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Featuring Jason Sorley

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Thank you for visiting my gallery. I am responding to a calling to use my artistic talents to inspire greater understanding of Biblical themes.  Commentary about some of the works below follows the section of images.

I work in both open and closed grisaille painting styles, which involve numerous thin coats of transparent glazes over a period of weeks to years. As a result, many of the images below are of unfinished works.

If you are interested in learning more about or purchasing any of my artwork, including the commissioning of new works, I can be reached at 254-675-3117 (home), 254-640-2318 (cell) or by email at


Commentary on Some Painting:

"Welcome Home" Jesus used the parable to illustrate God's unending love and forgiveness, and to challenge His followers to emulate this behavior. While the biblical account ends with the father pleading with the faithful son to join in celebrating the return of the prodigal, the painting continues the story. It shows the faithful son overcoming his resentment and responding to his brother with love after his father assures him that "you are always with me, and everything I have is yours." The parable reminds us that the undeserved favor and grace the Lord bequeaths to His faithless children are greater than the earthly inheritance that we may be jealous of, or squander.

"Nativity - Light of the World" A commissioned piece on "St. Joseph and the Holy Family" is the first of the seven joys of Mary. In it, I've tried to draw a simile between St. Joseph and Christ's heavenly Father, as well as Mary to all of God's children. We see St. Joseph tenderly looking upon his son and holding the light that illumines the scene. The light represents the Holy Spirit, which wishes not to be revealed, so much as to reveal the loving nature of God the Father and Son, their relationship with one another, and us. The candle's flame is therefore somewhat obscured by the hand of the Father, Joseph. Let us remember that we are to be like Christ, the perfect example of selfless love, who unites us with the Father (as the outstretched arms of the infant touching both the father and Mary in the sign of the cross), and to live a life of Charity. God indeed, dwells with us forever.

"Sketch - Reception of the Body" The sixth of the seven sorrow of Mary, examines the horror and turbulent disbelief of Christ's followers brought on by the death of their teacher. In the descent from the cross and the reception of the body, we have to deal with the lifeless corpse itself. We must handle it and strain to carry it. In the sketch we see open lamenting, fear, and hopelessness. Yet others, although bewildered by the death, prepare the body for burial. Mary stands at the left of the scene, on the same visual plane as her son, restraining a disciple who seems to want to run. Her proximity to Christ and her half-open gaze out to the viewer suggest that she wants to remind us of her son's promise in the Resurrection. The composition is in the form of a heart, flowing from the foremost figure up and around the heads of the others eventually resting on the wound in Christ's side: the wounded heart that Simeon prophesies in Luke.

"King of Tremendous Majesty" This is a personal reflection on conversion. The three figures are self-portraits, varying in likeness to me from the least in the soldier on the left, to the most in Christ. The soldier on the left wantonly abuses Christ, but his attention has moved from the obvious suffering of Christ, to his comrade, who has just pricked his thumb on one of the thorns of the crown. We can imagine that this small pain causes a cessation in the abuse and possibly a realization of the pain he inflicts. The central figure, Christ, accepts the mockery of kingly vestment, the crown of thorns, and the reed for His scepter. But He goes further than passively accepting the mockery of his true kingship. In the sign of benediction, He offers us peace. We may all hope to move away from the abstracted images we have made for ourselves, toward powerless, selfless, recreated images of Christ.

"St. Simeon the God Receiver" The first sorrow of Mary. In Luke 2, 25-36, we are given the account of Christ's presentation in the temple. It tells us that there was a righteous and devout man who was awaiting the consolation of Israel. When Simeon saw Jesus, he took Him into his arms and said, "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." Let us, like Simeon, joyfully await the coming of the Lord as our vigilant patience is strengthened by the Holy Scriptures.

"Lost in the Temple" The third sorrow of Mary. We are all familiar with the story in Luke 2:41-52 of Christ lost in the temple. He was found there, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard him were astounded by his understanding and his answers. In this painting, Mary has not quite seen her son, but is straining to break through the crowd of teachers who have gathered around him. As we travel through the composition, we start with the clustered group of heads, and circle through the left arm of Christ, pausing a bit at the black swath of His cloak, and ending at His right hand, which points out some Scripture on the partial manuscript held by the central figure. Hopefully, the partial understanding of God each one of us holds will be made more full as we converse with and receive the Word made flesh.

"The Healing of St. Agatha" Quintianus, intent on gratifying both his lust and avarice, used the emperor's edict against Christians to try to gain Agatha and her fortune. Threatened with torture, she prayed to Jesus for strength. She resisted all assaults against her virtue and never ceased to implore Christ's protection. She was then tortured and severely wounded, but resolute, was imprisoned without food or treatment. In a vision, St. Peter comforted her, healed all her wounds, and filled her dungeon with a heavenly light. Quintianus, seeing the miraculous cure of her wounds, had her tortured to the point of death. With her last breath she prayed "Lord, my Creator, you have ever protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world, and given me patience to suffer: receive now my soul."

"Flight into Egypt" The second sorrow of Mary. After they had left, suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him." So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: I called my son out of Egypt.

"St. Jerome at Study" Most of the saints are remembered for some outstanding virtue or devotion which they practiced, but Jerome is remembered too frequently for his bad temper! It is true that he could use a vitriolic pen, but his love for God and his Son Jesus Christ was extraordinarily intense; anyone who taught error was an enemy of God and truth, and St. Jerome went after him or her with his mighty and sometimes sarcastic pen. He was, above all, a Scripture scholar, translating most of the Old Testament from the Hebrew and writing commentaries which are still a great source of inspiration. He was an avid student, a thorough scholar, a prodigious letter-writer and a consultant to monk, bishop and pope. St. Augustine said of him, "What Jerome is ignorant of, no mortal has ever known." He traveled widely, and died in Bethlehem in the year 420.

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