During this mandatory corona virus shut down, I am thankfully catching up on my blog posts! My last post was the commission “Taste and See” in 2018 — a busy year that extended its craziness right into 2020! God’s faithfulness is my theme even in this pandemic.
“There is none like God, O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in his majesty.
The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” –Deut. 33;26.27
2018 began with a challenging house project — our kitchen/dining/living room remodel (Feb.-April ), which included leveling floor joists and installing an entire new floor and kitchen cabinets because of a leaky water heater in the kitchen laundry area. And then in August the continuing saga of a mid-century rehab at No. 10 Avondale, a mile down the mountain with its own “golden pond!”
We signed the contract for the “lake house No. 10 ” project on August 1, 2018. That very day, a Charlotte couple visited my studio and commissioned a painting I described in the previous post. Thank you, Cathy and Walter! Also that day another patron “randomly” purchased a painting. God is faithful!
But although these two years of house projects challenged my studio time, I still taught several workshops — to interested folks who requested them, and for the annual “Gathering of Artisans” in Asheville (that is Joanne Suther showing her pieces!).
I finished the commission Taste and See in time for Thanksgiving 2018, just as we were tearing up the concrete slab floor to plumb for a master bath at No. 10.
By January 2019, I was planning the kitchen and flooring for the mid-century rehab, and tiling three bathrooms (three showers) in an asymmetrical pattern with white 8 x 10 tiles also used in the kitchen — a major “art project”! But I taught several two-day workshops for these gals (two who flew in from Minneapolis and an Asheville gal, in January and three who came from New Orleans in March.
God is faithful! In February 2019, I received two major commissions from a local couple — a double portrait for a niche in their home.
The first was difficult. It was to include both deceased mothers taking communion at the wedding feast in heaven with the hands of Jesus above their heads. I would attempt to combine realistic faces (visible reality) with the hands of the Lamb of God (spiritual reality); the wedding feast centered below the bowing crowned head of the Lamb.
The second commission was much larger. It was to show the miracles of biblical faith and the story of redemption. They requested the text from Luke 9, “All Things Are Possible For One Who Believes,” to be written across the bottom. It was to be installed above their entry. It was measured (see brown paper) and wood panels were constructed by my builder!
By June, I began preparing the surfaces and covering the three panels with gold leaf.
On the left panel they wanted the miracle of Creation and Adam naming the animals, and the miracle rescue of Noah and his family from the flood.
On the right panel would be the miraculous events in the New Testament — Jesus raising Lazarus, Jesus walking on water, and Jesus feeding 5000 people with a small boy’s lunch.
The center panel would be reserved for the Miracle of the Incarnation — the God-man Jesus Christ, his death, his resurrection, “the first born from the dead,” and his return. “Behold He is coming again!” The covenant sign of the rainbow — God’s faithfulness — would join the three panels as would the text of Mark 9:23 written across the bottom.
The death and resurrection are combined in the lower center panel. The commanded sacrament of Holy Communion , “Do this in remembrance of me,” is suggested by the circular host and the cup beneath the thorn-crowned head of Christ. But his arms are not on the cross. They are raised through the cross and lift the cross as he takes us through the gold doorway. He splits the waters of the Red Sea like Moses, his Old Testament type.
This “Moses,” from the same root word as “Messiah,” leads in triumph standing on the Hebrew text of the name of Yeshuah. And the text ruling in the heavens above is YWYH, the Hebrew name for Jehovah, who parts the sea and scatters Pharaoh’s army.
The Return of Christ suggests that Jesus is united with his Bride, the church universal. But there is also a Trinitarian aspect to this group of figures — the Father standing behind the Son and the Holy Spirit above them.
When Jesus returns with a shout and the sound of the trumpet (suggested by the blue horn / shophar shape), the dead will rise and shall meet him in the air.
Finally hung! The final image was sent to me during the celebration of my mother’s funeral on November 23rd. She had passed into glory on November 12th. My patron texted me when I was celebrating her “home-coming,” He was excited even though the lighting was not complete,
When this mandatory physical distancing is over, they are planning to invite their priest from Redeemer Anglican to bless their home (and this painting)!
AND not to forget God’s faithfulness included many visitors and sales at my studio/gallery. AND THANKFULLY the completed rehab at 10 Avondale Road!!!
Soli Deo Gloria!