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Left Light
posted: November 30, 2009
Art done with brush & ink, and old school hand separating, plus Adobe Illustrator software...
An illustration I did recently for UU World magazine. The magazine is published by the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. As religious entities go, the Unitarians seem reality inclusive, and liberal. Religion for me is a very prickly subject, and more so with a life lived. I belong to no particular faith. The subject of the Religious Left was the basis for the article for which I was to do a full page illustration. Being bombarded daily with the news of America, here in Canada, it seems as though our close neighbors to the south are becoming more & more a theocracy. Against the current backdrop of today, the longer tradition of a more inclusive mindset in the religious life of America was outlined in this article. The socialist aspects of Christian doctrine are usually bulldozed by the contemporary materialist culture. Through the struggle to remove barriers, and broaden the general well being of the many over the few, the Religious Left has a long history. The idea of light/liberty for the commoner, and many facets of the struggle coming together into a stronger collective. I'd chosen a hand drawn quality with a graphic application for a more fresh feel, over the traditional oils on canvas.

16 comments
Zina November 30, 2009
Just great, Doug. I love the color and weight and firm resolve.
Matt Curtius November 30, 2009
I clicked on this post because of the color and energy of the thumbnail. Now I'm commenting because of the insightful handling of an interesting topic. Nice job and thanks for sharing.
Mark McBride December 1, 2009
Takes 2 cents out of pocket. I think that religion will always remain a touchy subject. Why? Because I believe that deep down people often wrestle with this one thing. Does God really exist and if so how will I ever know? Puts 2 cents back into the pocket for safe keeping. Now to the artwork, I was thinking abstract Statue of Liberty when I saw it, I think this one would have looked btter given the Alkyd treatment Doug. Then again on another thought, how many times has Lady Liberty and her parts been done in the art world so it really made sense to go digital. Besides, I would rather save my good stuff for a subject that has not been done like the unobserved.
Victor Juhasz December 1, 2009
Strong image. Really good.
Doug Fraser December 1, 2009
Mark, religion is a subject that is prickly to restate, so I do respect the freedom of an individual to choose. Also the article highlights the contributions of people who are of many faiths. As for the Statue of Liberty reference, yes that is intentional. With the subject pertaining to the history of the United States. As you've concluded about why I went with a more graphic approach. Ironically, the squares kinda' reminded me of the Partridge Family school bus. So a fusing of the pop culture with a traditional icon to freshen up the latter. Thank you for your thoughts.
Scott Bakal December 1, 2009
Ahhh...the faith-based publication. Yeah, those are sometimes tough one's to do depending upon people's belief structures. I have interesting stories of some conversations with very religious art directors trying to work out symbolism and visuals. Never mind... A nice piece and interesting to see other techniques you use. It is easy to see though, that the Fraser line is still there.
Leo Espinosa December 1, 2009
"Religion is the opium of the people" still applies, but since people are not so much into "opium" nowadays, let's just replace it for "fast food". Unitarians keep the diet rather slim in comparison, which is somehow healthy. I like your solution and colors on this one, Doug.
Kyle T Webster December 1, 2009
Powerful drawing.
Richard Downs December 1, 2009
Nice one, Doug. I like the chunky flames.
Paul Rogers December 1, 2009
We don't see enough Partridge Family bus references in illustration today. S of L has torch in right hand. Whatta Canadian.
Doug Fraser December 1, 2009
Yes Paul, and the Right have done such a splendid job. It was a conscious choice to use the left hand as the article is describing the unheralded Left set against the contemporary...... yes I know you know. god...oops there's that word! Here's a belief; that Ms. Liberty is ambidextrous. A thought from the little beaver sitting on a pile of stick & twigs in the middle of a mirror lake, somewhere in the north with the aurora borealis overhead. Oh yeah then there's the difference between S of L versus SnL, but then there is a Canadian slant on the latter, eh?
Lou Brooks December 2, 2009
Very snazzy, Mr. Doug!
Donald Kilpatrick December 2, 2009
Love this!
Jim Paillot December 2, 2009
Religion and politics - I can't think of anything else that has the potential to bring people together but too often has opposite effect. Nice art solution, Doug. Strong image!
Tom Marsh - Livingston, MT December 7, 2009
It's a great image, Doug. The commentary is really close to home, here myself... Thankful that I've walked far enough away to see the bigger picture, your visual combination of spiritual collection fares well with me. Anything in this trajectory stirs my insides. Gives me hope for an intelligent future... that might actually have some intelligent faith. Keep it up, man.
David Heatley December 9, 2009
Wow, I really dig that. So much great energy...
All images copyright Douglas Fraser