Taking Up Painting for Lent

by Patty Wickman

Lent is characterized by 40 days of intentionally partaking in spiritual disciplines - not just those of abstinence, but of engagement as well. Disciplines of engagement are an active searching-out of those “thin places,” those thresholds where God seems particularly close to our world, and meditating in those spaces. It is an opportunity to not just deny our own pleasure, but to seek the pleasure of God’s presence in our daily life.

One way of consciously abiding in the presence of God is by taking up a task; it could be something new or something familiar, it could be prayer, fellowship, worship, serving your community or even gardening. For Patty Wickman, engaging with God takes the form of painting. In a recurring Lenten practice of her own design, she creates a small painting every day - each examining the ordinary and often unremarkable experiences of daily life. Wickman describes it as “40 days of scrutiny.” By lovingly meditating on these fleeting moments, the ordinary becomes beautiful and is imbued with a deep sense of spiritual significance. These 41 paintings are a tangible record of each day’s meditations.

Wickman has engaged in the same discipline in past years, producing new work for each Lent season. This particular set of paintings traces her Lenten journey from 2013. Another set of paintings from 2009 can be viewed at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery website:

Patty Wickman
40 Days, 2013
Oil, pencil, and watercolor on canvas
41 paintings at 6” x 8” or 8” x 6” each
Courtesy of the artist and Lora Schlesinger Gallery

Patty Wickman, Professor of Painting and Drawing, UCLA

Recent solo venues include the Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena; Sheppard Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno; Hunsaker/Schlesinger Fine Art, Santa Monica; Dan Bernier Gallery, Santa Monica; Laband Gallery, Loyola Marymount University; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Guggenheim Gallery, Orange, CA; and USC Atelier, Santa Monica.

Wickman’s work also has been included in group exhibitions at the Carlson Tower Gallery at North Park University, Chicago; Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles; New York Center for Art and Media Studies; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; Academy of Fine Arts, Brescia, Italy; Cornell DeWitt Gallery, New York; W139, Amsterdam; ACME, Los Angeles; Frye Art Museum, Seattle; Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica; Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum; Track 16, Santa Monica; Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA; Mandeville Gallery, UC San Diego; Hunter Museum of Art, Tennessee; Denver Art Museum; and Peter Miller Gallery, Chicago. The following recent publications feature her work: IMAGE: A Journal of the Arts and Religion and Edward Lucie Smith’s Adam.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
© Biola University, Inc. All Rights Reserved.