“I saw a sign in the sky” by Taryn Watkins
“I saw a sign in the sky” detail

Taryn’s reflection on the painting:

This is a painting that is difficult to put into words, I had the image of it before I was able to put any words to it, and I am still unsure about the words. We see here the structure of what could be the ribbing in a Cathedral, with the painted stars on the ceiling, but also what a Cathedral represents, the celestial reality, the stars, angels (you have to look really closely to see the six winged seraphs represented in a darker blue) the sun and our orientation ad orientem to the Son it represents. This is the direction of the movement in the painting, the bees representing order and wisdom (and Wisdom) all move in that direction as well as the flight of the swans and growth of the ferns. This play of inside and outside is important to the mysterious sense of the painting, in an almost apocalyptic or representation of the totality of the end of all time and space…. in a Cathedral, within the order of the cosmos, but also outside, the expansive space in which all things live and move and have their being, movement, and stillness, rhythm of eternity, yet created finite reality. 

The fawn in the center is at peace, surrounded by flowers and ferns, yet it’s neck is at an unnatural angle, and there is red pooling underneath. This is a fawn “asleep,” a lamb sacrificed, the bridegroom stag of the Song of Songs giving himself for the life of his beloved. The flowers bloom for the vigil, a funeral display, caressing with delicacy this loved one… and point to the resurrection, and new life. 

The dragon on the left is really more of a shadow than a concrete form, it is not even seen at first glance. But it has something of a hold on one of the arches… the fallenness of this created world and its desire to consume that substance into its nothingness….  it searches for the “child,” the fawn. It is not the victor, not even a contender in the focus of the painting…the ultimate victory over this evil is in the flight and peace in the swans and fawn. 

These swans (three of them) move gracefully and with force away from this shadow toward the light and the Light from Light. The Light that darkness is not able to overcome, the love that conquers death. (if the interpretation comes from chapter 12 of the book of Revelation it could also be the “woman” who is given the wings of an eagle to escape from the dragon, and her “child” that wins the victory over it)

It could also have a much more broad interpretation that is more intuitive, it certainly comes from an intuition of a mystery that is difficult to put words around it. It gives me the feeling of a deep knowledge that is difficult for my intellect to articulate but is very clear in a place where there are no words.

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