Gift of Bible inspires artist

INSPIRED ART: Artist Paul Sundstrom with his newest art pieces, inspired by stories from the Bible. Picture: MELANIE RILEY.

Melanie Riley

A GIFT of a 40-year-old Bible has been where local artist Paul Sundstrom has drawn inspiration for his latest artwork.

After good friend Helen gave him his first Bible to read, Mr Sundstrom found the stories to be extremely interesting, and began to paint.

“After reading what I did, and seeing some of the pictures I saw, I was inspired to do some religious artwork,” Mr Sundstrom said.

“The artist’s interpretation of the different periods of the Bible was very important to me.

“I felt passionate to put art on the canvas.”

Mr Sundstrom spent about three months working on the collection of three pieces, Jesus with the Crown of Thorns, Jesus on the Cross and Gabriel the Archangel.

Using acrylic paints and various brushes, the pieces took Mr Sundstrom on average about a month per piece, and was thrilled with the outcome.

“I was very proud of my work and that I was able to achieve this from a blank canvas,” he said.

“I start one day, and then go back to it the next day, with a fresh brain and fresh eyes.”

He said of the pieces, his personal favourite was Gabriel the Angel, although it was the most challenging.

“It got remastered quite a few times to achieve it, that was hard to do,” he said.

“But in the end, I did him justice, I think God would be proud of me.

“It was a very powerful piece.”

For Jesus with the Crown of Thorns, Mr Sundstrom said he tried to depict Jesus in the way he believed he would have looked.

“That was my interpretation of going 2000 years in the past, what Jesus would look like,” he said.

“He wouldn’t look like us, I think he would be a bit scruffy.”

He said he often feels emotional when painting, and these new works were no exception.

“It shows my emotions that I put into the painting,” he said.

“It draws me in when I’m painting, there’s nothing else going on around me.

“I felt the holy spirit running through me while I was painting.

“Once I’d finished, I was very proud of it, and wanted to share it.”

With only just over three years of experience under his belt, Mr Sundstrom said it was his dear friend, Dr Jane Oakes from Adelaide that suggested he try painting to express his emotions.

“I always had the talent there, but was never able to express it,” Mr Sundstrom said.

“It’s a good outlet.

“I evolve, and to me, I can’t copy from a book, it all comes from emotion and inspiration.

“So from humble beginnings, I am very proud to share my art with the world.”

Expressions of interest for this year’s Myriad Art Exhibition in Adelaide have opened, and Mr Sundstrom is hoping to exhibit his latest collection there.

After success at the exhibition last year, where all five of his exhibited paintings were sold, he is hopeful he will have another successful year.

“I hope it goes well in Adelaide and people in Adelaide enjoy the paintings,” he said.

“Hopefully they let me in as a feature artist again.”

Mr Sundstrom said he also plans to continue to read the Bible, even though it may take awhile to get through it.

“I’ll probably be reading it for years to come,” he said.