Mormon Artists Group is pleased to announce the publication of

David Chapman Lindsay


At our invitation, artist David Chapman Lindsay has created a project of original prints.  The images are based on prayers in the scriptures.  Alma, King David, Samuel, Mary, Hannah, and Joseph Smith are portrayed in moments of supplication, anguish, and yearning.  To make the prints, the artist painted onto his own hand and then pressed the image onto paper.  The resulting effect is a powerful symbol and shows the creative process of an artist in a way you’ve never seen before.  He describes the prints this way:

“When I was little, I was often very camera shy: not shy, just camera shy.  I also did not like to have people study my hands.  I would avoid allowing others to look at them.  I understood that my hands were the tools of wonderful creative endeavors.  I thought that the magic contained within them might leak out if others were to study them too much.

“I think that we all can understand the gift of our own hands.  At a very young age, I felt a strong impulse to make things with my hands.  This series created for Mormon Artist Group focuses on that tendency; those parts of our life that we put into our hands and those that we give to the Lord.

“The Bible dictionary says that ‘prayer is a form of work’, and I think I know what is meant by that. Prayer can be a source of solace, but I think that sometimes it is difficult to plead to someone for something you need, even more difficult if you do not know that person well.

“For these works, I searched the scriptures for instances in which prayer was a labor, when the act of praying was a struggle, maybe a struggle to get the words out or a struggle for desires.  I wanted to find prayers in which I could read the words.  I wanted to be closer to the intent of the prayer through the individual’s words.

“I first came upon Alma, and the prayer that he cried out in his period of conversion.  From these few words came three images that evolve from despair to recognition.  Next, I found Hannah and her pleading for a child.  I spent time with King David and the many prayers he utters in Psalms, and an intense moment with Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail.  Two instances that, strictly speaking, are not prayers were nonetheless inspirations for these works. The young child Samuel talked to the Lord in a vision, not a prayer, and Mary’s utterance, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord’ is a humble statement that feels like a prayer to me.”

Making the Prints

The process itself of making these prints was important. The artist drew the images with a fine paintbrush and printer’s ink directly onto his hand. The image was then transferred, by pressure, onto a prepared printing paper.  Unlike an etching which uses acid to etch lines onto the plate and then can be duplicated many times, Handprints result in only two to four impressions, and each is different from the next.

Each print is held in the artist’s hand, is pressed to the paper, and leaves the imprint of pictures, the artist’s wrinkles, fingerprints, and all. The artist likens the resulting images to our prayers which are imperfect and held in our hands, dear to us, branded on us, and then let go.

One of the unique characteristics of David Chapman Lindsay’s artwork is the way in which his imagery is translated through a structure: his paintings are rarely flat; often the canvases are sculpturally shaped to take on the form of flowers, spirals, pillars, etc.

This beautiful series, Handprints, mimics that interest in the relationship between imagery and structure.

Lindsay lives in Lubbock, Texas, where he is Assistant Professor of Art at Texas Tech University. He is represented by the Alphonse Berber Gallery in Berkeley/San Francisco, California. His most recent work has been exhibited in  Vienna, Venice, and Prague.

Ordering the Prints

Each of the eight images of Handprints was printed in an edition of two to four copies. There is significant variation between the edition’s prints. Some are darker or lighter, some are more realistic or impressionistic, and so forth.

Images and edition sizes (in parentheses) are as follows:

David’s Prayer (3)

Hannah’s Prayer (3)

The Lord Speaks to Samuel (4)

Liberty Jail Prayer (4)

Alma’s Prayer version 1(2)

Alma’s Prayer version 2 (3)

Alma’s Prayer version 3 (2)

The prints are on BFK Rives paper, deckle and torn edges, 10”x11”, the image dimensions are approximately 7”x7”

The prints were available individually or as a complete set. All are signed and numbered by the artist.

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