Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The making of 1 Samuel 3:16

 1 Samuel 3:16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.

For the past 3 weeks I have been designing, thinking, erasing, re-designing, experimenting with the concept of this verse.
In verse 1 of chapter 3 we read that visions of God were infrequent in those days; thus it was a special honour for Samuel to receive a Divine message. God called him 3 times and told Samuel all that was going to happen to Eli and his family and to all Israel.

God says in verse 11 that He will be sending a terrible punishment to Israel in the years to come, something so terrible that it will "make everybody's ears tingle." This refers to the capture of the Ark by the Philistines, as described in the next chapters. The religious life of Israel has reached a truly abominable state under the corrupt leadership of Eli's sons (2:17, 22), and Eli's attempt at reprimanding them has had no effect (2:24, 25). Their rejection of God is unforgivable (verse 14).

Samuel is only a young boy (probably around 12 years old), when he received this terrible message. He has to tell Eli that his sons will die, that Eli himself will die and that the Ark is going to the enemies.

Eli surely anticipates the worst, because he has already been warned (2:33). He then calls Samuel and Samuel answers: Here am I. This is the verse I have to visualize.

I see a boy, who has to deliver an awful message to the high priest who has been a father to him. He has to hold nothing back.

I made a very rough sketch where I want to show the boy Samuel as a faithful servant of God. Around him (background) is the terrible judgement.
sketch of Samuel 3:16

This is a piece of cheese cloth which I felted last year and haven't done anything with I thought if I use the back side and tear it up, make holes in it etc. It could make a suitable background.

felted cheese cloth

disstressed cheese cloth
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In the meantime I thought about a sheet of lutradur which could also work. I burned holes in it with a soldering iron and tried if it would hold acrylic paints. It did, but the result is not what I had in mind.
burned holes in lutradur with soldering iron

Then...the boy Samuel. I drew this with inktense pencils, but he looked too 'girlish', so I changed his hair a bit...but still not entirely happy with it....
inktense pencil drawing of Samuel
 Since I would like to incorporate my family into these pieces. I found this photo of Dieuwe, our second son, when he was about 12 (excuse the rat ;-)).  I played with Picmonkey to get the shading and shapes to pop out so I could draw more easily. I am not a very good drawer
photo of Dieuwe

, but I like this boy
inktense pencil drawing of Dieuwe's face aka Samuel

Then I got my acrylic inks out and painted the distressed cheese cloth
acrylic inks on distressed cheese cloth

Up to the next stage now: planning to do some quilting around the boy and finding a way of putting it all together.....And where and how to get the verse on it. It will be a challenge, but I hope that it will turn out good!

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