Creation Date



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acrylic, watercolor, and ink on canvas


Dimensions: 36 x 12 inches

Artist Statement

The art work entitlted "I AM" incorporates the signs and symbols found in Christian art. The title "I AM" is a reference to the Bible scripture in which God speaks to Moses in Exodus 3:14. The art work can be read in the sense that it references Jesus Christ. But for me this art work is self reflective of the question "Who am I?" It is a symbolic representation of parts of me using Christian symbolism to answer that question. I looked to my family coat of arms created by Cardinal Woolsey who served in the Catholic Church in England during the time of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn.

I chose one of each of the main elements from my coat of arms being the rose, lion, and raven and their associated meanings in how I see them in myself. The cabinet also features in the mantel piece and doors the thorned cross also found in Woolsey coat of arms. The paintings are mixed media of acrylic, ink, and water color on canvas. Each custom fit for the custom built triptych altarpiece cabinet.

In looking for the essence and meaning of my work and how it represents me as an artist is answered by the meanings of each of the symbols found in the paintings.

I AM the Rose. Traditionally the ancient Romans saw the rose as a symbol of victory, pride, and triumphant love. This interpretation has been current since the earliest years of Christianity. The thorns are there to remind me of my mistakes, while the fragrance and beauty are to remind me of my love that I have received and that I have to give.

I AM the Lion. In general, the lion is emblematic of fierceness, strength, majesty, courage, and fortitude. It was a medieval belief that the lion slept with his eyes open, for this reason he also became a symbol of watchfulness. These are all qualities I strive for and hope that in some ways I possess as an artist, husband, and father.

I AM the Raven. According to Jewish legend, the raven was originally white, but its feathers turned black when it refused to return to Noah and the ark. It is associated with darkness, rebellion, and solitude. The Raven is also given credited for its intelligence, dark beauty, and protective qualities. It has a dual symbolism both as dark and beauty. I find that my art has a tendency to be darker and hope to bring the beauty of the dark out in my work. I think it also is reflection of the struggle between light and dark in my own life and life experiences.

My hope is that viewers may see parts of themselves in my work. In answering for myself through Christian symbolism who I AM. It may pose the question to others "Who am I?" What is my family history and how does it play a part in who I am?


© Zach Woolsey, 2015. Photo Credit: Allison Corona.


Cardinal Woolsey, lion, raven, rose, Woolsey crest, Woolsey coat of arms