This painting has been acquired for the art collection of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Saint Paul MN.
The scene is set in the gospel of Luke (1:26-38). It tells of the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary, announcing that she is chosen by God to be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah. In my abstract painting, the presence of Gabriel fills the semi-circular shape as a bright, powerful force, but is not yet fully materialized. Gabriel is straddling the realms of heaven and earth. There are hints of the angelic visions of Isaiah, Daniel, and John of Patmos: wings are indicated with soft feathery strokes covering head, feet, and spread through the center as wings of flight. Gold arcs at the edges suggest the realm of heaven. A regular pattern of painted cross-strokes forms a matrix, defining another plane in space, perhaps a nod to artistic representation of small angels, putti, in historic Renaissance and Mannerist paintings.
A blue central column divides the composition just as God’s incarnation is the pivot-point for all of time and space. Blue is the color associated with Mary, and the crescent moon is often used symbolically with Mary. In the daytime our sun gives direct illumination, while the nighttime moon is a reflector of that light. So, like the moon, Mary’s life-witness reflects and points us to Jesus, the source.
The smaller horizontal bars in the composition’s center reference our world of sky, land, sea, and under the sea. These shapes may be seen as either ascending or descending, and hint of the breadth and scope of the coming of Jesus, the Christ. In this world, this physical space, Mary's answer of "yes" is offered. Her life’s role for God, in faith, is accepted. This positive answer to a fearsome messenger becomes for all of creation a gift of grace, love, the fulfillment of promise, and the beginning of God’s New Creation.