Dark Night of the Soul
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Oil on Baltic Birch 36” x 24” Framed: 45" x 33"
I a m a contemplative type, who has an innate desire to better understand the meaning of life, yet the constancy of this pursuit is at times wearisome. As Nietzsche described it, when we are philosophizing we sometimes feel like we have cut our moorings and are drifting into the cold abyss. The soul becomes like an unanchored wanderer out on a dark night and, while cognizant of the light, looks to the depths in temporal absence. Weathered by the environment, the soul’s vessel is reflected in the empty abandoned boat. In this realm reality is comprehended only in part, like searching for the horizon in a veil of fog or seeing "through a glass, darkly" [i]. This painting is a modern response to the epic masterpiece Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, completed by Caspar David Friedrich in 1818. Darker in compositional tone and metaphysic, my desire is to show how the emptying process of the archetypal figure experiencing a ‘dark night of the soul’ [ii] allows the Divine to perform a transformational work that moves the wanderer from the darkness of self-introspection into the light.
[i] 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV [ii] Attributed to St. John of the Cross
Finalist, International Salon Competition, Art Renewal Center