My last of four issues of Call to Worship magazine that I'll be illustrating is Advent-themed, and the deadline is a bit into the new year, but near enough that I'm thinking ahead and creating art for this Advent at the same time. I had pondered a print series based on the hymn "How Can I keep from Singing", which I love, but Call to Worship suggested the O Antiphons instead, and they grabbed my imagination. I didn't have time to do both just now, so O Antiphons it is.
Advent snuck up on me this year, what with several trips, my dad's wedding, a good friend making the hospital/nursing home transition, and a few other distractions. I usually like to have time for a print series to marinate a bit in my head. This time I felt under the gun, started carving right away, and as a result have recarved three of the original four.
Here's a snapshot of the first batch.
The first one is O Wisdom, or Sophia in the Latin. She is the female personification of God in the Old Testament, and I love that image of God. She was neutered into the non-gendered Holy Spirit when the Bible moved into Greek, and I'm happy for the chance to reach back into the Hebrew tradition and show the female side of God.
Below is O Adonai, one of the names for God.
I was happy with my original image for it, but I recarved the other two prints, as well as one more not shown here. Fortunately these are small, just 4" square, but I'm going to try to think through the final three more clearly and not be as rushed. I had to get images to my churches for their bulletins, though, and sometimes time gets short.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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