No More Strangers

"No More Strangers" by Tom Wheeler

"No More Strangers" - Oil on Canvas, 24x36"

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I entered this painting into our church International art competition. The theme is "All are alike unto God". This subject is close to my heart, and this scene is what came to mind when I first learned about the theme.  And what an appropriate theme for our time, given all that is happening in the world.

I'm not super imaginative, and this is a pretty straight-forward picture that simply shows people from diverse cultures around the Savior. That's pretty much the whole idea. But, hopefully by their various expressions, something about the unique spirit of each individual comes through. And I hope you feel the spirit of the Savior himself. 

I tried to give him a more Semetic / Jewish look, which is probably closer to the reality of the way he looked during his lifetime. Painting the Savior is an incredibly intimidating thing to attempt, and I recognize that this portrait falls short. Perhaps every portrait falls short. How could anyone ever really capture all the grandeur of his personality?

I'm honestly not even sure what gave me the audacity to think I could paint the Christ. But perhaps it was because I deeply felt that this painting needs to be out in the world, and in the church. I think I did a pretty good job of capturing his kindness, and his love. Which is really only one aspect of his personality, but it is the most important aspect.

Does it really look like Jesus? I don't know. But what I do know is that I've prayed a lot, and worked hard on this painting for many months. It is truly the best I can do at this moment.