Monday, November 15, 2010

SANCTUARY, oil painting of Frelsburg Lutheran Church, Texas

oil on linen wrapped hardboard panel
(frame is shown as example only)
At the Dutch Art Gallery in Dallas, Texas, through December 31, 2011.
Layaway terms available.

40% of net sale will be donated to the Frelsburg Lutheran Church.
Shipping charge is calculated on the FRAMED painting selection.
If you wish to purchase the unframed painting, you will be refunded any overcharge 
above actual shipping costs. 

Sanctuary: 1) a place of refuge or safety; 2) a holy place: a temple or church.

Frelsburg Lutheran Church, New Ulm, Texas
oil on canvas, impasto
palette knife painting with thick texture
14x11 inches

Currently on exhibit at The Dutch Art Gallery in Dallas, Texas, Sanctuary was inspired by the Frelsburg Lutheran Church near New Ulm, Texas, this is the third painting in my historical church series and was featured at my "Windows of the Soul" exhibit, artist's reception August 28, at the Garden of the Dragonfly Gallery in Old Town Spring, Texas.

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LIFE. August 14, Wednesday morning, 6:00 a.m.  When I finished this painting, my backyard thermometer, in the shade, read 86 degrees, and the air felt muggy. I had thought to walk but changed my mind when I walked into what felt like a sauna that day. Saunas are for sitting, not walking for two miles in heated humidity. By late afternoon, the heat index was 108 degrees. In times such as those, I needed a sanctuary.

We hear it on the news daily.  All around us there is the heat and turbulent weather, a world in turmoil, the sins of people, the lies of politicians, rampant drug use, crimes, violence and murder.  My portrayal of the world at hand is illustrated in paint shades of red surrounding the sanctuary of a small church, a church that in the midst of turmoil still holds a cross high upon its steeple and offers sanctuary to all who enter.

Isn't that the way of life?


  1. So cool Vernita! [or maybe not so much given the 86 degrees LOL] but I love your reworked blog site and your painting too of course. Hope all is well there with you. Best wishes [always in English] from way over here in Australia! :-)

  2. Gorgeous painting! I love this series, Vernita, especially since so many of the beautiful, old, historic churches here in Iowa are being torn down or "re-purposed" and replaced with ugly, bare buildings that resemble warehouses more than houses of worship. The church I attended as a child was destined to be torn down but saved at the last minute and is now an art gallery. I am so glad that you are preserving these amazing buildings in paint!

  3. This is stunning!!
    What a huge risk you took with color and texture and what a huge success!

  4. Thank you, Jean, Della and Sandra for your comments. I always heard that real art stirs up emotions, and I hope that has happened with this painting.

    My process for this painting was to start with the background color not yet knowing what the main subject would be. I picked up palette knife and color and applied blue paint, red paint, crimson paint and white paint to canvas. The thick background paint was left overnight. Paint thickly applied doesn't set up overnight but I gained a little time to think about what to do next. Unintentionally, I think I learned how to paint fire.

    It was time to stretch myself and sketch the outline of the church in with the point of the brush handle. Then white paint was added on the church's unlit front and darks were added on the shadow side of the building. Only at that point did I carve out windows with the side of the knife. After letting the painting dry a bit for a day or two, I added a few more highlights in windows, on the steeple and on the cross. I set this painting on the floor across the studio and studied it for more than a week, finally deciding to share it on the blog, come what may.

    I've added a second paragraph of text in the main blog above under LIFE that expresses my feelings about this painting "Sanctuary" and hope you'll go back and read to better understand my intent. Sometimes a blog, like a painting, doesn't come together in one try.

  5. I enjoyed the emotion of your sanctuary painting. Yes we all need a sanctuary! Art is not my God but it does make life more enjoyable and is a sanctuary for me. I would love to see your Windows of the Soul exhibit, it sounds very interesting. Good luck! Hope it is a sell out!

  6. Leada, thank you so much! I wish you were close enough to be at the opening.


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