“The Breadth of His Hand”
(Acrylic paint, found paper, & stencils)
20x20x1.5″ gallery wrapped canvas with painted edges
Sometimes in my reading, I come across a scripture that is just so poetic and lovely that it lingers with me for days. Isaiah 40:12 has been that scripture for me over the past few weeks:
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
And then sometimes I know of an image that I can use that fits so perfectly it seems meant to be. This giant hand on a giant piece of paper is from a line of papers that bill themselves as wrapping paper. I love the quality of the paper and the images are interesting and quirky. This one is for Palm Reading. I knew I wanted to collage these things together.
I went immediately to the Anthropologie happy place in my brain and used old book pages behind the hand for texture. I thought I had a handle on the color palette (on the left) but once I got the teal, green, and dark blue down I knew I needed another color but I wasn’t sure what that would be.
When I’m unsure, I’ve learned to pause and wait for something to bubble up. If I force it, I’m disappointed in the final piece so I’m continuously learning to be patient.
Last Saturday we took a day trip to Nashville because Stephen was giving a talk to a writer’s group and I wanted to check out a couple of art stores. We hit SmART first and it is a treasure trove of upcycled and recycled goodies. I found a bunch of legal-sized prints of close-up photos of fabric. There was one in a 70s-style pink, cream, and tan pattern (on the lower left edge of the photo on the right) and I knew that was what I had been searching for. Once I got home, I put the print with the hand and knew it was right.
I also knew that I wanted to cover up the majority of the text on the hand. Since it was for palm reading, it didn’t really fit the context of my scripture with the exception of the words “thought” and “will” on the thumb. So I set about covering up those things in the palm and fingers. I also wanted something sort of elemental in the palm of the hand. So I created a mandala out of some different elements. I love the scientific idea that we are all made of star stuff, that there is a limited amount of materials in the universe and that we come from that. The poetic thought that God made those elements and then shaped those materials into the things in our world and us is heady stuff.