Art – Daniel Bonnell, the Annunciation, a contemporary view

From Songs in Waiting

Daniel Bonnell – “In this painting we see Mary in humility wearing a rag-type gown. Her posture is one of humility, with her hands by her side, completely defenseless before this heavenly creature. Gabriel is filled with awe at the story he must deliver. There are two hands that symbolize God the Father; they cradle Mary the servant.”

“A word on my art:

“The written word is inexpressible.
In silence we worship the unutterable
In seeing the eternal, I attempt to paint
what cannot be seen.”

“The mystery of seeing is seeing the mystery.”

Daniel Bonnell – “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.

“My paintings become  creative conductors, and eternal phone calls home that allows me to be held.”

The art of Daniel Bonnell is found in private collections and churches around the world. A graduate of the Atlanta College of Art (1978), his continuing studies were under the renown photographer and the designer Milton Glaser.   He earned a  MFA: Painting, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia 2012

His greatest teaching came from a French Dominican Monk, Pere Couturier, who ushered such great painters as Henri Matisse and Fernand Leger into creating sacred bonnellart.

His one man shows have included such sacred institutions as Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London to humble Low Country Afro-American churches in South Carolina.

His personal ethos led him to live in several unique situations which embrace humanity from a state of pain, and humility, which are carried over into his canvases. These situations include living with the homeless in New York City within a rescue mission for over two years, traveling to twelve isolated locations across Africa, and teaching art to inner city at-risk high school students in Savannah, Georgia.  His art can be found in two books. The Road Home by Garth Hewitt and The Christian Vision of God by Alister McGrath. Both books are published by SPCK Publishers, London.

Artist statement

“Besides painting with traditional oil and canvas, I also paint on grocery bag paper with mis-tinted house paint. 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 that aligns with my personal ethos that being that the unified field that holds all things together is actually found in the teaching of Jesus Christ.”

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