Holy Wisdom
Gouache & concentrated watercolors on paper, 2021

I try to make a painting every week, to accompany the lectionary readings. This week, I was thinking about the reading from Proverbs:

Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls from the highest places in the town, “You that are simple, turn in here!” To those without sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”

Proverbs 9:1-6

Fire and doves are the two primary symbols of the Holy Spirit, so I surrounded my personification of Holy Wisdom with fiery dove’s wings. Of course, Holy Wisdom isn’t necessarily the Holy Spirit. It’s more often identified with Christ. So my central figure has a cruciform halo. But the Trinity flows from one “person” to another, and categories of divinity get mixed together. This painting is meant to illustrate that complexity.

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