As I walked out to empty my dirty paint water, I thought about this painting I have to paint. I don’t know. I didn’t even think I could paint it as I did my quiet time this morning. But then, I think I need to.
So I am walking out to empty the dirty bucket of water – full from painting a portrait of my beloved daughter. As I pour the pigment laden water in my gravel driveway, I think, “It is like preparing for the worst job in the world. What would that be? Maybe telling someone that their loved one has been killed in an accident? Maybe having to put a pet to sleep?” I came back toward the house with my inverted bucket, with my eyes on the ground, thinking.
I moved the large things out of the way so that I could paint, and started to gather my thoughts about exactly which paint I would choose for this awful assignment. I took a panel from the shelf, and turned it to the back to cut off the protective plastic layer. “No,” I thought. “It is the front. I have to cut on the front, and leave the scars.” I have never cut on the front of my substrate before.
My underlayer will be green – the greens that I don’t like, that would be shockingly hideous in skin or organs. The most uncomfortable color with the red that I will have to use. As the first brush full of green spread across the surface, the realization spread across my mind. “It is like preparing to sacrifice an animal. A lamb.” Yes. That is it. Selah
The next layer is a rough dark section. It contains a molding paste, so it holds a lot of texture. It is applied with a knife. A knife. I wipe my blade; I must wait for the drying, so it will be seasoned enough to proceed with the next part of the painting.
My journal entry today was written with tears running down my face. : “I don’t think I can paint this. It is dark – black and red and deep. A dark black background with unrelenting red drips and runs. It is heavy and terrible.
Ought I to paint it? Is it a remembrance? There is no redeeming lightness or delight… Good Friday.
There was torn flesh. Dark wounds. Probably flies. Dripping and thickening. And suffering. Such suffering. Did the scorn and defiance hurt like additional wounds? What about the fear… each wound – each drip from Your hand or back or forehead or feet – brought You closer to death; the horrible enemy.
Hours. It lasted for hours and hours. Slivers. Thorns. Caked blood, dirt, and sweat. Bugs that You could not shoo. Thirst. Spikes. And oh, the deep hopelessness. There would be no miraculous release. They gambled for Your clothes. There was no hope that You would get a reprieve and reclaim them.
You couldn’t get a breath. Just little sips of air – probably with stench and gnats mixed in.
Did my sin sit on your chest? Did I hang from Your arms and increase the weight – the tearing and fiery pain?
Good Friday. Black Friday. Horrible Friday.”
I return to my easel, but that layer is not dry yet. This painting is going to take ALL D… oh. right. It is going to take all day.