A Series Is Never Complete

Sacred Heart Simplified 2In a previous post I wrote about developing a design based on the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Longtime readers of this blog will know that this was not my first attempt at adapting the icons. I have worked with this imagery many times, utilizing a wide range of mediums.

This goes to show that a series doesn’t ever have to be complete. If certain imagery really speaks to an artist, she can return to it again and again over the years. She will find new aspects of the imagery to explore or new ways to present it.

Take some time to browse through my Sacred Heart imagery below, including a brand-new piece at the upper left. Click on the images to see them full-size. Are there any versions that really grab you? Conversely, which pieces do you find less successful?

Evolution of a Design

The World Needs More Love, 2017

The World Needs More Love, 2017

I recently premiered a digital piece entitled The World Needs More Love, which you can see to the left. The piece came out of a vague desire to combine the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary with the rainbow pride flag and a message promoting love. As I see them, the Sacred Hearts represent hearts inflamed with love for humanity, despite the sufferings both receive. The pride flag embraces diversity.

These are potent symbols, now more than ever. It is so tempting to respond to violence with more violence, but as the popular saying puts it, “Fighting for peace is like f***ing for virginity.” Capisci?

The image that I premiered on August 9 was not the first attempt I made to translate my idea into reality. I went through numerous drafts before I created something I liked. But neither was the official image the last attempt I made. I probably created the official image three quarters of the way through the process.

I kept on creating additional versions so I would have lots of options to consider, and I wasn’t sure which one I would choose until the very end. To see how I varied the idea, you can view some of the alternate versions in this post. Do you have a favorite?

This experience verifies the importance of creating multiple versions of any idea. If I had stopped after just one attempt, I never would have produced the image I love.

Producing alternate versions is admittedly much easier to do with digital art than with traditional mediums, because the image on the computer screen can be edited and altered ad nauseam. Even so, a traditional medium artist can create series to fully explore an idea.

For Charlottesville

There was a huge white supremacist march in Charlottesville, VA today. Counter protesters showed up, and someone drove a car into them. At least one of them is dead, and at least 19 are injured. The governor has declared a state of emergency.

Sorrowful Heart, 2017

Sorrowful Heart, 2017

These are the only words that feel appropriate right now: “The Mother of God stands weeping beneath the Cross…. She sheds many tears as she gazes on the face of her tortured Son. With devout mouth she kisses the red wounds of Jesus; with both arms she clasps His shoulders and sides.”

This is from part of a poem entitled The Sorrows of the Virgin which appeared in the book, The Imitation of Mary, by Thomas a Kempis.