This painting depicts Mary Magdalene praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. It reflects my attempt to invoke the setting, doctrine and feeling of Harry Anderson’s “Jesus Praying in Gethsemane”, tying together and personalizing the meaning of both.
As an ardent follower of Christ, Mary must have spent some time with him and his disciples in the Garden, one of His favorite retreats. I imagine this site where the Savior overcame sin for all of us would have become sacred to her as she returned to wrestle with her own inner demons. In fact, all who seek Christ will experience their own personal Gethsemane as they cleanse their own lives through his atonement.
Inspired by Harry Anderson’s “Christ Praying in Gethsemane”, I decided to personalize the concept, which is the whole point of the Atonement.
Click the images below to see my progress with the concepts:
After sketching several concepts I settled on a final, basing the art on a photo I had of an olive tree growing next to the LDS temple in Salt Lake City, an image not too far removed from Anderson’s painting. I dressed a wonderfully expressive friend in robes from my collection and posed her in my living room. After editing and compositing the results in Photoshop, I traced it on canvas. Adjusting my day job schedule, I painted it over three Fridays and Saturday.
Click the slideshow below to see the painting progress at the end of each day: