Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Sacrifice by J. Binford-Bell
36 x 21 mixed media on canvas

September of 2012 I went on a trip to photograph the colors in the Chama area. One of the great discoveries of that trip was Las Mesitas San Isadore Church on the New Mexico/Colorado border. I love photographing churches and ruins of churches and have used them as a basis for paintings a lot.

San Isadore Church ruin

The above photograph was the basis for the painting, Sacrifice. I have several other pictures of this church and so was able to provide a footing for the structure so I could have figures walk through it.

Sky painted in

On of the things I always disliked a bit about the photograph is the clouds. Not enough to be interesting. So I decided to delete them from the painting which has very little sky.

Ghosts not painted in

Decided early on that since the church is a ruin the figures were going to be ghosts which always brings up the question of how to paint a ghost. Shadow like.

Canvas covered
Ghosts more solid?

Once the ghosts were roughed in fairly well I became discontent with empty space like the celestial window and the sky above the Sangre de Christo mountains. I always put my ravens in last and was debating the filling of the sky pieces with the arch and windows with flying ravens.

Painted Desert Raven in place

The rising moon over the mountains echos the light of the candles the ghosts carry and I had taken a photo of a raven at painted desert which I did a painting of. He seemed perfect for the celestial window but the moon too small. I added details to the foreground and the candles and the ghosts and enlarged the moon for the finished painting in the opening of this blog.

1 comment:

  1. Love reading about your inspiration, the process, and seeing the progress.


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.