Last November Glenmary Home Missioners called to commission me again, to do a watercolor for their Easter appeal for the second year in a row. I have been doing their Christmas appeal paintings for the past four years or so. Last year they asked me to do an Easter scene, since they have found that they have done very well in receiving donations as a result of my Christmas scenes.
Approaching these religious scenes that pull directly from scripture is challenging. Not only is it difficult imagining how it would have been, but it is also challenging because everyone pictures the scene differently in their own imaginations. The scene from the tomb that I painted last year was challenging, for sure, but I am really happy with how it came out. So when I was approached to do another Easter scene, I thought, “Wow, I’m not sure if I can do this again.”
Fortunately, instead of going for a biblical scene, they decided to pull from their Catholic tradition and have an Easter candle as the image. In the Presbyterian tradition, we don’t use Easter candles (that I am aware of), but in the Catholic tradition, I understand that they get an Easter candle each year and that the candle is lit during every worship service to remind the parishioners of the light of Christ. They also wanted Easter lilies as part of the composition, but not too much — I guess the one who approves the final artwork doesn’t like florals.
It took a few editions to get to the final version, which is to the right (click for larger version), and I am quite happy with how it came out. I feel like the people at Glenmary always help me refine my work in really nice ways!