daylight's splendor #34

I've mentioned the hymn, "Deck Thyself, My Soul, With Gladness" a few times here on my blog. We sing a combination of old hymns and contemporary songs at our Church, and I'm always happy when we sing that particular hymn, especially if I'm kneeling for Communion while the musicians play nearby. The melody is lovely, but the lyrics are my favorite part. "Deck Thyself" has been very important to me during the past year of healing - The Year of Great Heartbreaking, as I like to call it. But a good heartbreaking is therapeutic sometimes; very good in the hands of God.

I like the hymn so much, as well as Kierstin's beautiful artwork, that I begged her to visualize the song and work her magic. Much to my happiness, she kindly offered to do so as a birthday gift. I gave her a few ideas, but I really just wanted to see her interpretation knowing I'd love it with all my heart and soul. I was right on. When I opened the brown paper package, I smiled at her vision - much different than what I pictured, but so much better. Daylight's Splendor #34 was perfect, and I knew exactly where to hang it in the living room.

Kierstin included a note written with her exquisite penmanship; an excerpt:

"The line of the hymn that jumped out to me is 'come into the daylight's splendor'.... the images & hidden layers of this piece reflect that ~ as I remembered you writing often about you & Johnny taking walks in your neighborhood, noticing trees along the way, & how this helped inspire & encourage you.

There are also references to the wine & the banquet if you peer closely.

Today is definitely sunshiny and bright (as opposed to yesterday), so much so that with my limited photography skills, you can't really tell that Kierstin intentionally used a shade of blue to complement our kitchen walls (to tie the rooms together), but she did. She's brilliant and thoughtful like that.

[photo by moi]

[photo by moi]

I scooted that antique chair next to the bookshelf in order to stand closer to the piece and study it. One of my favorite things to do in the Menil is to stand as close to a painting as possible without the docent scolding me. I don't want to touch it; I just like to study the layers of paint, the textures, the colors, and so on. Now thanks to Kierstin, I can do this in my very own living room with her gorgeous collage.

The lyrics via an old typewriter ~ genius:

[photo by Kierstin Casella. Click to see larger.]

One of those neighborhood trees, and other foliage:

[photo by Kierstin Casella. Click to see larger.]

[photo by Kierstin Casella. Click to see larger.]

Up above, another bit of nature, and an old ledger which includes items such as:

twelve fat sheep
two hogsheads of wine
a silver drinking-cup

I can't read all of it, but that's ok - more to study and soak in over the years. Plus, when there's sunlight, you can see all kinds of detail underneath the white paint. You'll just have to come over and admire this piece yourself.

[photo by moi]

As you can see, I have ridiculously talented friends. Daylight's Splendor #34 suits our home quite well, and I do believe it was intended to hang on that very wall space all along. I love to pass by, bound for the kitchen or laundry room; the hymn often on my lips. Or on the way to our bedroom or headed upstairs. I love to think of my funny, faraway friend and her cute little boy. I'm also grateful that her art will bear testimony to what God has done for me, and what He shall do for me and Johnny; surprise us all our days. And when my soul sinks into sadness, I can walk over to the collage, read the lyrics, soak in the visual beauty, and be revived with gladness. That's the great thing about hymns: they teach us what is true.

We still have lots of wall space to fill in our home, but I'm reminded how good it is to wait for the right art, not just any old thing. Thanks again, Kierstin! Thank you, thank you. No pressure, but I think your (future) Etsy shop will be a big success.


Christine said...

It's absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Another masterpiece by Kierstin.

robyn a. jones said...

i love it! inspiration!

kierstin said...

what a sweet post. i'm blushing a little. :)
so happy that you like looks nice on the wall and i LOVE that chair!

jenni said...

Kierst, I'll get a proper thank you note in the mail soon, Lord willing. I was hoping you'd love the chair because you have such fabulous antique chairs in your home. My chair is from Kitty Ann, of course - she scored it for like $3.00. :)

Toni said...

This is one of the most wonderful pieces of art ever! My mother would have loved something like this! Just beautiful. Off to ?find more of kierstin's work. so poetic.