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Humility Trio

Mixed media on wood

2020 - Available for purchase

One evening in December 2019, my wife and I had a small, ordinary conflict. The next morning I spent time with God examining the presence of or lack of humility in my soul during the previous night's conflict. Was there any condescension towards her in my spirit--even if not outwardly expressed? Was there a deep and dominating sense of self-justification in my spirit--even if outwardly my interactions with her appeared receptive to critique?

It struck me that questions like this, all surrounding humility, had become an ongoing area of wrestling for several weeks. Sometimes we enter seasons of sustained scrutiny on certain aspects of our life, and humility seemed to have become one of those for me. That morning I wondered, "is there a way I could abstractly express something about this part of my inner life in a painting?"

Well, my mind's quickest shorthand for humility is a phrase: "get low." The moment someone disagrees with my idea and I flash inside with self-justification, I might think to myself "Blake, get low." It's how I connect with the need for humility in the moment. If I flash with a sense of being misunderstood and feel the compulsion to stake my claim on a mountain of noble intentions, I might preach to myself, "whoa Blake, first get low and receive, then explain yourself later if need be."

So I decided I wanted to experiment with some paintings that a person could, in theory, walk up to and intuitively sense that something here should "get low." I wanted the paintings to create a sense that something has left its proper place, something has become disoriented, something was stable but has become detached and lofty.

That's the rationale behind these simple compositions. Each piece has a stable base with a circle of negative space. The orienting lines of the base are mainly horizontal--communicating stability, stretching edge to edge. The negative space is mirrored above by a circle, the lines of which are either vertical or rotated 45 degrees to communicate disorientation with respect to the stable base. Each circle hints at casting a shadow underneath itself to suggest floating and detachment. My hope is that, even if only on an unconscious level, the viewer would approach the painting and intuit that something here needs to "get low."