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Jim Janknegt

A Little Leaven: a new painting

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leavensm.jpg

I just finished a new painting, a commission, for Trinity Presbyterian Church in Nashville. The painting titled, A Little Leaven, is based on the parable found in Matthew 13:33 "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough." Besides the women sprinkling the yeast over the flour I have included the idea of Jesus being the bread of life and how He is given from one person to another to increase the size of the kingdom, including those mention in Matthew 25- the least of these. Also other bread references that have to do with multiplication, Jesus feeding the 500 and Elijah being feed by the raven and the widow.

If the scheduling works out I may be heading to Nashville for the presentation of the painting to the church the first or second weekend in November. Any suggestions of what to see or do in Nashville?? Sadly, I'm not a big country music fan.

For a larger image go here.

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This is really nice, Jim. It is like an illuminated manuscript in its arrangement.

If you are into southern cooking, you must go to Loveless sometime in the evening. Staple southern foods done perfectly.

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Jim, I like this one a lot -- it's one of my favorites from your oeuvre.

The composition and color palette is really well-crafted. I love the way you've broken up the frame with the church image, which belongs in part to the frame but is also partly inside the frame. And the way you've tied together the domestic central image with the church image (the domestic church; the household of God) through the pitch of the roof and brick and bread images.

The natural/landscape imagery across the top/left is nicely balanced by the urban/human-world imagery of the bottom/right, with the domestic central image in a way representing the intersection of the natural and human worlds. The Elijah bit across the top ties in nicely. And the eucharistic sun! Very nice.

The Matthew 25 / corporal works of mercy connection is obvious not only from the feeding the hungry motif but even more strikingly in the visiting the sick and imprisoned in the lower left. It made me look around for clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless as well as burying the dead. I guess that was too far (ahem) afield, or just too much to cover?

Burying the dead / corporal works of mercy in this connection makes me think of St. Paul's sowing-and-rising imagery in 1 Corinthians 15 and Galatians 6. In 1 Corinthians 15, where sowing is death and burial, and the rising plant is the resurrection; in Galatians 6, sowing is good deeds (like works of mercy) and reaping is eternal life (and of course you do have a resurrection image in the Elijah story).

I think these themes of good works and the heavenly harvest tie in to some extent with the image in the upper left of the feeding of the 5000, where the crowd in the background seems to resemble a field of grain, right next to baskets of bread -- from which, apparently, Elijah is fed with bread from heaven. The heavenly harvest, the merits of the saints, offering sustenance on earth, perhaps?

Edited by SDG

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Jim, I like this one a lot -- it's one of my favorites from your oeuvre.

The composition and color palette is really well-crafted. I love the way you've broken up the frame with the church image, which belongs in part to the frame but is also partly inside the frame. And the way you've tied together the domestic central image with the church image (the domestic church; the household of God) through the pitch of the roof and brick and bread images.

The natural/landscape imagery across the top/left is nicely balanced by the urban/human-world imagery of the bottom/right, with the domestic central image in a way representing the intersection of the natural and human worlds. The Elijah bit across the top ties in nicely. And the eucharistic sun! Very nice.

The Matthew 25 / corporal works of mercy connection is obvious not only from the feeding the hungry motif but even more strikingly in the visiting the sick and imprisoned in the lower left. It made me look around for clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless as well as burying the dead. I guess that was too far (ahem) afield, or just too much to cover?

Burying the dead / corporal works of mercy in this connection makes me think of St. Paul's sowing-and-rising imagery in 1 Corinthians 15 and Galatians 6. In 1 Corinthians 15, where sowing is death and burial, and the rising plant is the resurrection; in Galatians 6, sowing is good deeds (like works of mercy) and reaping is eternal life (and of course you do have a resurrection image in the Elijah story).

I think these themes of good works and the heavenly harvest tie in to some extent with the image in the upper left of the feeding of the 5000, where the crowd in the background seems to resemble a field of grain, right next to baskets of bread -- from which, apparently, Elijah is fed with bread from heaven. The heavenly harvest, the merits of the saints, offering sustenance on earth, perhaps?

Wow, Steven, your art reviews are just as insightful as your film reviews. Many thanks! - Jim

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The piece is magnificent, Jim. I love the warm tones you used to bring the picture to life. The whole piece looks to be in flux. The movement, both of the characters in the piece, and the flow of the structures one into another, is really captivating. Will the piece be displayed publicly?

As far as what to do in Nashville: Get out as quickly as you can. (Unless you stumble upon a great concert/gig by someone like Pierce Pettis, the Millers, etc.)

Hey now, it's not that bad here! Things, they are a'changin' here in Nashville. The country and Christian industries are troubled; lots of indie music. It's a pretty cool place nowadays (though admittedly I'm moving to Boston in January).

FWIW, Jim, there's a lot of good stuff to do around here. There's always the Frist, which is an excellent art gallery; I believe there's a Rodin sculpture exhibit currently, I've heard it's quite excellent if you're interested in that style. A lot of people around here love Arrington Vinyards; it's owned by Kix Brooks (of Brooks & Dunn), and it's got several popular wines. It can definitely make for a good afternoon. As a matter of fact, Franklin will be hosting their 'Wine Down Main Street' on the 7th of November. It's an annual wine-tasting event in the Franklin town square.

As for cuisine, everybody hits up the Pancake Pantry. It's in the Vanderbilt section of town, and incredibly popular. It's mostly breakfast fare, but it's tasty stuff. Right across the street from it is one of my favorite spots, Provence. It's a little french cafe with delicious coffee and great lunch fare. Bongo Java's is right behind Belmont University, and it's probably the most popular coffee shop in town. Very artsy/college-ish. Franklin downtown can be fun, too. I've not been down there as much, but I've heard from a lot of people that the square has a lot of great restaurants and shops.

That's just a snippet of stuff that goes on here. Keep me updated if you're going to be able to make it!

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