“150 Sunsets” explores the idea of commitment through a year long durational art project in the vein of contemporary artist's like Jennifer Bartlett and Marina Ambromavic. The series of 150 9x12 sunset oil paintings also carries on the tradition of the great spiritual landscape painters of the past; Turner, Inness, and the Hudson River School.
This body of work really started as one painting, or an idea of doing one painting. Let me briefly explain it's origin. It was the first week of January and I was eager to start a new painting so I planned on going out to a spot I was familiar with and painting a single 9x12 sunset on site. I arrived late, too late to paint a sunset so I got out my sketch book and started to write down ideas. Then I did what I believe to be the most important action of this project, I prayed. I asked the Holly Spirit to give me inspiration, to provide me with guidance and direction. I was at my wits end and I needed help, I didn't want to do another one off painting that meant nothing, I didn't want anymore throwaways. I prayed for an inspiring idea or a new project. I was open, I was quite, and I listened for something to enter my mind. After only a few moments, 150, 150, 150 kept flashing in my head, I didn't know why or what it meant but I saw it in my head when I closed my eyes. I hesitantly wrote down 150 in my sketch book not knowing what it meant. Starring at the number and asking God what does this number meant I got a pretty quick answer. The number 150 was for an amount of paintings I was to paint of the spot I was currently sitting in. So I frantically did the math to see how many paintings I would need to do to get 150. it didn’t seem to line up or make any sense, I thought to myself there is 365 days so I could do one each day starting tomorrow but that’s not 150, hmm?. Then I realized I really only have three open days to paint Mon, Wed, and Fri, because it would need to be during the sunset hours of 5:45-8pm. So I did the math again taking into account that I could paint on Mon, Wed and Fri, and realized that I got a number again that was not 150. This whole time I am trying to reconcile the answer to my prayer, the number 150. I got home that evening and told my wife Elizabeth of my idea, she looked at me like I was a little crazy for wanting to do 150 paintings of the same spot but she was supportive because she shares my faith as a Christian and trusted me when I told her I asked the Holy Spirit for guidance and this is what I got. Trying to discern the significance of 150 I opened up a calendar to see if it all added up. With burning faith in my heart I expected it to all work out, and it did. 150 paintings would land me on Friday December 21st, the week before Christmas, the last week of December that I could paint without overlapping the holiday. Furthermore, we opened up the Bible to see what significance 150 held, we found that it was the last Psalm, and it even mentioned the sky "Praise Him in His mighty firmament". The significance of 150 had become clear and my journey was about to begin. I would do 150 paintings and add some additional elements like a blog so people could keep up with my progress, and I would accompany each of the paintings with a journal entry documenting my thoughts.
Let All Things Praise the LORD
1 Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!