Monday, May 30, 2011

Anglo Saxon Colored Pencil Folk Art Bible-Job

Anglo Saxon Colored Pencil Folk Art Bible-Job
24" x 18"
Sketch Paper

Book 18 Poster 18
Memory Words for me:
Situation, Search, Solution
Dialogue in Heaven, Dialogue on Earth, Dialogue between Heaven and Earth
Onset of Suffering, Failure of Human Wisdom, Final Word From God

First we find out about the person and the wealth of Job. Then Satan pretty much says to God that he thinks Job is a spoiled brat and that of course he likes God because hHe gives him things. God then allows Job's loyalty to be tested. He, his family, and his possessions are all destroyed except four messengers. You can see this in the upper left hand corner of the picture.
Then Job's health was attacked next. His three friends and his wife come to him on the rubbish heap outside of town to sympathize with him. His wife is shown wagging her finger and telling him to curse God and die. The friends see how bad off he is and they weep and tear their clothes and throw dust over their heads toward the sky. The lower half of the picture shows this gathering. Job laments the day he was born. His friend Eliphaz tells him that innocent people do not suffer. Job is thinking his friends aren't much help and that life seems very futile.Then Bildad puts in his two cents worth and says that God rewards the good. Again Job wonders what on earth he is hear for. At this point his third friend Zophar chimes in with his rebuke and Job responds to them. I bet he is thinking with a wife and friends like these who needs enemies? The discussions go back and forth and back and forth between Job and his friends. Them pointing out mans faults and Job pointing out Gods hand in all of this until God speaks to Job about His power and His creations. God uses an example "Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook?" I used an alligator to depict my Leviathan. He can be seen lurking in the tall grass. If you look closely you will also see many small evil looking little creatures living in the rubble pile and the grasses.These odd little things come from one of my favorite paintings by an artists named Hieronymus Bosch. The painting is called "The Garden of Worldly Delights".  You should check it out.
God continued with many examples of His power shown through creation. I have used another of my creation colored clouds from Genesis in the center of the picture.
After God speaks, Job confesses that he only had knowledge of God before and now because of all his suffering he has first hand understanding.
God restores Job's fortunes and he was blessed with more children and he died an old man and full of days.
The top right of the picture shows the happy family, servants and herds.
In my mind I pictured this entire event unfolding before the watchful eyes not only of man but of heaven and hell, thus the divisions between the sections with the dark angel at the top and the face in the center. I have heard people ask, who did this to Job? Did God do this or Satan? Did God allow it or was it His doing? People have asked me is that the face of God or Satan in the center? I want people to ask questions.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Anglo Saxon Colored Pencil Folk Art Bible-Esther

Anglo Saxon Colored Pencil Folk Art Bible-Esther
24" x 18"
Book 17 Poster 17

My key memory words:
Plotting and Preventing Destruction
Conflict, Cunning, Courage, Conquest
Vashti deposed, Haman defeated, Purim decreed

King Ahassuerus is having a party in his pink floored palace. (Sorry just couldn't resist saying that.)He sends for Queen Vashti to show her off in front of his party friends and she refuses to come. The  party friends are depicted towards the lower left sitting around drinking from gold goblets. You can see the messenger sent to call Vashti shruging his shoulders and telling the king she won't come. Vashti and her party can be seen above the messenger. Because she might be a bad influence on the other women she is banned and a new queen is sought. Through her relative, Mordecai, Esther is among the entrants to this quest. Ahassuerus chooses her and she (a Jew) becomes queen. Also Mordecai, shown continually sitting by the gate, overhears a plot against the king and helps to foil it, the men are hanged, and the incident is written down in a book.
Now Haman is the kings "prime minister" and he commands everyone to bow down to him when he passes but Mordecai being a Jew would not bow to him. After that Haman plots to destroy not only Mordecai but all Jews and has the king proclaim a day to do it. Haman can be seen walking past the gate and people in the outer court are bowing. Haman can also be seen in the lower left hand corner beside the king pointing towards the gait where Mordecai sits.
Through Mordecai Esther hears of the plot to kill all the Jews, she asks for prayer and fasting, (Purim)and takes her life in her hands to approach the king and receive the scepter and ear of Ahassuerus. Esther plans a banquet to expose Haman's plot to kill all the Jews including her since she is also a Jew. Just prior to hearing this King Ahassuerus can't sleep and has someone read to him and is refreshed about Mordecai saving his life. You can see the book/scroll in the king's hand. He wants to honor him for this and asks Haman, who has just arrived, what he would do to honor someone. Unknowingly Hamon tells the king to have the honoree wear the kings robes and ride the kings horse and be shown off in front of people. The king orders Haman to do this for Mordecai not yet knowing what plot is in the making. You can see Haman honoring Mordecai on the white horse top right. One of the good things about folk art is Haman can be several places in the same picture.
Finallly Esther tells the king what Haman has planned to do and the king has Haman hanged and since he cannot undo his prior declaration of death to the Jews he declares the Jews may defend themselves. The king promotes Mordecai, the Jews destroy their enemies( the battles and taking of treasures shown in the top of the picture), and the fast /prayer feast of Purim becomes a Jewish custom.
Their were many events that happened in this book which seemed to just fall into place at the right time. Ron and I have a saying about that. "What a coincidence". and we mean "What a God"!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Anglo Saxon Colored Pencil Folk Art Bible-Ezra & Nehemiah

 Anglo Saxon Colored Pencil Folk Art Bible Ezra & Nehemiah
24" x 18"

Two parts of the same story.

Ezra: (At the top of this post)
Homecoming of the people and priests
Repairing the place of worship
Reviving the people to worship

Nehemiah: (At the bottom of this post)
Construction of the city
Instruction and purification of the citizens
Restoration of Israel as a nation

In Ezra King Cyrus tells the people to return and in Nehemiah the cup bearer asks King Artaxeres if he may return. You can see both these events in the bottom corners of the pictures. You also see Ezra in both pictures speaking to the people. His book pages read law and prophets. 
At the base of the 2nd Chronicles poster you see the holy vessels that were taken from the temple and in the Ezra poster you can see some of those same vessels being returned.  At first altars are restored and sacrifices begin again. The temple restoration begins but is stopped when a message is sent by jealous enemies to King Artaxeres. You can see the naughty little tattle tail riding out of the Ezra picture. Work is begun and stopped several times before its completion and dedication.
Part of the preparation of returning to the temple was cleansing of the mixed marriages and I have represented them standing without men in the center right of Ezra and center left of Nehemiah. The people stood in the rain and heard what Ezra said to them and repented of their transgressions and separated from their foreign wives, and children. Ezra showed his faith.
Nehemiah gave up a wealthy position in order to take over the job of rebuilding Jerusalem. There were hardships and threat of attacks. People had to work in teams with one guarding while the other worked. You can see towards the top right of the Nehemiah poster where enemies are lurking. If you compare the walls in the two pictures, the walls in Nehemiah are being worked on while the Ezra isn't.
After the completion of the walls there was a registration of the returned people, the readings of the Law by Ezra, the dedications and arrangements for the services, and a pledge by all the people to stick to the rules set out before them. Nehemiah was a great example of prayer and tenacity.