“Storm” is the first in a series reinterpreting biblically themed paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and murals found within the canon of art history. The original work is inspired by Rembrandt van Rijn’s seascape “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.” While my mixed-media painting is quite different in style and form, “Storm” is the same scale as Rembrandt’s missing painting measuring at 5’h x 4’w. It depicts the moment before Jesus calms the storm as told in the Gospel of Mark.
I am interested in the subject matter and structure of historical works of art. This composition is influenced not only by a Dutch master, but by Japanese woodblock prints and historic patterns in textile design. I employ materials and techniques often associated with craft and with bookmaking. Delicate rice papers, lusciously patterned fabrics, and thoughtfully sourced printed materials are collaged and married to the painting. Drawing, tracing, ironing, cutting, gluing, and painting are all part of my detailed process.
Embedded into the collage is text sourced from my arsenal of medical pamphlets. I reference my recent physical and spiritual battle with breast cancer through the collaged text. It explains how to share a cancer diagnosis with your children, one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. These words and infographics fill the boat and thread through the waves. I select fabrics from a collection I’ve amassed from my mother, my aunts, and my grandmother. I create my work with generations in mind: my daughters, my mother, decades of women in my lineage, and centuries of artists and saints before me.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand”.
Ephesians 6: 12-13
“Storm” represents the challenges we face as humans living in a fallen world. It also speaks to the hope we have in our defender.
The painting is profoundly personal. It is an homage to my advocate and friend, Jesus the Messiah. The piece captures the moment where I call on Jesus to arise and calm my storm. There is tension in this moment. One can almost see the spiritual forces of evil swirling in the dark clouds. But, light pushes back. It reflects off the waves. It illuminates my hopeful self. Jesus pushes back. He sees me through every storm, every battle. He is my defense; I will not be moved. I will stand.
The painting is also universal. Every human has struggled against the powers of this dark world. Some have experienced hope in the light of Christ. One word, and Jesus calms the raging storm. His words are true, righteous, and make known the mystery of the gospel. His words are more powerful than the crashing waves of cancer, financial hardship, or broken relationships. His words are life.
I would like to recognize those who have been instrumental in the creation of this work. My beloved husband, Jake, supports me in countless ways. He builds my panels, listens to my ideas, fills in the gaps when I immerse myself in the studio, and prays for me as I work. I recognize my lovely daughters, Calla and Annaliese. They supply me with feedback on color, form, and materials throughout my process of “making.” They bring fun and play to my studio. These girls are treasures from the Lord. Finally, I acknowledge my closest friend, Jesus. He sees me through the storms of my life.
Type of work: mixed media on panel
Purchase price: $5500
Contact the artist at www.jenniferlynnbates.com
Inquiries on original work and limited edition prints may be made at www.jenniferlynnbates.com.
Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!