Last evening we had the much anticipated Vernissage of Cate’s portrait
“The Real Princess Kate,” surrounded by dear friends. Now it is time to share it with the world.
Click to see the finished portrait (She’s in the center)
The portrait expresses the quintessential image of Cate: noble, powerful in her vulnerability, yet always compassionate and accepting. She had always been fascinated with the story of St Catherine, who was martyred on the wheel. The many historical depictions of St Catherine provided inspiration for this painting. Cate and I were also inspired by the artist John Waterhouse, whose influence can be seen in the finished work. The dramatic painting is intended as a celebration of our recent marriage and in many ways is an idealization of a man’s great quest for his soul mate.
One of the interesting features of this painting is the transparent wisp hovering in the sky, expressing Cate’s relationship with God and specifically the Holy Spirit. The rim light also adds a spiritual aura to the figure, deepening the spiritual element. The a serpent-like vine climbing the tree behind her, adds the element of temptation away from the Holy Spirit, setting up the psychic dance between the forces of good and evil. The expression on the face and the action of the pose juxtaposes the sadness and pity with the joy and ultimate victory of love over apathy. Cate’s quiet faith and humility is the ultimate inspiration for the painting.
Here is a little verse I wrote the morning of the unveiling:
Cate is more spirit than person.
Her transparent wings lift and envelope me in God’s love.
Her inner light glows to mingle with the omnipresent light of God.
She radiates with the love and compassion for the least of these,
a peace that passes all understanding.
Her touch has the healer’s kindness,
yet is firm as the blacksmith’s grip.
She holds me in the heart of my fondest dreams for peace.