8 of an inch thick. To protect the water-based gouache paint from moisture, the painting has been lovingly treated with a three-step varnishing process consisting of a spray varnish suitable for water-based media, an isolation coat, and two coats of UV-resistant gloss varnish. The birchwood panel has been sealed with buffed finishing wax to increase its longevity, and a signed label affixed to the back certifies its authenticity and specifications. The painting has already been glued into a custom poplar frame handmade by a local craftsman. Including the frame, the full dimensions of this piece are roughly 7 x 9 x 1.25 inches.
One of the most profound metaphors hoping me up over the past few years in my faith slash figuring-things-out journey has been the image of the small flickering candle in the great dark room. It is not, perhaps, a very original image, but it came to visit me in a time of real confusion and distress carrying a quite original meaning, and has lit my way ever since.
Raised as I was in the thick of Christian evangelical faith practice and going on to minor in Religion at a Baptist school in central Texas, I grew up robustly immersed in the Bible—too immersed, indeed, to let myself read it “from outside” until I was an adult. And when I finally began to disentangle these scriptures from all the layered theology that had insulated them from my moral imagination, I could not, for all my desperate attempts and serious study, make peace with what I found. I could not accept, no matter what anyone said, that these words and stories so thick with unexamined injustices as well as beautiful insights were the literal perfect revelation of a morally-perfect God. I could not accept it because I saw all around me what might be the results of such an unquestioning and unprobing attitude towards our Book: nationalist war-mongering, theocratic imperialism, flagrant misogyny, and the cruel and dehumanizing treatment of LGBTQ folks.
One Christmas Eve deep in the morass of those upsetting days, my world was forever brightened by the simplest, most freeing realization I’d ever had, and it came in the form of a candle: the Bible, and indeed the whole glowing gospel story starting in the manger, did not need to be the Divine end-all be-all that would speak to every facet of human experience in the millennia to come. It might be, as so many other things are, not a light switch that is flipped to show in an instant every part of a room, but a candle that spills brilliance but lights only the small space around it and leaves the edges shadowy, seen as through a glass darkly.
But then face to face.
“Now I know in part,” the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians. And I have come to find it one of the most comforting things he ever said.
I do my very best to make sure my scans and photographs provide accurate representations of my artwork, but please do be aware that due to monitor differences the colors you see on your screen may vary slightly from the way the colors appear in person.
This painting ships for free within the United States. To arrange international shipping, please reach out to me via the contact form with information about the piece you'd like to purchase and where you need it shipped to. (Please note that international shipping for framed original artwork can be quite pricey, and you will be responsible for any customs fee or import taxes that may arise.)
© 2024 Bryana Joy
The artist retains all copyrights.