Oil on canvas, 40” x 30”
My work captures the beauty and grandeur of the Gothic-style cathedrals. I am struck by the beauty and scale of these pointed arches, which is a repeating motif throughout my work. The motif symbolizes the two most important things in my life: faith and art.
My work is similarly influenced by the Christian iconography of the Renaissance. The way in which artists used their work to teach about the Bible, inspired me to incorporate this iconography into my own work.The repetition of the arch is my personal way of incorporating religious iconography into this series of paintings. Just like the cross, ichthys, and dove are all symbols of religion, the Gothic arch is a religious symbol for me. It is reminiscent of the many cathedrals I visited in Florence and the very vividly sacred feeling the cathedrals possessed.
My work graduated from a very somber palette of colors to a palette of bright, striking colors; however, the motif stayed the same. While creating the paintings, the repetition of the motif became a prayer. The paintings with fewer arches were the prayers in which I was asking God to help me, and the paintings with many arches were prayers of thanks: each arch representing something different. Now, as I view my finished pieces, I am overwhelmed by the theme of God’s grace and forgiveness. His grace for me is repetitive, like the motif. It is also powerful, like the bold colors of the pieces. It completely covers me like the brightly-colored arches of my last piece. Even after I have completed the pieces, they continue to teach me and help me grow in my faith. I am lucky to be able to combine and share the two things that I love: religion and art. Above all, this show is a way to express my faith far more accurately, and far more eloquently, than words ever could.
© Anna-Rebecca Johnson