Cruz de la Santa Fe Icon

Watercolor and Acrylic on Paper - 20" x 26"

My Cruz de la Santa Fe (Cross of the Holy Faith) Icon was my first experimentation in metallic paints and mineral textures. There is a lot of copper and silver metallic paint, and the paper itself has its own texture which makes the copper areas look like fine-grained wood. The green areas are modelled after malachite, a favorite mineral texture of mine. Rounding the painting off are touches of metallic gold paint.

There is an interesting story about how this painting evolved. I originally painted it rotated 90 degrees from its present orientation; that is, the long axis was horizontal, not vertical. I was not happy with the painting when I was finished, and threw it to the side of my drawing table where it sat for months, collecting dust and stains. I did not even bother giving it a title. Then, one day I was going to throw it away, when I picked it up, stared at it for a second, and then turned it on its side. I was dumbfounded by how the entire look of the painting changed by rotating it a quarter-turn. The painting assumed a whole new meaning to me and its name immediately sprang out at me. I don't know if there is a technical term for what I did, but this painting has turned into one of my most satisfying creations, and has a place of honor above my kitchen table.

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