Photo: The Heavens Declare
48X36, oil on linen, 2014

“This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine…” 

Set against the magnificence of God’s light, my own is pretty pathetic. What can I possibly do to direct people toward God that God can’t do brighter and stronger?

Owl’s Head Light uses a 1000-watt lamp, which doesn’t seem like much of a light-bulb. The lights in my kitchen add up to almost that. But with its fourth-order Fresnel lens and the long shimmer of incandescent light over the water, it keeps mariners off the rocks.

God lights up the heavens with Aurora Borealis, but they’re 60 miles up and hundreds of miles north of us. A lighthouse is paltry in comparison, but it’s just across the cove. It’s not just the brilliance that matters, it’s proximity as well. 

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)
Photo: The Beggar of St. Paul
30X48, oil on linen, 2003

This painting is modeled on Antoine Watteau’s Gilles (or Pierrot) and Four Other Characters of the Commedia dell'arte, c. 1718. Watteau’s painting shows traditional “types,” or characters from this early precursor of theater. These “types” were stock characters like foolish masters, devious servants, or lovers.  

When my studio was downtown, a professional panhandler often worked at the foot of St. Paul St. That beggar ultimately filled the role of Giles in this painting. (The oversized shoes and posture intentionally mimic Watteau’s Pierrot.) The stock characters are, on the left, the worldly priest and his worldly congregation and the dog that eats better than the world’s poor. On the right are a rich, parsimonious donor, a self-advertising Christian, and of course, the bemused and suffering starving African, who really has no share in the poverty industry.
Photo: The Raising of Lazarus
20X16, oil on gessoboard

This depicts the raising of Lazarus and the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, since they are closely related events.

On the right, Adam and Eve are evicted from heaven. Along the bottom is the Sheol to which Jesus is being drawn from the cross. Death feasts on Lazarus' decaying body, and the whole human race yearns for Jesus, top left.
Photo: Winter Lambing
48X36, oil on linen, 2014

James Herriot wrote about the bone-chilling work of the Yorkshire veterinarian, in particular the grueling task of lambing during blizzards on the high slopes. Not only were the shepherd and veterinarian at risk, but the newly born lambs were in danger of freezing or predation.

This painting is based on Isaiah 1:18, which says:
“Come now, and 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 be as wool.”
Photo: All Flesh is as Grass
48X36, oil on linen, 2014

Mr. Rogachefsky was an old man who lived across the street from us. He had a lovely apple tree nestling against his house. He told the neighbors we were welcome to all the apples we wanted. I took him at his word.

He went into assisted living several years ago. His house sat vacant until last Christmas, when a flurry of contractors descended. Their first act was to yank the foundation plantings and cut down that beautiful tree, still covered with the last of autumn’s fruit.

“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

We know that intellectually, but it’s still a shock when the chainsaw comes out.
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Carol Douglas
Public
The Heavens Declare
48X36, oil on linen, 2014

“This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine…” 

Set against the magnificence of God’s light, my own is pretty pathetic. What can I possibly do to direct people toward God that God can’t do brighter and stronger?

Owl’s Head Light uses a 1000-watt lamp, which doesn’t seem like much of a light-bulb. The lights in my kitchen add up to almost that. But with its fourth-order Fresnel lens and the long shimmer of incandescent light over the water, it keeps mariners off the rocks.

God lights up the heavens with Aurora Borealis, but they’re 60 miles up and hundreds of miles north of us. A lighthouse is paltry in comparison, but it’s just across the cove. It’s not just the brilliance that matters, it’s proximity as well. 

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)

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