While preparing the huge five pieces of canvas it never occurred to me to estimate how long it might take, or what to do with it afterwards. I had waited so long for this moment that all I wanted to do was get it started!
I had collected several images to use as references, based on what I had envisioned for so many years, and placed them onto a 2’ x 8’ board.
With all five canvases lying on the floor I rolled on the blue paint chosen as the base color and then bolted the panels together to become one stable piece. Soon the rough chock sketch was done as well as several pre-mixed jars of the colors I expected to use the most.
First, the ribbons were blocked in to create unity. Starting with Jesus in the center, I then moved to the left, working from the top down. Creating the background and painting
Abraham early was important since he was the largest figure and set the tone for the rest.
Moving across the canvas to the right side, adding Jesus’ return, I then worked wherever I needed to be—often going back and forth from one side to the other, then to the middle, and back again—keeping the balance of color, line, form, intensity etc.
Supply tables with wheels were perfect for reaching the tops, often standing or sitting together with a chair or step ladder.
Even though I was in my glory, the truth is, a lot of the time was just hard physical work.
One time I remember sitting in front of the canvas with my pallet—too exhausted to know what to do next. All I could do was pray, “Lord, I don’t see it anymore. I don’t know where I’m going or what color it should be. Please show me.” Then I took my brush, dipped it into the paint, touched the canvas...and it was right there! The flow would begin again. The next step was clear. The excitement and energy returned.
After six months and approximately 1300 hours, averaging 10 ½ hours a day, it was finally out and onto canvas! In the following months approximately 100 hours were added as I kept “picking” away at it until I could finally leave it alone.
The surface is sealed with Dorland’s Wax Medium giving it a deep rich and beautiful non-glare mat finish.