Epiphany is the last celebration of the Advent of Christ. This is my 2014 post.

grace carol bomer


ADVENT Week 5  (December 29-January 6)  EPIPHANY
We are still celebrating Advent.
This first week of 2014 2015, when our calendars remind us that time is passing, consider things eternal: Celebrate Epiphany, the feast that ends 40 days of Advent!

I’ve discovered that there is more to Advent than the anticipation and coming of “Emmanuel” (God with us) to Bethlehem. The climax of Advent is Epiphany, when The Babe was recognized by the wise men of the world. It is a celebration of the coming of Christ to the Gentiles, not just the Jewish people.

The Magi were members of the religious hierarchy of ancient Persia and Media (the region corresponding to modern Iran). They were scholars and practitioners of astrology and the first Gentiles, men of renown, to come and worship Jesus the King (Matthew 2:1-12).

Hieronymus Bosch painted an account of this historical event in 1495 (detail left — now in Madrid’s Prado).


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Thanksgiving from Soli Deo Gloria Studio -140 D Roberts Street, Asheville

Last September, I posted Updates at 140 D — A year later there are many more updates!
The studio space has been purchased by the glass studio next door at 140 C. And Shelley Pereda, who has held the lease, has decided to leave the studio and bequeath the lease to me–as long as it lasts! 

Thankfully, the glass studio owners have no plans to move into this building for at least a year! They are merely raising the rent! (AND that’s one good reason to have an INVENTORY REDUCTION SALE—that sounds so commercial!) The other reason is, I currently rent space to three other artists: Ron Maffett (painting), Barabara Wade (painting), and Lynda Sondles ( silk scarves and fabric art quilts), with space for one more artist. SO even less SPACE for my work.

UNTIL CHRISTMAS, I am selling my work for half the gallery price. Last week I finished the commissioned pieces for Grace Community Church on the book of Revelation and have canvases waiting to continue this series but need more space. IMG_1121I also teach oil and wax workshops which means I have many 12 x 12 inch paintings for sale. Some are abstract layers of color but like most of my work they are rich in metaphor and spiritual meaning.

(The large piece above Put Yourself In The Path of the Wind influencestml
was featured in a show called Eastern Breezes this summer at the Andrew Charles Gallery.)

I want to take the opportunity at this THANKSGIVING time to thank my patrons and those who have visited my studio this year. Here are several of them holding their new purchases.
new owner KFrench holds her new painting  Wendy from Durham holds her new purchase


New encaustic monoprints
Using a smooth hotplate I designed the paintings. Then I carefully placed rice papers. (In theses I used Di Chiri 8 x 11 inch paper). Experimented with other surfaces as well. Below encaustic monotype on existing oil monoprint.

The Fall encaustic monotype on Dai Chiri brick rice paper S   encaustic monotype on Di Chiri Japanese paper   encaustic monoprint

One Who Came On the Waters of Time encasutic monotype on oil monotype       One Who Came on the Waters of Time encaustic  monotype over oil monotrype
One Who Came On the Waters Series (framed 17 x 21 inches)

And new giclee reproductions of particularly significant paintings. (see website) 

One Who Came on the Waters of Time S  40 x 40 inches                        Unfurled Scrolls -orig20x30   
  One  Who Came on The Waters of Time                         Scrolls Unfurled /Revelation 6
10 x 10  inches on Provence rag paper                            14 x 20 inches on Provence rag

November  28-29

Thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1

Let Earth Receive Her King

Let Earth Receive1-300 dpijpg

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worlds prepared by the word of God

One Who Came on the Waters of Time II will be featured on the August issue of Asheville’s Rapid River magazine.

grace carol bomer

“By faith we understand that the worlds (ages/times) were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” Hebrews 11:3

My paintings are a process of working and waiting on God to direct my heart, soul, mind, as well as my hand. The Word of God informs both my life and my art. “For in Him we live and move and have our being, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are his children,’ ” –Paul is explaining the divine to the Athenians at the Areopagus in Acts 17. Life is sacramental in that we are created in the image of God to give him glory.

This painting is upside-down now, compared to my previous post The sky became water and the earth became sky. This seemed “right” for a painting about worlds (times/ages) suspended in…

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Word (logos) and Image

grace carol bomer

Although logos is common to all, most people live
as if they had a wisdom of their own.
1. p.77. Fr.2  FOUR QUARTETS, T.S. Eliot

Word Image

The above quote by T. S. Eliot is still on my old website( Is T. S. Eliot referring to the Logos, who is outside of our manipulated words and images and puny stories — the Logos who holds all things together (Col.1:15) and whose creation pours forth speech day after day (Psalm 19), –the Logos who was in the beginning with God and who is God?

The Logos created all things that have come into being. And The Logos became flesh and lived among us (John 1). Jesus is the Logos or “speech from God.” He is Word of God and Image of God. My current focus is this dichotomy of word and image and how it can be brought together in Christ, the incarnational mystery that brings heaven and earth together (see my statement at

Words and images have always…

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In the Garden


 The day before Good Friday, before Jesus was betrayed by Judas and tortured and crucified by the Roman occupiers, he prepared a meal for his disciples instituting the sacrament of Holy Communion and then spent the night wrestling In the Garden.

This popular painting of Jesus In the Garden by Heinrich Hofmann hardly captures the crushing agony Jesus experienced. It was a night of wrestling before the cosmic battle to conquer death.

And he went out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’ And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” . . . And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22: 39 ff)

The Garden of Gethsemene is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives. In Hebrew the word Gethsemane means “olive press.” I wanted to paint the ironic gravity of Jesus’ night of  prayer In the Garden of crushing. I painted his body in the shape of an olive. He was pressed hard and his sweat like great drops of blood spilled to the ground.

Bomer,G                    In The Garden   48 x 48 inches oil and mixed media on panel

Olive Press with red juiced flowing down.The photo to the left was taken at the Garden of Gethsemene. The baskets of olives are being pressed to obtain the oil.

(The color of the fluid from the baskets of olives is a dark red. This color remains until the particulate matter has settled leaving the pure olive oil on top.)



photo 4 (3)

photo 3 (3)

On Christ’s back is a dead olive tree which foreshadows the cross. “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness,” is the text from Hebrews 9:22, scrawled across his back.

Levitical laws forbade the eating of blood, “. . . for the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.” Jesus knew this law, and he instituted the “last supper” with his disciples before they went to the garden. He said, “‘Take eat; this is my body.’ And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'” This sacrament is the celebration of The New Covenant of Christ’s blood, the sacrificial Pascal Lamb!

photo 1

As illustrated in my installation below, when the people of God when held captive in Egypt, they were commanded to kill a lamb and with a branch of hyssop smear its blood on the lintels of their doorways. The angel of death would see and “pass over” their houses.

Be Lifted Up O Ancient Doors 2Be Lifted Up O Ancient Doors, and the King of Glory Shall Come In 
installation at Grace Center Gallery 2004

The Sacrifice.Slaughter House 004
The Sacrifice   20 x 30 oil and mixed media on canvas

3. Bomer, G. Carol - The Last Supper
The Faithful Witness    7 x 7 mixed media on panel

“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.”







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18 Ways of Seeing: Selected Bold Life Artists

Art is born and takes hold wherever there is a timeless and insatiable longing for the spiritual.   —  Andrei Tarkovsky

We humans have an insatiable longing for the spiritual. We are body, mind, and spirit created to worship – to “give worth to” the God who created us. If we do not “give worth to” God, we will worship something or someone. The spiritual world is as real as the material world, and we long to apprehend it. This is where the artist comes in.

Federico Fellini, one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century, said, What is an artist? A provincial who finds himself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one. . . . It’s this in-between that I’m calling a province, this frontier country between the tangible world and the intangible one which is really the realm of the artist.

This province is my concern – to bring the seeming dichotomies of the visual world and the spiritual world together. Of course, I can only attempt to bring them together. It is the God/man who brought them together at a time and space event called the Incarnation. Here God became a man, Spirit became flesh, and The Word became image. This is the extravagant mystery — the earth-shaking event that brings meaning to physical reality and metaphysical reality. Christ, the God/man alone holds both realities together. (Col. 1:15ff)

My “way of seeing” is inspired by the incarnate Word of God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, . . . and the Word made his dwelling among us (John 1). This double-edged sword of wonder – in all its terror and irresistible truth liberates my imagination as Francis Schaeffer says, to fly beyond the stars.

The above paragraphs represent my statement for a show called 18 Ways of Seeing: Selected BOLD LIFE Artists. Curator Rimas Zailskas, the publisher of Bold Life Magazine, has chosen 18 artists to show next month (March 21-May2) at the Upstairs Art Space in Tryon, NC. I have known and appreciated Rimas and Mary’s contribution to the arts of Western North Carolina so I am happy to be included in this show. (There is a review in the March issue of Bold Life).

Each artist submitted three pieces. My selections included my most recent work with oil and cold wax medium and a bit collaged elements in two of them. I will add a short statement with each so you can see not only my process but my “way of seeing.” (And in a later blog, I will review the show and the other “ways of seeing.”)

BOMER One Who Came on The Waters of Time 40 x 40 inches oil and coldwax on paneljpg
One Who Came On the Waters of Time     40 x 40 inches     oil and cold wax on panel

Oh voyagers and seamen, this is your real destination…not farewell, but fare forward voyages. (T. S Eliot’s The Dry Salvages)

Seek the eternal in the present,
seek it in the past and the future,
link them with the trajectory of your course,
for you are,
you are,
you are the vessel. (Michael O’Brien’s Island of the World)

The title is also taken from Island of the World.

Cold wax mixed and oils are layered with my brush, a dough scraper, which makes random marks and smooth areas. In the first layer are the scribbled text of Psalm 19. Day to day pours forth speech and night to night reveals knowledge. I worked dark to light, beginning with a night sky over reds. Later I added the light values sculpting out the vessels in negative space. This painting is one of my  Vessel Series.

Parachurte Dummies 36 x 36 inches mixed media on canvas
        Parachute Dummies  36 x 36 inches  oil, charcoal, wax and gold leaf on canvas

This painting is from my Nets of God Series. I discovered images of World War II parachute test dummies on a site called Obsolete. They were haunting reminders of man’s broken condition. We are Parachute Dummies. But for the grace of God we can not fly.

I arranged photo copies like The Three Graces. The central image is surrounded by gold leaf glory; the other two are shadow-like photo transfers. Over these is a minimally drawn charcoal figure.

Beauty is not only a terrible thing, it is also a mysterious thing. There God and the Devil strive for mastery, and the battleground is the heart of men. Fyodor Dostoevesky

And finally The Last Battle from my Bending to Love Series.BOMER The Last Battle 36 x 36 oil on canvas )
     The Last Battle / “Sorrow and Love Flow Mingled Down”  36 x 36 inches on canvas

I randomly attached a stamp commemorating Robert Motherwell’s painting Elegy to The Spanish Republic onto a canvas prepared with a wash of golden acrylic. Preparing for the battle I guess, because months later I was invited to paint during a forty-five minute music service at Biltmore Baptist Church. (Since this canvas was prepared it became a “speed-practice piece.) Ironically the dark circular shapes of the Motherwell stamp about war became similar repeated shapes in my painting about THE war in the heavenlies!

This crucifixion view is from the Father’s perspective. His Son’s thorn-crowned head is bowed in hesed (eternal, humble) love — the sacrifice that bruised the head of Satan, the fatal blow foretold in the beginning (Genesis 3:15).  Revelation 12 also tells of this war in heaven when Satan was defeated and thrown down from heaven to the earth. And a loud voice in heaven said, “Now the salvation and power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of Christ has come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down … and they conquered him by the blood of the Lamb.

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ADVENT Week 5  (December 29-January 6)  EPIPHANY
We are still celebrating Advent.
This first week of 2014 2015, when our calendars remind us that time is passing, consider things eternal: Celebrate Epiphany, the feast that ends 40 days of Advent!

I’ve discovered that there is more to Advent than the anticipation and coming of “Emmanuel” (God with us) to Bethlehem. The climax of Advent is Epiphany, when The Babe was recognized by the wise men of the world. It is a celebration of the coming of Christ to the Gentiles, not just the Jewish people.

The Magi were members of the religious hierarchy of ancient Persia and Media (the region corresponding to modern Iran). They were scholars and practitioners of astrology and the first Gentiles, men of renown, to come and worship Jesus the King (Matthew 2:1-12).

Hieronymus Bosch painted an account of this historical event in 1495 (detail left — now in Madrid’s Prado).

But Epiphany also celebrates the Baptism of Jesus and his first miracle at The Wedding Feast at Cana. This manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles and the revealing of His divinity are important to the history of Redemption.

The Christian faith is historical. At its heart are historical events — the Creation, the Fall, the Incarnation, Christ’s death, and the Resurrection — events that happened. Here is a translated first source document written by Athanasius  On the Incarnation:

Last year, I was commissioned by my church to paint this historical  biblical faith and its theme of Creation/Fall/Redemption, a theme emphasized by our pastor.  I was honored but also challenged. How could I summarize this in one painting? I have painted realism (real events and historical facts recorded in a realistic manner — portraits of people, houses, and pets). I have also been working abstractly. Truly all art is an abstract view of reality. That is, it is an artist’s view of that reality, not the real thing. We humans like to “see in pictures.” But we also have imaginations. To paint Creation, the Fall, and Redemption, real events, realistically would be impossible. The mystery of spiritual and unseen reality invites abstraction.  And to paint the concept of God becoming flesh (Incarnation) invites both abstraction and realism.

In my artist’s statement I say, “Christ brings all reality, Seen/Unseen together.” The Spirit of God illumines my mind, imagination, and my hands. It is only through His power that I am able to know Christ and see with new eyes. This challenging commission was in God’s hands as much as mine.

I have been studying the book of Revelation with its complex pictures and symbols. This book summarizes the story of salvation and human history. It reveals the unfolding of human history as a scroll with seven seals. I began the commission by preparing a panel and attaching three relevant texts. Some text would be hidden by the layers of paint.

(detail with top text)top text ...Doxology and gold leaf

The text at the top is the doxology from Jude 1:24. Below it I attached gold leaf. This V of  glory from heaven references my earlier work. It also refers to Redemption which is from God and not from man. I began the painting using golden colored oil glazes and wax, referencing the glory of God’s CREATION proclaimed, “Good.”

I transferred patterns of lace . . . with intricate designs and various blues to suggest “the surface of the deep” at the beginning of Creation.

Next I mixed complementary  wine-reds for darker values. The  dark cross separating heaven and earth like a horizon or cross symbolize the FALL. In this band there is a crown of thorns. The color red is the color of grace / REDEMPTION.

Bottom of paintingThen Incarnation “happened!” I had not planned any image of Christ. But as I was layering the wax and oil paint with my palette scraper near the bottom of the panel, a figure emerged. I scraped out a bit of dark paint to form a shoulder. To the left of the figure I scraped away wax to allow some of the text to show. The result was the OPEN scroll! He alone is worthy to open the book and break the seventh seal.  Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of history.

text detail t bottom
(text detail in scroll on right is from  Revelation 1)
I then mixed blue and greens and repeated the scroll motif in the heavens — rolled back as a scroll and more blues to the bottom of the panel.  II Peter 3:5 — by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

photo 1 (4)                          detail of heavenly scroll

The dark band of cross is broken by a descending shaft of light. Red, the color of life, appears beneath the gold leaf. Christ has come to redeem his bride. Resurrected and standing at her side, He wears a victor’s crown of laurel leaves. The Battle is over. He rules His-Story. The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever (Revelation 11: 15).

Unfurled Scrolls -orig20x30 Scrolls Unfurled   (Creation/Fall/ Redemption)
20 x 30 oil and cold wax and gold leaf on panel

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