Puzzles: Sanctuary


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In December 2016, shortly after I spent two years directing operations for a small solar installation company, I was commissioned to create an image of a Hindu temple populated by a small pantheon of gods. I studied paintings and images from various 18th and 19th century iconography. I found myself attempting to create field/ground relations where none existed in the original drawing and also battling my eternally weird relationship with perspective.

I felt tight in the belly. I went to see my mentor, Walter Feldman and showed him the studies and the painting itself. He said, “Start over – you’re not having any fun!” Fun? Who said painting was fun?

I went home and made two ancillary pieces, which turned into Leave Your Troubles Right Here and Burning Bush. Yes, I had some fun.

When I finally returned to my tightly rendered original project I disappeared my architectural achievements - literal representation did not serve the painting’s higher purpose...

I begin to play - with scale, with color, with story.

Divinity, perhaps, has some relationship to fun.

© Sarah Jane Lapp, 2019