This is the eighth and final print for the season of Easter. It's been a long time to do a weekly print series, but I learned a lot and especially enjoyed playing with the varied color inking.
I think I've written that I've done several art series for Lent but never for Easter. Lent seemed long enough (six weeks), and eight full weeks of Easter surprised me, but I do believe it's right that a celebration of the Resurrection should outlast the journey to the cross. Last year I read some excerpts of N.T. Wright about the way the church as a whole observes Easter. He is an Anglican bishop, but the observations are applicable to most denominations, I think.
Since his words affected my thinking so deeply, I thought I'd finish the Easter season by quoting a couple of passages here. Thank you for taking this Easter journey with me.
"It's a great step forward that many churches now hold Easter vigils, as the Orthodox church has always done, but in many cases they are still too tame by half. Easter is about the wild delight of God's creative power -- not very Anglican, perhaps, but at least we ought to should Alleluias instead of murmuring them."
"But my biggest problem starts on Easter Monday. I regard it as absurd and unjustifiable that we should spend forty days keeping Lent, pondering what it means, preaching about self-denial, being at least a little gloomy, and then bringing it all to a peak with Holy Week, which in turn climaxes in Maundy Thursday and Good Friday...and then, after a rather odd Holy Saturday, we have a single day of celebration."
"Is it any wonder people find it hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus if we don't throw our hats in the air? Is it any wonder we find it hard to live the resurrection if we don't do it exuberantly in our liturgies? Is it any wonder the world doesn't take much notice if Easter is celebrated as simply the one-day happy ending tacked on to forty days of fasting and gloom? It's long overdue that we took a hard look at how we keep Easter in church, at home, in our personal lives, right through the system." (All quotes from Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright)
This series of prints has been my attempt to live Easter this spring. For those of you who do not celebrate Easter, thank you for your patience, and I'll be moving on to travel painting quite soon. My family is taking a trip to England in June, and I'm looking forward to painting a country I love.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.