What is it Like Painting the Face of Christ?

We ache to see Christ face to face…

…that is what we were made for. One day, in heaven, God willing, we will have that ability. This side of life, it can be challenging to truly fathom Him. We all may have our own idea of what He looks/looked like. We can look into history and have an idea of what that may be yet we can also dive into accounts of mystics who have been given the gift of seeing glimpses of him and what they have said.

As a Sacred art painter, there is some pressure to get the perfect Christ, I do admit. We all wish to see Him as we imagine within our hearts. Humbly, I recognize my efforts will never be perfect so I have come to a place of creating deep from prayer and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead. I notice that I have been lead to share Christ in a variety of ways. It seems to me that He says, I come to each of you, each of you belong. The most important aspect that I found that defines Christ is how He gazes. No matter the color of his hair, skin, eyes etc, He has this look of utter love and welcoming. This is the look that captures our hungry hearts. This is the look He shares with us, one in which He wishes we see no matter the artistic rendition before our eyes.

Face of Christ Drawing by Kate Capato
Yeshua Painting by Kate Capato All rights reserved

I recall, at the height of the pandemic, beginning this painting of Christ the King, titled, Yeshua and struggling a lot with it. I do use models as a reference, but no-one seems to look close enough to Our Lord so I must tweak things. In and out the painting would go and I recall getting really frustrated at my inability to create Him as I wished yet there was a key moment where I felt the Holy Spirit speak life into my work. In that moment, I experienced His gaze looking back at me as I fine tuned the details. “Hi Jesus,” I said, as I felt His warmth. Is it exactly the face of Christ, chance are no, but His gaze was given to me in grace. His look of love was transfused into the work before my very eyes. I pray I never stand in the way of these infusions of grace, but that I allow the Holy Spirit to be the main artist.

As we walk into Holy Week, may we pause to really allow the gaze of Christ, our Lover, pierce our hearts.

May we see Him calling out to us to come deeper, to enter into His suffering, death and resurrection with Him. To allow Love, His love, to transform us fully. There may be a specific work that speaks to your heart where you are able to feel this gaze more fully, no matter His features. Find that work and pray with it, allowing your heart to surrender. No artist will master Christ this side of life, as we are not going to fully know Him until we meet Him face to face in Heaven, but each painting can share His soul with our aching hearts in their own way.

Kate Capato

Kate is a Sacred Art Painter, Inspirational Speaker, and Faith-filled Movement artist on a mission to spread God's love through beauty! Her inspiration comes from prayerful encounters with the Lord, and the rich traditions of our Catholic faith. When she's not creating something faith inspired, Kate is often traveling all over the world with her hubby soaking in the wonders of God's creation, or spending time with family and friends to live every moment to the fullest. To see her work, visit her portfolio below and share in this mission of spreading truth and goodness.

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