Artist Statement


My painting reflects on the ultimate human need to fulfill an intrinsic longing that extends from birth to death.  Simply put, it is a need to be held.  My art symbolically speaks to this notion, especially with darkness (black) embracing light (color), with negative space enclosing positive space, and with texture calling out to be touched.

 I choose to paint not just on canvas but on grocery bag paper. In my process this surface is surrogate for human skin that reflects life, especially so, when the heavy paper is saturated with pigments, oils, wax, and fragrances.  The concept of using something that was once a utilitarian container also speaks to the theme of being held.

Working on modest surfaces with humble means permits a direction of kenosis in a very natural way. This manner of working becomes a creative conductor that allows me to be held.

My art is a direct reflection of a Franciscan ethos that sees life through the lens of interpreting love through the teachings of Jesus Christ. This personal interpretation is enabled through producing art that is a direct response to periods of contemplation and prayer. These visual interpretations seek to take a point of reflection and take it beyond the written words themselves allowing the essence of the teaching, scripture or parable to embrace a sacred and interior realm of understanding.

My path of following a Franciscan ethos and following the teachings of Jesus is also demonstrated in seeking to serve the disenfranchised and underprivileged within society directly through teaching art to inner city African Americans, with the goal of demonstrating love to them first, and allowing art to embrace them as a result.

Daniel Bonnell