I translated the Sisters’ mission into four abstract spiritual paintings—three for each floor’s central alcove and a larger one for their new nursing home lobby.
The lobby painting “Coming Home” is a positive reminder that their new home is a step towards heaven. The main floor alcove painting focuses on their mission, “Charity: love of God & neighbor.” The paintings in other floor alcoves are “Women of Prayer: centered on Christ, sharing His love with all” and “To Love & Serve: in these times, in these places.”
Acrylic paint with sand from the River Jordan on floating wood panel
My goal for the abstract spiritual original paintings I created especially for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth was to translate their mission and sacred journey into contemporary art that warms the hearts of those who enter their new nursing home.
"Coming Home" Artist Statement:
As they journey home through the abstract rolling hills of Leavenworth, they are embraced by Light. The local foreground dirt road is highlighted in gold to symbolize that they are on holy ground, right here and now. As the road narrows in the distance, it is lined with gold expressing crossing over through the gates of heaven.
“Charity: love of God & neighbor” Artist Statement:
God is love, symbolized by warm light in the upper left. God’s love flows through charity hearts of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth as they live their community mission. Charity, love of God and neighbor, is conveyed through simple and pure hearts. The half of their hearts reaching towards God is painted in gold to represent Sister’s love of God. The outward half conveys their love of all neighbors, symbolized by diverse colors. Both halves make whole perfect charity creating a current of divine love.
My commissioned painting process is always collaborative. This project involved several meetings. First, I listened to the Sisters and pondered their mission statement. I studied the architectural plans and visited the site. I proposed concept drawings which furthered the discussion. The community played an integral role in the process.
I layer my paintings with symbolism. To create symbolism, I use abstract elements, certain materials, and selected painting methods. For example, the abstract element and universal symbol of light underlie all of my paintings. I image my Creator as Light. To capture feelings of the warmth and peace of the Divine Presence, I use a number of techniques including the old masters’ use of glazes to capture luminosity. I integrate found objects that abound with symbolism, such as sand from the River Jordan. The torn-like edges symbolize that we are a part of something much greater—our collective Creator. I create with acrylic paint on wood panel.
Upon completion, Sister Marie de Paul Combo wrote, "All of a sudden I was struck speechless at the vision of the magnificent ‘Triple Crown.’ ‘Coming Home’ is so gorgeous that I know I will be entranced before it many times."
Artist Statements for “To Love & Serve: in these times, in these places” and “Women of Prayer: centered on Christ, sharing His love with all” at http://lindamccray.com/commissioned.html
As their art consultant for the entire building project, I worked closely with the Sisters to warm their home with art that speaks to them. After listening to their story, researching their large art collection, viewing art by Sisters, visiting the building site and studying architectural drawings—I created a master art plan. Almost all art was created by several of their gifted Sisters. It truly became their art for their home.
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