Courage, Contrition and Condemnation Confront Compassion Painting by Denise Gracias

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Close up of Jesus and shocked Pharisee
Close up of Woman of Ill Repute weeping at Feet of Christ
Embroidery with gold thread detail
Hand of Christ Reaching out to woman
Pharisees condemning Christ's Compassion towards woman

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Courage, Contrition and Condemnation Confront Compassion

Denise Gracias



Size: 40 W x 30 H x 1.5 in

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Art Description

Painting: Acrylic on Canvas, Soft (Yarn, Cotton, Fabric).

There was a woman of "ill repute" who boldly approached Christ, uninvited and unwelcome by the Pharisees and their guests. She needed Christ's Healing Forgiveness, and received it.

As a child, I would listen to the Bible stories being read to me and would use crayons to recreate the scenes from my imagination. Now, I continue to use my imagination, but use acrylic paints instead of crayons. I aim for the realistic images I see in my mind, using no models or reference photos. The resulting figurative style conveys the emotion through facial expression, posture and color. The palette and brushstroke chosen for the background reinforces the general mood of the painting. Having visited Egypt, Israel and Palestine several times, my memories of the land influence the color choices and texture of the landscape, sky and background.

The true contrition of the woman is demonstrated in this painting by her posture and hiding of her face with her veil. The elaborate and frivolous life she had been living is shown by her gold embroidered red veil, which seems to serve as a "net" in which she has been happily "caught" by Christ. The hands of the woman and Christ are shown, as they have nothing to hide. However, the Pharisees, though condemning the woman and Christ, hide their hands (and their sins). The blue purple atmosphere enhances this sense of deceit.

In the process of transporting this canvas during the creation, a small rip appeared in the canvas near the head of one of the Pharisees. I knew how to hide the "mistake", but was reluctant to do so. This painting is about bringing our faults into the light and allowing the Lord to heal us. So, I used canvas as backing, and sewed the rip. By painting over it, it cannot be seen from a distance, until one comes right up to the painting...just as our sins are not obvious until ones gets to know us.

Sewing the rip, lead to the idea of incorporating embroidery into the painting to amplify the light in the darkness, on the woman's veil, table cloth and the flooring. This was a "happy" mistake as it led to me learning to accept my errors as well as open the door to learning something new.

In addition, this painting was run over in one corner by a car (not mine). Miraculously, it only suffered a small tear at in the upper right hand corner, that was easily glued and painted over.

Both wounds in this painting are part of the history of the painting and add to the message that the painting shares...that of contrition, forgiveness and healing.

If you would like to own this beautiful original painting, please allow at least 2 weeks for delivery. Thank you in advance.

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