ArtWay

Art does not reproduce what we see. It makes us see. Paul Klee

Artists

Malcolm Berry, Kirsten

Kirsten Malcolm Berry 

Bio

The daughter of Presbyterian missionaries, Kirsten Malcolm Berry grew up in the Philippines. After returning to the United States, she studied art at Bethel College (now Bethel University) in St. PaulMinnesota, graduating in 1978 with a BA. She later completed additional coursework in drawing, painting, and watercolor at the University of Minnesota and the University of Iowa 

Berry has shown her paintings in sixty solo or two-person exhibitions and a similar number of group sacred-art shows. Her work is in private and church collections and has appeared in religious periodicals, on book covers, and on church bulletins. She lives in MinneapolisMinnesota, with her husband, Paul. They have two married daughters and two grandchildren.   

 

Artist’s statement

I base my art on images from the New Testament and include the Greek as a link to the original form of the text. I paint in configurations of repeated shapes because I am compelled by the use of pattern, so prevalent in indigenous art forms. Southeast Asian fabrics and basketry, Scandinavian woolen tapestries, Native American weaving, traditional American quilts, and Byzantine mosaics have all influenced my sense of design.  

The exercise of faith is difficult for those of us who long for perceptible signs of God’s presence. Painting the images of the Bible helps me translate the abstract into the tangible. Through pictures I grasp that the Word indeed became flesh—and in resurrection power is present in the Comforter. And is that not him behind the glimmers of new creation we see each day?     

Technical information

I begin each image in pencil on cotton rag paper. With a small (#1) brush, I follow with watercolors, using pigments mixed to a thicker consistency than is typical for most watercolorists. After applying all the color, I complete the process by erasing the pencil lines. Forty to fifty hours are spent on each painting.

 

 

1. Peter and Jesus: And beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:30.

Watercolor on paper. Image size: 40 x 40 cm (16″ x 16″). Framed size: 66 x 66 cm (26″ x 26″). 

Over the wind and waves, we hear Peter’s fear-filled cry: “Lord, save me!” We take courage from what follows: Jesus’s extended, saving hand.    

 

 

2. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two . . . Mark 15:38. Watercolor on paper. Image size: 40 x 40 cm (16″ x 16″). Framed size: 66 x 66 cm (26″ x 26″). 

The curtain is painted on a top layer of paper, torn down its center. This is adhered to a base layer of paper onto which the border design and text are painted.  

 

3. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets full of broken pieces. Luke 9:17.

Watercolor on paper. Image size: 40 x 40 cm (16″ x 16″). Framed size: 66 x 66 cm (26″ x 26″).

The focus of this painting is on the twelve baskets—an image of God’s extravagant generosity.  

 

 

4. But with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13. Watercolor on paper. Image size: 40 x 40 cm (16″ x 16″). Framed size: 66 x 66 cm (26″ x 26″). 

Will he provide “a way out”? From the inmost concentric circle, follow the path of the snarled line and see that it untangles, at last, at the outermost ring. 

 

 

5. Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee . . . John 2:11. Watercolor on paper. Image size: 40 x 40 cm (16″ x 16″). Framed size: 66 x 66 cm (26″ x 26″). 

The first jar on the left contains water—depicted in blue. The middle jar shows the water in transition from water to wine—partly blue, partly crimson. The final jar on the right is all wine. 

Website

www.KirstenMalcolmBerry.com