Client: Janice Doggett
Location: Helena, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $5,000
Linda McCray Studio
“Amazing Grace” was commissioned by Janice Doggett, a private collector, to express her unique journey to amazing grace. While it has specific meaning to her, it also conveys universal Christian truths. As with all clients, I hold her sacred story confidentially in my heart and share the essence of her inspiring spiritual passage.
I created her statement art 5 x 5’ to work well over her living room fire place. It is an abstract spiritual original acrylic painting with ash and sand from the River Jordan on floating wood panel.
This painting is about breaking through a major cross in our lives to being gifted with amazing grace---the Light of Christ. The light yellow from top to bottom and left to right forms an abstract cross of Light. The shattered-like edges between dark and light areas express our breakthrough. I use yellow, gold and light to symbolize the Divine.
The upper left quarter of the painting symbolizes how amazing grace moves us through the rainstorms of our lives and calls us to transformative inner work. The flurry of dripping purple paint suggests winds of the Spirit, clouds of fear and rain of anguish. I threw gold paint to express rays of amazing grace guiding us along our way.
The heavy colors in the lower half of the painting convey emotional blues and heaviness of inner work. I created abrasive textures with sand from the River Jordan to stress the tormenting grit of our struggles to holiness. The rough textured paint is boldly pushed in all directions with harsh edges in utter panic. The dark modern drip lines downward with gold accents convey our tears of prayers being heard by our Father.
My commissioned painting process is always collaborative. I began with listening intensely to her story. I meditated on her story to create an initial concept drawing. She visited my studio to review the final painting and approved it on first glance.
I layer my abstract spiritual paintings with symbolism. For example, the purple modern drip lines upward symbolize our lamenting prayers of distress petitioning our Heavenly Father to lift our yoke. The light sweet gentle colors in the upper right quarter symbolize heavenly sky. There are five drips upward to signify the five wounds of Christ---a reminder, that we are never alone in our suffering. His Light is always holding us, denoted by the light yellow paint around the right lower quarter dark area. I made the black paint with ashes. I mindfully placed the ashes in the center of the cross to represent dying to self--- the true conversion of heart from doing our will to doing His Will. The lavender circular brushstroke creates an “enso” also known as the circle of enlightenment. It conveys the most amazing grace of a spiritual awakening---rebirth into new life. The enso is open ended to convey our journey continues.
“I LOVE this beautiful painting! It makes me so happy and grateful every time I look at it. It changes in different light; I simply can't get enough of it. The responses have been extraordinary---everyone has loved it! My close friends, who I tell the story to, actually have ended up getting a bit teary-eyed!” Janice Doggett, private art collector who commissioned “Amazing Grace”