Ressurection (a work in progress).


Well-known member
In Australia there is an annual art prize/award, called The Mandorla Art Award. Back in 2016, the award theme was 'The Resurrection of the Christ'. I was captivated by what I was imaginating about the incident - the actual incident of death to life. I never created the artwork, but I have never abandoned the idea of creating it.

Over the years I would now and again have thoughts on what and how to make the artwork. I am not afraid of it, but perhaps a bit afraid that I won't have the necessary skills to create what I see in my mind's eye. It would be a shame to fall short of my expectations. The art piece will be mixed media, in that there will be a sculptured 'hand of God' involved. Also, the surface of the painting will have curved and stepped 3D elements.

About forty years ago I did something similar on a painting called The Rapture. From the beginning, many said that a 3D painting won't work as well as the traditional flat surface painting. Nevertheless I persisted. And everybody thought it was a great coup. Unfortunately a few years later I lost the painting, and everything else I owned, in a bushfire. That was a severe blow that took at least six months to realise what 'everything' meant. It's like crossing everything off your inventory list. However, I did get back into painting in 1991, and quickly created ten paintings in 3 months; though it didn't replace the loss.

Anyway, I plan to work on this project now and again while painting another piece I have been dying to work on for years, the St Francis painting. It has been underpainted already, but that's all. So, there will be two works in progress. I find this works well with me to mix it up sometimes. A spell from one helps to subconsciously resolve what has yet to be resolved.

So, to give you an idea of what I want to paint, here is a simple sketch. I often print A4 sheets with a small represenation of the sketch in the middle. Then I start working out the details of how I might go about painting it. Scribbling notes around the representation.


My first task is to experiment in making a cast of my hand from polyester resin. The first two tries failed due to wrong hand-position and cracking. I stayed with the third attempt even though it had a crack, but it had a unique rippling affect over the knuckles area which seemed to be ideal for my purpose.

I use a plastic 2 litre icecream container to hold the solution of Plaster of Paris - to make a mold of my hand. I had to be careful not to insert my hand farther than its widest part, or I won't be able to get my hand out after the plaster sets. I use petroleum gel over my hand to make it easier to pull out my hand afterwards.

To mount the cast hand onto the painting chassis I inserted two square nuts (see photo) after I filled the mold with a mix of polyester resin and hardner. The screw threads were also gelled so I could unscrew them after the resin set hard.


I say, face the fear and do it anyway, and keep trying despite...anything.

I'm so sorry about the fire. :(

I love your plans and your mind's eye. ♥️ At least you are working on it and have the plan/concept in tact. :)
I say, face the fear and do it anyway, and keep trying despite...anything.

I'm so sorry about the fire. :(

I love your plans and your mind's eye. ♥️ At least you are working on it and have the plan/concept in tact. :)
Thanks for encouraging words.

A few years later I lost my car to vandalism and fire too. I got over that quickly, cleaned up the mess, got it towed away, and bought a bicycle - all within a few hours. Been cycling ever since. I am now a competitive masters cyclist. One door closes an other opens. I am about to embark into painting again.

Well, often my plans change tact, even while painting. But as you said 'At least you are working on it...' I have a vision to guide me.
The size of this painting will be partly defined by the available material I have.

I want the 'hand' to come out from an interdimensional space, so to speak. To represent this the hand has to come from underneath the painted surface. However, I can only go as deep as the chassis frame is thick. So, to support the hand, a Masonite sheet (large triangular section) needs to be mounted on the back of the frame. To keep everything even and act as a ridged brace, three other smaller triangles were screwed at the corners.


I plan to use Masonite sheeting to create levels of dimensions and depth. Cutting out concentric rings and sandwich them together between the rear Masonite support (the large triangle) and the front Masonite sheet I will mount onto the front to paint on.


Below left, show the outline of the concentric rings I need to cut out from Masonite sheeting.
Below right, I am figuring out exactly where and at what angle to position the hand on the front panel.

Now comes an even bigger challenge for me, to create a ripple across the surface of the painting. My thinking is that the source of 'resurrection', renewed life, is from God's hand; like The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. From this starting point, in a flash of 'uncreated light', new creation instantly happens while the light crossing over the dead body. I imagine that the forefront of the uncreated light transforms into our dimensionality of created light. Imagining that this forefront is rippling into creative form.

I played around with folding a sheet of canvas and I could not create the affect I was looking for. So I decided to create the ripple from Masonite strips _ similar to what I done for the hand. It's going to make this project heavier to hang, but I think it will be worth it.

First of all I need to work out exactly where to place the resin hand and from this location the exact positioning of the ripple.



Here is a crossection drawing, of both the top and bottom edges of the chassis frame - of how I am going to create a 3D ripple into the painting's surface.
You're one of my heroes!
You must be joking! But if you're not, I can only say that I've learnt to not rely on heroes, for they often prove differently later down the track. I only hope to inspire others to take a risk. The members of this forum, including you, are inspiring me to follow through with restarting to paint again. I thank you, and other, for this.
This is a very energetic project, but it is looking like you've got it under control. I'm anxious to see the outcome.
I too am anxious but it is also mixed with confidence, that at least I will come close to what I imagine it will end up looking.

It is strange how all my paintings always turn out differently to my expectations.
PS: I should take note of what I just wrote, and never think that a painting could become boringly familiar.