by stephen s. sawyer / artist / author 


The image on the left is how I create all of my paintings.  By starting with an underpainting in a monochromatic color scheme, in this case a toned canvas painted with raw umber, I can see if my composition is right.  An awkward composition interferes with the storyline an artist creates.  Everything must look accidental, as if the junkie just shut the door, draped the nunchucks around the door knob, and plopped himself down,  when in fact everything is on purpose.  Every piece, included in the painting, whether it is meaningful to the viewer or not, is essential for me as the artist.  A painting is an orchestra playing color.  The only difference between the orchestra and the artist is this:  The painting is a silent witness and the entire score is played at the speed of light.

The finished painting on the right has some changes as it should...that is expected and normal for me.  However, most of what was right in the underpainting is finalized in the finished image.

"Broken hearts, broken homes, broken lives, and broken connections with God.

It is the lust to satisfy ourselves which slowly seduces us to destroy

that same ‘self’ we held in such high esteem. 

And it is only the tragedy of ‘self’ never transcending into unselfishness 

that so deceives us with the false freedoms we cherish above all else.

In one moment the threshold is crossed and we are lost.

Lost in the belief of our own power. 
Lost in the belief of our own strength and lost in our ability to recognize it.

We serve ourselves at the cost of others until there is only one unselfish person left 

who will intercede and sacrifice himself to endure our private hell.

Only God can go where all the doors are held shut by the enemy.

Only God will stay after the devil himself finally walks out on you. 
Only God will share in the fullness of your sufferings and never forsake you.

And ultimately it is only the lost ‘self’ which can lose everything and eventually tell, 
what they believed was a helpless God, to go to hell."