Winter has always intrigued me. So much darkness at the start and end of each day and even more so, the low sun and typical cloudy days can be depressing to some people. But as you know, I’m an optimist. So I look for the moments of gray and silver that come through the clouds or reflect off buildings and streets. Whilst other people might be facing a drab day, I’m excited by the overall somberness that this weather gives us.
Just this morning, a friend commented, “What a blah day it is outside. All clouds. Totally depressing. Bring back the sun!” That got me thinking and I was determined to be overly cognizant of my surroundings and how people were acting. And my friend was right – my work colleagues kept commenting on this ‘depressing and drab day’. To which I responded, “Oh, but look at all the gradations of gray in that swath of clouds”, and “Can you imagine trying to paint that?”.
Which brings me to my January Featured Piece, Estasi, which is inspired by the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Bernini at the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome.
I’m so proud of this piece as it was one of my very first works of art, which I made as a teenager. Much like an overcast day, this sculpture can be seen simply as an extraordinary work of art. But it struck me as only a teenager can be jolted – exuding such strength and emotions. And all from a piece of stone! Historians have written about Saint Teresa spiritual visions and Bernini’s interpretation for years, examining the size of the angel, Saint Teresa’s nearly sexual explanations being ‘filled with G-d, his Counter-Reformation commentary, and this extraordinary representation of spiritual awakening.
As such, I chose to focus only on a small part of Saint Teresa’s face, to do what I could to capture her religious ecstasy as the cherub’s arrow is either just about to plunge into her or has just been pulled out.