(Excuse the really terrible digital picture)
I was inspired by Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the US. A non-Catholic, I found the words of this scholar and theologian heart warming and encouraging. His theme, Christ, Our Hope, I felt was realized in every way and especially in his homilies. This piece, I Stand at the Door and Knock, is illustrative of Revelation 3:20.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Notice that the heart in my piece has a huge door -- big enough for Christ to come in -- but no handle on the outside of the door. So Christ must be invited in and the door opened from the inside. That, to me, is the beginning of our hope. . . when we invite Christ in to be the Lord of our life.
My collage was inspired in technique by my friend and yours, Sharon Tomlinson, of All Norah's Art. I love her pieces using napkins and collage with lots of painting. She is a grand master at it and through her blog, you can get totally motivated. So I tried my hand at it.
I started with a painted background of Quinacridone Red covered by Titan Tan acrylic and then water soluble pastels for mark-making. Next I affixed a picture of the anatomical heart and overlayed a clip art doorway. I had removed the doorknob in Photoshop. Then, my favorite part, the napkin with flowers to match the heart. I added a few stamps of a heart diagram in the background.
From there I went about matching the colors with acrylic paint, water soluble pastels, and colored pencils as I tried to make the doorway look like it was built in to the heart and the whole thing look nestled in a grove of blooming plants. The miniature door knocker was added to allude to the Bible verse. Lastly, the text and butterfly were added.
By the way, I got that doorway image from a website I was clued in about in one of my groups (don't remember which). I didn't look around very much because one of the first images I saw was that door and since I'd been thinking about Christ knocking at the door, I just stopped looking and took that image. (Later I realized I even have a rubber stamp of that doorway.) Anyway, I have a feeling this web site is a terrific treasure of copyright-free images. You all probably already know about it and have been using it. Sometimes I wonder what rock I live under! The site I'm talking about is Liam's Pictures from Old Books. There seem to be lots of really terrific images there from which to pick.
When I first showed my new piece to my DH, he guessed it was a frog house (!) Well, I have to admit, that his comment was helpful -- I always have to wonder if it is just him or is it the piece -- but in my first attempt, there was a dark line through the heart over the door that sort of made it look a bit like an orange lemon or something. I hadn't noticed it until I saw it with Jer's eyes and wondered why it didn't look like a heart. See what I mean below.
Frog House (A bad first attempt.)
See that dark line where the arrow is pointing? Well, I thought that was the culprit so I painted it out and I, at least, think it fixed it. Now, I think it looks more like a heart. So what do you think? Did you even notice at first, when you saw that first image above, that it was a human heart with a door in it or did you only know that after I told you?