Doors: Day 6

Genesis 1:24-31 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that cre
eps on the earth.

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

These are my friends Cole and Luz, who happened to be behind the whole doors thing, because they met, then got engaged, and then decided to get married. Luz is a graphic designer, and has always loved handmade and unique designs. Cole and Luz's idea was to include the 6 biblical days of creation in the ceremony, and they asked Jessi and I if we could work out an idea for 6 multi-media art pieces. That sounded very serious and heavy, and made us pretty nervous. Then we realized that it was, after all, a gift to celebrate Luz and Cole, two great friends who are starting out a life of commitment and living grace.

The last piece is about relationship and personal connection. The most interesting thing about working on this door is that I believe I removed more layers of paint than were left in the end. I always work in layers, adding color washes on top of color washes, then wiping or sanding the layers off, leaving only the residue or history of what was there. This process of building and destroying, creating and removing seems to me to embody a sort of sacrificial process that, by being destroyed, actually builds.

Jessi and I heard Andy Crouch, a teacher, writer and musician speak a couple of years ago at the Calvin Festival of Faith and Music. He talked about the Tom Waits song Picture in a Frame, and we've never forgotten the tender lines of it. It's one of my favorite tender songs now, and I thought of the words as I brought in the blue and gold into this portrait: The sun came up, it was blue and gold/The sun came up, it was blue and gold/The sun came up, it was blue and gold/ever since I put your picture in a frame.

The other two panels simply carry through the theme of connection and relationship. The borders around the panels are illustrated with sketched animals to reflect the variety of creation.