A Star Shall Come Forth

Graphite on Duralar, white gold leaf frame, 18" x 35", 2015

I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, And a scepter shall rise out of Israel…
— Numbers 24:17ab ASV

The King Is Enthralled With Your Beauty

Pencil on bristol, 11" x 14", 2014

Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.
— Psalm 45: 11 (NIV)

The church is anticipating the return of Christ, much as this hopeful young bride is awaiting her bridegroom.  We as the church eagerly await our first love, the one called faithful and true in Revelations.  She is dressed and ready for service, wearing garments of salvation provided for her in the washing and renewal of holy baptism.  Roses adorn her dress.  Her hands are folded in prayer, but her eyes are ready and alert for her one true love to come.  "In quietness and trust is your strength..." (Isaiah 30:15)


Orchid

Pencil on bristol, 11" x 14", 2014


Woman, Woman, Why Are You Crying

Linoleum reduction print, 7.5" x 5.75", 2014

Woman, woman… why are you crying?
Woman, woman… why dost thou weepest now?
Woman, woman… why are you crying?
Woman, woman… why dost thou weepest now?
For they have taken away my Lord,
I cannot find Him.
For they have taken away my Lord,
I cannot find Him.
Woman, woman… why are you crying?
Woman, woman… why dost thou weepest now?


The Tree Of Life

Pencil on bristol, 11" x 14', 2014


Master Study - Albrecht Durer's Praying Hands

White and black charcoal pencil on blue paper, 11.5" x 7.8", 2014


The Firstborn Of All Creation

Pencil on bristol, 11" x 14", 2013

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation
— Colossians 1:15 (ESV)

This drawing begs to ask, “Why did God come to earth as a baby to die?”  He is sleeping in rest; one day He will sleep in death in a cold tomb.  Christ is swaddled in cloths on the first Christmas.  At His burial, He will be wrapped in fine linens.  The cloths form a flower or baptismal shell around His body.  Here we are reminded of our baptism into Christ’s death, and that we will participate in His resurrection.  Straw radiates around the cloth, imitating a crown of thorns.  The wooden manger frames His tiny body like a coffin; wood that would become His cross. 

Jesus came to save us from sin, death, and the devil.  A small seemingly helpless baby is God revealed

Oh come, let us adore Him
Oh come, let us adore Him
Oh come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord! 


Agnus Dei

Pencil on Bristol, 11" x 14", 2013

And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!
— Matthew 27:28-29 (ESV)

The story of the sacrifice of Isaac parallels the passion narrative of Christ.  Just as Isaac carried the wood for the offering up a mountain, so Jesus bore his cross to Golgotha.  For Isaac, an angel appears to keep Abraham from sacrificing his son.  Yet the Christ, bears the full punishment willingly.  God provides the ram with his horns caught in thorns as the substitute offering for Isaac.  In the passion story, Jesus Christ is crowned with thorns as our substitutionary atonement. He is central to understanding the narrative, placed at the center of the composition.

Jesus is the fulfillment of Psalm 118:22, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” The rock is Christ himself, the cornerstone.  The Son of the Living God is the one the church builds upon.


Willingly All This I Suffer

Pencil on Bristol, 4.5" x 6", 2013

Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
— Isaiah 1:18 (ESV)

A rose is thought to be the most perfect of flowers.  In this drawing, Jesus personifies the rose of Sharon in Song of Solomon.  He is wearing a scarlet robe, its bloom-like folds circle around Him.  Revealed at the center of the bloom is Christ.  There is an intricate border of roses and a fleur de lis rests in each corner.  This lily represents Christ’s bride the church.  The intricate border imitates the tiles found in medieval sanctuaries.

A Lamb Alone Bears Willingly
A lamb alone bears willingly,
Sin’s crushing weight for sinners;
He carries guilt’s enormity,
Dies shorn of all his honors.
He goes to slaughter, weak and faint,
Is led away without complaint
His spotless life to offer.
He bears the stripes, the wrath, the lies, 
The mockery, and yet replies,
“Willingly all this I suffer.”


Master Study - Christ Risen From The Tomb

Bergognone, oil on panel, c. 1490, National Gallery Washington DC.

Pencil on Bristol, 5.5 x 8.5, 2013

This image is a study of Christ in the state of resurrection.  His hand gestures upward in victory, to reveal wounds in His hand and side.  His gaze is in an eternal state of bliss.

Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain
“Alleluia!” now we cry
to our King immortal,
who, triumphant, burst the bars
of the tomb’s dark portal;
“Alleluia!” with the Son,
God the Father praising,
“Alleluia!” yet again
to the Spirit raising.


A Crown Of Thorns

Pencil on paper, 12" x 8.625", 2013

…and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head…
— Matthew 27:29 (ESV)

The crisp realism brings the crown of thorns to life.  Its shape is a helix. The intertwining branches serve as a visual reminder that God links Himself to man.  The shadow cast creates an outline of the crown on white paper.  In this crown, Christ bears the curse of Adam on His head, “thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;” (Genesis 3:18a).  Through suffering, He is the promised Prince of Peace who reconciles us to God.  He enters our world as the true King crowned in thorns, not gold; whose kingdom is humility, not glory.

What Wondrous Love is This?
When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down
when I was sinking down, sinking down;
when I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.


Waiting

Pencil on gessoed panel, 10" x 8", 2012

The unicorn tapestries at the Cloisters in New York are a series of woven images depicting the mythical narrative of the life of a unicorn.  This piece draws from the richly embroidered tapestries, depicting the flora and fauna in detail.  Through this detail we see the vision of creation.  Smaller organic forms repeat themselves in tree and rock formations, showing how the beauty and continuity in nature testifies the existence of God over creation.  Jan van Eyck, a late gothic painter, placed infinite detail and realism of high importance in His art to emphasize the vastness of creation.  

The legend of the unicorn is more than a myth, it is a narrative that points to Christ.  In the final tapestry, the Unicorn sits inside of a fence in a garden.  He represents the risen Christ waiting in the garden for his beloved Bride.  The church also waits, for Christ’s return on the last day.

My beloved has gone down to his garden
to the beds of spices,
to graze in the gardens
and to gather lilies.
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
he grazes among the lilies
— Song of Solomon 6:2-3 (ESV)

For The Joy Set Before Him

Pencil on Paper, 11" x 18", 2012

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied…
— Isaiah 53:11a ESV

Christ looks to Calvary and then beyond.  After he is delivered over to be scourged, he looks out, the light pours in shining hope: “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2).  Jesus took on sin, death, and the devil, symbolized in the thorns and the marks on His back.  The window symbolizes the joy of the resurrection and God reconciling all peoples to Himself.  His body is draped with a robe transformed into a waterfall.  He becomes the stream of living water, bringing life to man.

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
What language shall I borrow
To thank you, dearest Friend,
for this, your dying sorrow,
your pity without end?
Lord, make me yours forever,
a loyal servant true
and let me never, never
outlive my love to you.


I Have A Baptism To Undergo

Gessoed panel, silver leaf, gold leaf, and pencil, 6" x 7.5", 2012

…thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field
— Genesis 3:18 (ESV)

In the fairytale Sleeping Beauty, thorns serve as a symbol. The prince must pass through many thorns and trials to rescue and bring Briar Rose back to life.  God sent thorns and thistles to draw Adam into repentance.  In the Genesis account, the thorn represents the curse that Adam bore for his sin; death.  For us, thorns are part of the fall; we suffer in this life.  Christ is the prince who rescues us, bearing not a crown of gold but a bloody crown of thorns.  Through dying and rising, He brings the church back to life.

What Wondrous Love is This?
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, Oh my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul?


He Must Become Greater, I Must Become Less

Charcoal on watercolor paper, 28" x 38", 2011

"Look to the cross, cling to the cross".  I remember hearing these words many Sundays growing up.  As Christians we continually come to Christ and hold fast to His saving work, whole and complete.  The figure below is despairing of self, pointing to Christ as his true hope.  We see only the feet.  

Contrasting the void black background, two white legs shine in midair.  His truth is the only truth we have to cling to in this world.  “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).  God wants us to continually return to His cross and remain there.  The cross is real, objective, something we are invited to hold to in the hard times.  We can have full confidence in what He has done for us


Sacrifice On The Altar

Charcoal on watercolor paper, 28" x 9", 2011

Altarpieces, a great art form in the Middle Ages, aided in liturgical functions.  They often depicted Catholic imagery or scenes from Christ’s life.  

This is a different interpretation of the iconography, a duality of meaning in one image.  In one interpretation we see God’s view of Jesus on the cross.  In a second view, we see the body of Christ lying on a draped cloth atop an altar.  He becomes a fragrant offering that is pleasing to God.  We are drawn to the altar of Holy Communion where we receive His body and blood.  The wrath of God was satisfied in Jesus Christ, the propitiation for our sins.  The sight of the Crucified One is meant to bring comfort to those who are troubled over their sins.


The Suffering Servant

Mixed media on panel, 36" x 48", 2009

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
— Isaiah 53: 5-6 (NASB)