Saturday, 21 April 2012

Sign of the Cross (Commissioned)

Image © 2012 Gregory Watson

Scratchboard, 8" x 10"
After last October's art show, a lady from my church, who had seen Scratchboard (essentially a white bristol board with a black coating, which is scratched off to reveal the underlying white) piece that I had done of a Celtic Cross which incorporated elements of the Watson family crest, requested that I do a Celtic Cross for her, but one that was simply a knotwork cross. This is the result.

I was trying to figure out what to do with all the negative space in the four corners of the image, and decided to fill them up with the "Sign of the Cross" prayer of Catholic spirituality, i.e., "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." My second thought was, should I make it really cool and do it in Latin (because I think Latin and Cool belong in the same sentence). I considered for whom this work was intended, and decided against it. Then I thought, I bet she'd love it in Gaelic! So I looked it up, and was very close to putting "In aimn an Athar agus an Mhic agus an Spioraid Naomh. Áiméan" instead, but those fun extra vowels that are particular to the Irish tongue made the spacing of the words very unbalanced. So English it is.

This image of the Celtic Cross contains many spiritual symbols--from the Cross itself, the means of our Redemption, to the "triquetra" in the centre, symbolic of the Trinitarian nature of God. The circle surrounding most Celtic Crosses represents eternity, and I made the knotwork in the arms of the Cross reminiscent of the Ichthus design, the "Christian Fish" image, which itself is an acronym of the Greek word for fish, which, translated, comes out as "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Saviour."

Beyond being simply an aesthetic design (I hope you agree!), it also becomes a meditation on the Mysteries of our God as eternal Trinity, of the Incarnation of the Son in Jesus, and of His redemptive Death and Resurrection for our sins.
Please email me at or leave a comment here if you'd like to order any of the following:
  • Full size (8" x 10") limited edition high quality giclée print (unframed): $12.00 (CAD)
  • Full size (9" x 12") limited edition high quality giclée print (framed): $30.00 (CAD)
  • Image on 4¼" x 5½" Greeting Card (blank): $1.50 (CAD)

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