I referred back to the Bible for an idea of the atmosphere of the situation and the only reference to that story was it took place at night. It also said in secret. I knew Jesus was with followers and some disciples so I created an area that would look like a camp site with shelter from a near by cave and backdrop of woods with a well traveled road coming into the camp.
The painting also had a tree to the right with some woods that I cut out for the print. I had thought to add someone gathering wood in that area but later decided to leave it out and just crop that part from the print.
I began designing the placement of all the people and surrounding area with activity. The man coming up the road I decided to give him a bundle of food and skin of wine to bring back to the camp site.
When Nicodemus came to Jesus with questions, I wanted it to look like Jesus was inviting him to get warm by the fire but I had so much difficulty with the right hand jestering toward the fire that I had to place it instead on his lap.
Most of the figures I had no idea who the models would be. The only one I had was for Nicodemus and one of the followers. This is only because of convenience and availability of the models.
The woman in the cave started out as an older woman and ended up to be the young twin daughter of Michelle who modeled for Michelle's Magic Place. I still have the photos of that shooting and will be doing a portrait of her in the future.
I was really surprised that the faces I temporarily put in place had similar features to the actual models I found later.
One evening while I was working on this painting I kept hearing a whooshing sound behind me. I kept turning around to see if it was my husband coming in to see the progress but there was nothing there. At least nothing there that I could see. I would ponder on that moment and the sound of the noise. Possibly the sound of angels wings.
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D.L. Thomas Studios
P.O. Box 121
Marissa, IL 62257
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