A Whole World Of Glory Inside 9X12 Inches of a Little Piece of Paper
There is a fire of transformation that happens in a small world of one sheet of paper. Granted, that paper is made from the best French craftsman—since 1492—with 100% rag composition. I like the satin smooth kind. It gives me the space and the exquisiteness that take the lines and the color well. And the thing will probably be around a thousand years from now without yellowing.
I painted this one in India
Babaji manifested in a cave in Herakhan. This is the entrance to it. There is a fire of transformation that happens in that cave, and by looking at this little painting of it you get a few flames coming into you. It even looks like you can go in there. Well, you can. More here: https://markusray.com/shop-the-gallery/babajis-cave/
The manuscripts of the monasteries of the middle ages, especially the illuminated Bibles, were done by minds focused on the embellishment of the Word of God. This page is from the Lindisfarne Bible, illuminated 1300 years ago, tells us something about the meditative mind. There is a kind of mental intensity of focus that is intertwined in the swirls and woven tracery that takes our attention into other worlds of the spirit. One can stare at the patterns without getting bored, while contemplating the immensity of the universe on just a small page of vellum.
There is a transcendental moment that we all yearn for—some kind of release from the damned mundaneness of an insane world. Not that we have to become monks or anything like that. In fact, we want the beauty of creation to be emblazoned in our hearts from the very place we are standing, right now. We wanna see God in the here and NOW—in the coffee cup, supported by the table leg, illumined by the street light, in the face of our partner, in the email from our friend. What if God is in everything, like we could not miss HIM or HER? Impossible not to see? Can we have that kind of vision?
Small works are mighty
This one is Paul Klee. He painted very intimate scenes and blasts of glorious color resplendent within the context of a small sheet of paper. They are mighty. They take us to an unbelievable happiness and harmony of hues.
Do we even see color? Julian Stanczak, my painting professor/mentor at the Cleveland Institute of Art posed that question to us. Most of us did not at the time. Klee had inspired him. He went on to become one of the most remarkable colorists that I know. I still think of him in Cleveland, calling us all “fugitives,” running toward God in the most unconventional ways, into the freedom of pure creation.
What if God was in this small piece of paper?
Albrecht Dürer loved small pieces of paper. He put worlds on them. Probably the best engraver of all time, his engravings are masterpieces in themselves. But his small watercolors of nature are indescribable. This one of a bird’s wing lifted me to the moon when I was seventeen. It made me wanna be an “artist.” Just get barely close to that, at least.
My God, the LOVE put into this small work. Can we see it? Do you know what kind of an eye and hand has to come together with some kind of Holy Glory of Communion to produce such a thing? It’s like the Hand of God that made the bird in the first place had to be moving the brush at the end of that human arm. Really. Really. Really. God at the end of his arm. God in the wing. God in the paper. God in the pigments. God in the years in between, over 509 of them, that transports this image to your computer. Go figure at the overwhelming wonder of it all.
What if God was in the small piece of paper just waiting for some glorious piece of heaven to emerge? Trying to make His way Home into our eyes that are yearning for a clear harkening of holiness? We wanna go there. We want Heaven now. And it is HERE.
I painted a series of Wings. Somewhere between Klee and Dürer. See the whole series here: https://markusray.com/shop-the-gallery/wing-series-12-small-paintings/ Would you believe a little piece of Heaven is here? And if there is a little piece of it on this small sheet of paper, then just maybe it is in more pieces of your life. It is there to see. At the end of your arm, you may touch it.
What if God was in the Cave, and He came out? And what if He placed Himself at the end of my arm, in the pigment ladened brush about to make His Holy Touch on the Universe of this small piece of paper? Hope we can all see it.
You could have one of these actual “Pieces of Heaven” in your house. Why not? And you support me in writing and painting these “Little Pieces of Heaven” that come into your life. Take yourself to more of Heaven here: https://markusray.com/shop-the-gallery/