At University I began to hunger for artwork that expresses the power and force of life itself. I started to paint landscapes using rich colour and texture in my search for a spiritual connection with nature, the world and life itself. I felt I was moving in the right direction, but still missing something.
I had never considered taking a course to discuss Christianity until my lovely wife Sophie asked me to join her on the Alpha Course in 2010. As a child I remember lying in bed talking to God, about things and asking him questions but we never went to Church and this course challenged my preconceived ideas about faith. We started going to Irthlingborough Methodist Church, who welcomed us with open arms, and have I never looked back.
My new relationship with God began to lead me in a different direction in my creative work, as an artist. This was tentative at first; however, when I had a full immersion Baptism on 27th, in a birthing pool(!) of October 2013 things really started to change. I decided if I was going to declare my commitment as a Disciple of Jesus I wanted everyone one to see and feel the joy of the occasion. Being baptised in the Holy Spirit, took my breath away.
To mark this major event in my life I knew that I needed to produce a new piece of artwork and it was a long time in the making: I attended many church services contemplating and praying for guidance. A painting that really inspired me was Salvador Dali’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross, and I used this as a starting point.
First, I made a wooden cross, and after photographing this near the water, I developed it into a full sized image. Gridding the photo up into 4cm squares, I then matched the grid onto the canvas. I was now ready to ‘paint’ the artwork with strips of colour printed Bible passages and poems about Baptism. These dissected words were then glued into each square, one at a time, until the whole painting was completed. As I copied each square from the photograph, words and phrases were layered onto each other creating a dense textured surface revealing the image of the cross on the lake. Phrases and words, if you look carefully, can be read in the painting.
In the Nene Valley near Irthlingborough are many lakes and I decided to use these as a setting to symbolise the water used in Baptism, but also because they are local and reflect God’s presence everywhere. I made a wooden cross, and after photographing this near the water, I printed colour Bible passages and poems about Baptism, ready to ‘paint’ the artwork. Phrases and words, if you look carefully, can be read in the painting.
‘Baptism’ is an artwork that marked the beginning of a new direction in my life and work. It symbolises both my commitment to Jesus, the area we live in, and that I can use my talents to glorify God. Since then I have been making, small Christian themed paintings and prayer crosses, using the same technique, based on individual Bible passages and poetry. People from all over the world have bought my work on Etsy either for themselves or gifts for Baptism. One was even commissioned as a Wedding present. Jesus is a part of every moment of my life, I pray when travelling to work, when sharing my talents with others at workshops and art classes. Jesus is present in all that I do and it is my aim to do everything with Him by my side.