Jo is a lecturer at the local theological college. Her SoulScape was a present for her fortieth birthday.
She is a remarkable soul. The first thing that strikes you about Jo is her joy. Her smile is ever present. She seems to be bubbling over with a quiet enthusiasm. She often giggles to herself! It’s almost unnerving to be in the presence of someone who is so genuinely happy.
Our conversation was deep and refreshing, as she began to describe a profound relationship with God. Her perspective of God is very real, authentic, and palpable in what she shares.
This SoulScape aims to capture something of that relationship.
What makes Jo feel alive?
Connecting deeply with God through prayer, looking at the ocean, being fascinated by the natural world, by light, by waves and moonlight. Sometimes she gets too absorbed that she loses all track of time.
There are moments of deep union with God, where they feel one and the same. There is a curious sense that she can observe this happening in the same moment as she experiences it.
Also, giving into, and being part of a community is of incredible importance to Jo. This gives life to her faith, just as she brings life to that community through her joy, her love, her attention and her authentic spirituality.
How did you capture her essence in oil on canvas?
This was a challenge. How do you capture the seemingly intangible nature of connecting with spirit? Thankfully, Jo wrote a letter following our consultation with a beautiful quotation from C.S Lewis describing the Holy Trinity as a “dance of grace, continually pouring out into each other.”
I found this quotation thoroughly inspiring, and could immediately see three rivers of light pouring into each other…. being reflected through the back of a wave. I could also see a circular motion that represented the eternal nature of Jo in God. For this I painted a small but not insignificant figure observing but also being an intrinsic part of this continually evolving circuit of life.
The tiny stars in the piece represent community, and Jo’s impact on that community.