Lisa Bade and Sandra Z. Richardson
We have talked for many years of doing a show together. We thank Regent College for providing us with this opportunity.
The making and use of icons has been a common practice in the Christian tradition. Robert Ellsberg in his book Saints; Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time discusses icons painted by St. Andrei Rublev.
"As used in worship, icons were not intended to serve as `realistic' portraits, much less as works of decorative art, but rather as a window linking earthly and heavenly realities." He goes on to say "By virtue of the Incarnation it was perfectly justified to approach the material world as the point of access to the divine world."
Our work does not fit the strict definition of the traditional icon. Yet, the process is similar. We are each using our art making as a tool to discover (or in some sense recover), understand, and express our faith. We are seeking to find and to reflect a link between earthly and heavenly realities. The works in this show are windows, through which we invite you, the viewer, to look at, to enter into, and to experience that link.
Struggling with faith and hope in the thicket of middle-age and current world crises leaves me wordless in prayer and I find the islands strung out across the water are touchstones. One afternoon, several months ago, as I drew the cloud formations above Whidbey across Skagit Bay I watched the fingers of light move from one small island to another. These lumps of land have become my rosary.
A focus on the still-life form that has taken me through most of my life as a painter has been expanding to include this reaching to touch the cold, weightlessness of wind, the changing light on water, and land.
My thanks to so many friends who helped with this show, especially Dal Schindell for his openness to our work, my parents for their endless support and love, and Michael, Nicole, Nate and Chris for their belief in me, cups of tea and kindness.
"When everything else has gone from my brain--the President's name, the state capitals, the neighborhoods where I lived, and then my own name and what it was on earth I sought, and then at length the faces of my friends, and finally the faces of my family--when all this has dissolved, what will be left, I believe, is topology: the dreaming memory of land as it lay this way and that." Annie Dillard, An American Childhood
Sandra Z. Richardson
My work is typically narrative in nature. Stories have always played a part in my life and in my art. My mother often read to my two sisters and me. My ears would perk up on Sunday mornings when the preacher launched into Bible or anecdotal stories to illustrate a point. My younger sister and I invented a game after we were given sketchbooks one Christmas. Each of us, alternately, would name an object (a tree, a house, a girl, a table ...) and draw them into a picture until we had each created a whole narrative scene. Much later, when I studied art at the University of Washington in Seattle, I returned and found my voice through the narrative.
In the summer of 2000, I took a drawing as meditation class at the Grunewald Guild in Leavenworth, WA. The instructor, Brother Mickey McGrath, read us the daily scripture from which we did a simple drawing in pencil or ink of something in the passage that spoke to us in a visual way. Since that time I have periodically returned to this devotional approach to scripture. By focusing on one aspect of the biblical story through selective image making, I often found a different angle or garnered something new from a scripture that I may have read many times and thought I understood.
The work in this show reflects the meditative approach to scripture as well as my love of the narrative. Among my influences, I am indebted to and have a deep admiration for the work of Ambrogio Bondone Giotto (1267-1337), and 20th century Japanese printmaker, Sadao Watanabe.
As always, many thanks to the many people who help make my work possible. Again thank you to Regent College. Thank you Stan, for your abiding and active love and support. And thanks be to God for moments of quiet and of insight, for constant companionship, for the temporary use of this body with all of its joys and frustrations.
Lisa Bade | Sandra Z. Richardson