I catalogue all my art works. Every piece has a number. In the spring of 1986 I reached a major number: 500. I wanted to do something really special for the round number, so I retrieved a design I had had in my files but never realized. This is a Symbolist painting of a Catholic doctrine, the "Assumption" of the Virgin Mary after her death. In Catholic Christian mythology, the Virgin Mary did not die in the ordinary way of human beings, but was bodily taken up to Heaven where she now enjoys eternal life as a holy being helping souls in the Universe. Non-Catholics (and many Catholics) find this whole thing absurd but it makes great pictures and gives a mystical third dimension (upwards) to a human word-based religion.
The Virgin is represented in this semi-abstract painting by a lily flower done in aluminum-gold leaf. She ascends into a cobalt blue empyrean, leaving a trail of light blue starshine. Sky blue is the traditional color of the Virgin Mary's cloak. Below, at the bottom of the picture is a stylized landscape of hills in green, light blue, and purple. Another name for this picture is "Le lys bleu,", ("The Blue Lily") a French name recalling the Symbolist and Surrealist inspirations for this work.
The picture was released in 1988 and shown at Esotericon '88, in Elizabeth, N.J. This was a convention for Western Esoteric and Pagan interests. A hotel employee named Anna-Marie diGennaro, seeing the picture in the art show across from her office, fell in love with it and bought it from the convention. So my symbolist Virgin Mary went to a nice Italian Catholic household. I wonder where it is now.
Meanwhile, after 24 years, I am coming up on another major catalog number. I hope to create picture number 1000 in 2011.
"The Assumption of the Virgin Mary" is acrylic on Masonite board, 12" x 26", May 1986.