The Wide Road
"When the soul is troubled, lonely, and darkened, then it turns easily to the outer comfort and to the empty enjoyments of the world."
-St. Francis of Assisi
mixed media on canvas (oil, paper, artificial flowers, texture paste, & decor stones)
24 x 36 in
Many times, the moments we fall into darkness, depression, and loneliness are times when we may seek relief and comfort through what appears gratifying and convenient, rather than run to our ultimate Physician for true healing and abiding consolation. However, we soon discover that these enjoyments are deceptive and, instead of pulling us out of our melancholy, merely present ephemeral, shallow relief that only leaves us needing greater help. The world can easily lead to that wide road, but only to leave us stranded there.
This painting attempts to depict the state of the soul once it turns to the world in times of need. Androgynous faces are hidden within the distress of the piece, yet no eyes are visible, as these individuals are clouded from the Truth by the depth of their darkness and immorality. They have resolved to rely on the pleasures of the world to relieve their pain, yet they are further dragged into vice and suffering. White lilies are now coated with black asphalt (representing impurity) and a dark cloud covers one figure’s eyes as black smoke emerges from the mouth (symbolizing the production of profanity). Furthermore, the central figure's head is a chaotic explosion of rocks (illustrating confusion), while the interaction of the paint, textures, and paper add to the distress of the imagery. Decay, corruption, and disorder inevitably result when we absorb ourselves in such a world that does not truly consider the safety and salvation of our precious souls. Note, the abstraction of this work allows for the case of pareidolia for viewers to discover and imagine more elements within the piece.