The Beatitudes

posted January 26th, 2018 by

At first I had no ideas when my pastor friend from Anchorage asked if I could paint a rendition of The Beatitudes. The famous and succinct introduction to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is all conceptual. How do you paint it? Then ideas started to flow. What follows is some of how it was made, the result, and a brief panoramic video at the end.

Here’s a shot, just to get us started: the painter with the master. As with all, click to enlarge, maybe twice.

It started with sketches in the sketchbook, getting ideas, changing them, correcting spelling (eventually).

Then it was a matter of working out the lettering (left), painting the abstract background (middle), finally placing the face with just the right emotion (right). Sensing guidance, that first abstract was one I already had, just turned it up side down. (Click to enlarge and you’ll see my signature at the top.)

I was already started when the idea came to use the complete color spectrum for the background colors. It was an artistic solution and a strong metaphor as well . . . a complete visual range and a complete body of truth.

Here’s a progression in the studio. Four canvases were all that would fit, sitting on nails in the studio wall. As I went I’d move a new one on and a finished one off. The paint is acrylic, fast drying and good for lots of overlaying.

Finally I moved to the garage where I could see them all together. There I adjusted color, went over (or reworked) the lettering, and fine-tuned any pesky parts. All the time I was listening to music or, more edifyingly, Internet teaching on each of the beatitudes. Was great!

Okay, here they are, the first reveal, each at a time. It’s Jesus’s take on transcendent living, always counterintuitive, aways right.

Every painting, stylistically different, like each of us. And on each, a blessing.

Be meek, just accept things; know that in God all works out.

If I have a favorite, this one is close, both in message and visage. Excuse my artist license on the word order . . . it just looked better.

There’s a cause and effect in all things, and a just recompense ultimately.

This could be the greatest promise of all, potentially on a daily basis.

Messengers of the Prince of Peace, does the world not need more?

There’s a lot more of this going on than we know. Here’s the great consolation.

In the series this is first, though painted last. It’s always a little intimidating painting Jesus. I went over it three times. It’s wild, I know, but then, he’s been treated worse. Here, as in life, he’s of the same manner and substance as the others, just a little more beaten up.

Each piece is 40″x30″ making the whole 22 1/2 feet long. To date I have no photo of the whole series straight on. The original idea was to hang them separately, maybe a couple of feet between. They could go either way, together or apart.

It’s all headed for Muldoon Community Assembly in Anchorage. They have a number of my works, including the largest I’ve ever done (12 ft. x 60 ft., here.)

I posted a video on my Facebook page and received so many heartening comments. I’ll post it here too. (Enlarge to see it better.)

People ask what else might happen to this painting. At this point there are no ideas. I’ll just say, “Blessed are those who commission paintings, for they shall have art.”

As for me, I’m grateful for it all, and not a little humbled working with these fathomless words.

40 Comments

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  1. ken Harris Jan 26, 2018
    11:22 am

    Good job. I think the best you have done.

  2. Ashley Jan 26, 2018
    12:17 pm

    Simply breathtaking. The color spectrum is one of those hidden codes we find so much in God’s own creation. Its own message right below the surface waiting for someone to look for it. Is there a way to get all of them on one print or maybe in a coffee table type book? If there is, sign me up.

  3. Francis Viscount Jan 26, 2018
    12:48 pm

    Amazing, thanks for creating these pictures. I was drawn to how the eyes of each person are focused, or not, differently, helping understand how the each person is focused in a unique way aligned with the reality they are experiencing. I really like the sense that each person is fully immersed in their moment.
    I once heard a sermon about the beatitudes that suggested Christ wasn’t so much teaching as looking at the crowds and drawing the disciples attention to the journey that each person in the crowd was on. As I look at each of your pictures I see the crowd on the hillside…alive in the presence of Christ…
    Wonderful stuff… Alaska and not the Museum of the Bible…curious…glad God knows what He’s doing!

  4. Linda Royster Cook Jan 26, 2018
    1:00 pm

    Hyatt, These pieces are breathtaking. The composition, colors and brushstrokes are so compelling. A truly amazing series. Congrats!

  5. Julia Ellis Jan 26, 2018
    2:11 pm

    Took my breath away Hyatt! I believe this is my fav so far…

  6. David Foster Jan 26, 2018
    2:43 pm

    Awesome Hyatt! I think this might just be your special gift! Thanks for sharing!
    David and Mary in NC

  7. Patricia Rody Jan 26, 2018
    2:48 pm

    Fabulous Hyatt…just FABULOUS!!!

  8. Joel Garcia Jan 26, 2018
    2:57 pm

    Visually commanding, Hyatt, as your images so often are. The range of palette color is magnificent, and the faces are wonderful interpretations of each subject.

    As I read your words, I could hear your voice in my head and sense your wink and a smile at some of the things you said.

    Thanks for using your gifts to build up the church for God’s glory.

  9. Sue Jan 26, 2018
    3:47 pm

    Excellent!!!

  10. Norm Jan 26, 2018
    3:49 pm

    Just sent out to all of my student families, Hyatt, many of whom are artists and painters, young and old. They will be fascinated, as I was, when viewing this. What an inspired collection! The faces so accurately portray each state of being, the very things that attract the presence of God.

    • Jane Ice Jan 27, 2018
      3:28 pm

      More attention needs to be given to the beatitudes to foster compassion in modern life. I remember them from early Catholic school education. Now you have given life to them with your beautiful art. Your images are so spiritual.

      Could you give this work wider exposure by making posters or a book of them.

      • Hyatt Moore Jan 31, 2018
        3:44 pm

        Jane, Thanks. Glad it touched you. And, yes, what with all this acclaim, posters are in the making.

  11. Sue Jan 26, 2018
    4:01 pm

    Love the font too! One of Vernon’s?

    • Hyatt Moore Jan 26, 2018
      4:07 pm

      Thanks, Sue. It’s not a font at all; it’s hand lettering. Mine.

  12. Lezlie Jan 26, 2018
    4:04 pm

    So Beautiful!
    Did you make any lithographs of the paintings?

    • Hyatt Moore Jan 26, 2018
      4:08 pm

      Nothing yet. Maybe giclee prints at some future date.

  13. Sophia Jan 26, 2018
    4:08 pm

    This one is SO AWESOME. I love it.

  14. Tanya Jan 26, 2018
    4:18 pm

    Oh my! Breathtaking…..
    Using the color spectrum is amazingly effective!
    Thank you, Hyatt

  15. Marie Jan 26, 2018
    5:00 pm

    Totally blessed me…You are so gifted and your gift just keeps on giving to others. Thank you!

  16. Renuka Jan 26, 2018
    7:01 pm

    Superb ! Hyatt, you are most truly blessed. What great creations, you give us so much joy viewing your work.

  17. Caron G Rand Jan 26, 2018
    8:05 pm

    BRAVO! Love the vibrant, lively color palette & how the range is so thoughtfully intertwined in each visage, as well as the contrast of colors & subject matter. I prefer Jesus to be redrawn by contemporary artists, as you have done, as it makes one ponder different aspects of Yeshua’s visage and character from an artist’s point of view. And it challenges preconceived thinking based on the traditional rendering of Jesus that has been embraced.

  18. Lisa Hoyt Jan 26, 2018
    10:29 pm

    One word: MAGNIFICENT!!!!!!!

    Truth of The Lord guiding you by the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!! So grateful for you and for this!! Lisa

  19. Brenda Crary Jan 27, 2018
    7:50 am

    Beautiful paintings to go along with some of the most beautiful words. What an incredible project for you and the church they will go to.

  20. Jean Marie Christian Jan 27, 2018
    8:46 am

    Dear Hyatt, Your love for the Lord and His Word, your love of God’s creation and your art bless me profoundly. Thank you for sharing you gifts and expressing the processes you go through. I am honored to know you and your family of creatives and can’t wait to add your book to my growing collection of your work. May God richly bless you and your family. Jean Marie Christian

  21. Brenda Liebowitz Jan 27, 2018
    9:17 am

    Hyatt, Anne: There is no reason you would remember me: I stopped to chat and watch you paint (more often than some perhaps) when you two were at Joni & Friends Global Access a couple of years ago and have followed you since then. I work with J&F’s interns and am trying to free up time to bring them to Sandstone or Dana Point in the next few days. Just had to respond to The Beatitudes…which, in my opinion, may well be your defining work (at least so far). I am enamoured with the content and not a little jealous of your God-given talent! Is there any chance of this series being displayed locally before going to Anchorage? How I would love to see it, up close and personal! I also hope the images will eventually be available as reproductions…I have personal yearnings for some, if not all, of them to be in my home! Blessings, Brenda

  22. Pil Ho Lee Jan 27, 2018
    9:57 am

    I had the privilege to see it in person. The scale In which you’re able to appreciate the style and colors is obviously impressive. But I got to see all the background work involved in bringing this concept to reality which is no easy task. Thanks Hyatt for your inspiring work.

  23. Mabel Jan 27, 2018
    11:12 am

    Just beautiful……as are all your paintings

  24. Moses Hwang Jan 27, 2018
    2:58 pm

    Thank you not only for your hard work but also for bringing the message of the Word in a visual art by which we all are able to grasp the beauty of the Kingdom of God. The color spectrum is magnificent! Each of facial expression reflects very well what is in their hearts. May God abundantly bless your works to spread the good news of His Kingdom!

  25. suszanne Droney Jan 27, 2018
    4:41 pm

    Hyatt, I am extremely moved by your post of these most awesome, fabulous paintings with the explanation you provide of each for the viewer. You are so true to yourself the way you create and the dedication it takes to commit and produce this collection. And it always seems you do this kind of a project in such a short period of time…..AMAZING! You are truly blessed.

  26. Laurel Jan 27, 2018
    7:01 pm

    Just beautiful. Each painting draws me in, makes me consider the verse it quotes.

  27. Donna Earnheart Jan 27, 2018
    10:03 pm

    Hyatt, I love the foundation color-spectrum undertones and the expressions are so very thoughtful. I am so grateful to God that he continues to bless your heart and hands.
    May our Triune, Creator-Redeemer God be glorified.

  28. John Nowlan Jan 28, 2018
    2:41 am

    Truly took my breath away…compelling, ethereal yet human, linear yet spatial, earthiness transformed to spiritual and conceptual-
    I so hope they find their way into other formats from the original source.

  29. Martha Kruger Jan 28, 2018
    3:46 am

    Beautiful Hyatt. I specially like the eyes of the merciful

  30. Alyssa Jan 28, 2018
    5:46 am

    This is absolutely stunning! I love the way you mapped out the color spectrum

  31. Aida Jan 28, 2018
    11:11 am

    Hi Hyatt,

    Beautiful work! I could feel the Lord’s presence as I viewed each depiction of the Beatitudes that you painted. Beautiful!

    BTW, Humility makes your paintings even more powerful. You’ve gone way beyond the Laguna Beach Festival! You have reached and expressed the Lord’s heart! What an HONOR!

    oxoxox
    Aida

  32. Wayne Jan 28, 2018
    3:59 pm

    Thank you, Hyatt. When I thought about this project, I could not imagine how you would even begin to express each Beatitude in art. You did it so well in the expression on each person’s face. Remarkable!

  33. Jan Dorian Jan 29, 2018
    9:50 pm

    Your work is unsurpassed!- especially this series!
    Clearly your most important to date! I love everything about it!!

  34. Becky Jones Jan 30, 2018
    4:45 pm

    Hyatt,
    Beautiful and so heart warming. Set to a friend and she sent back that their are a great cloud of witness out there.
    So neat.

    Becky Jones

  35. […] Night Flight, 40×30, acrylic. Any mistakes? Actually this one no longer exists. I used is as underpainting for one of new series on The Beatitudes. (Click for another of that.) […]

  36. Stefan Attard Feb 21, 2018
    8:07 am

    Hyatt, you are so gifted!
    Thanks for giving us God’s Word in colour.
    God bless you inside and out!

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