Transcriptions #6: Shema

Shema 12" x 24"
Transcriptions #6

Prayer: Shema
Transcriptions Series

I often fall in love with the sixth painting of a series and this was no exception. Maybe it's because I get my feet wet with the first five and by the time I get to the sixth I feel more established with the concepts and the flow. Then I am ready to stretch my creative muscle a bit more.

In preparing for this series, I knew from the beginning that the Western Wall would inspire one or more of the paintings. How could it not? It's an ancient wall, associated with a holy temple, and receives millions of visitors a year. People travel from all over the world to pray before the wall. Many leave written prayers on scraps of paper that they stuff in the cracks and crevices between the stones.

I used pencil to draw out the shape of the stones on the strip of canvas cloth. Then I painted it with acrylics and matte medium so it would be protected from smudging. I have wanted to use pencil on canvas and first tried it out by writing on Pater Noster.

Playing with the layout of scrolls and text.

I knew immediately that I wanted to use the Shema within the scrolls and on printed strips of paper throughout the painting. The Shema is the most important prayer within the Jewish prayer service and it is traditionally the last words recited before death.

Transcriptions #6

Before attaching all the elements onto the back canvas, something was missing. It felt incomplete. So, I extended the image of the stone wall onto the background. Ahhh... that did it!!

Transcriptions #6


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