Egg Decorating In An Artists’ Home

Easter Eggs

Happy Resurrection Day from Loveland! I’m going to put up this quick little post on behalf of my hubby, Scott Freeman, because he wanted to share our egg decorating tradition with the world this year. Decorating Easter eggs is something we have done since we were both in art school, way back in the 1980s. We blow out the insides of the eggs, through tiny holes, and decorate the shells. We’ve been saving them for all these years, though plenty have broken by now.

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Easter Eggs

Rooster egg by Scott

It seems Easter eggs are somewhat out of favor with some branches of Christian believers these days. There are notions about eggs and rabbits linked with false “gods” and such. Scott and I have made a careful study of these topics in past years. We did this partly out of curiosity, and because we just like to know stuff. We also did it because we both have a deep interest in being close to God, and living in a way that pleases Him, as much as we can. We feel that the main way to do this is to love Him and people. However, as artists, we sincerely wish to use our gifts to honor the God for whom we profess to live. Would you like to know what we found out?

Easter Eggs

A couple of eggs I painted

"Jonah" egg, by Scott

“Jonah” egg, by Scott

Easter Eggs

Humpty Dumpty and Cat eggs, by Scott

The most important conclusions we discovered are elaborated in this post (click here) from Scott’s blog, “Art And Life Notes,” which is also a WordPress blog. Suffice it to say that there is ample evidence to conclude that eggs are a part of the holiday not because of any link to any “god” at all, really. It is likely that there were simply an abundance of them to be eaten on Easter, for reasons which I do not fully recall. Some theorize that folks were not eating eggs during the season of Lent, so the eggs piled up. In any case, there is really not a shred of evidence that the traditional use of eggs was about pagan fertility, unless you count a lot of Christians saying that it’s “obvious.”

pug egg, by Scott

pug egg, by Scott

In the meantime, we continue to decorate eggs, and to enjoy doing so. I have posted several photos Scott used in his Facebook post, so you can take a look. If you are into egg decorating, Scott and I would love to see what you’ve been up to, too!

Music, Art, And Worship (My Favorite Stuff!)

worship art

Jorie Henderson leads an evening of worship.

Music is the language of my heart. Nothing can reach me in quite the same way. It transcends words and preconceived ideas. Perhaps that is why music is such an important part of worship. Oh yes, you can worship God without music; it is certainly possible to enjoy music without engaging in worship. But put together music, worship, art, and a bunch of people you love, and it’s surely a taste of heaven.

Drummer Matt Henderson

Drummer Matt Henderson

Last week, my good friends, Jorie and Matt Henderson, brought together all of these elements in a beautiful evening of worship as they recorded music and video for their new music project, “Love Like Fire.” Jorie is a gifted vocalist, song writer, and keyboard player. Her husband, Matt, is a fine drummer and sound engineer. They’ve been working on some new music, and it’s all worship music. They have also enlisted some excellent musicians who are passionate about Jesus to be a part of this project. And, they called me and my artist friend, Sandy Beegle, to do live painting for the recording session.

Matt and Jorie had the auditorium set up to be vibey and cozy, with candles and chairs all facing the center. (But we were not confined to chairs, no sirree!) Our friend and pastor, Diane, was on hand to start us off with a rousing prayer. Later, Miss Aubrey stirred things up with more prayer. Folks were free to praise and worship and groove. Guitarist Dave Beegle added his awesome electric sound to the mix, and Emily Chamberlain (pastor/worship team member) led her song, “Beautiful God,” which I haven’t been able to stop singing ever since.

It’s so delightful to be in the company of people from several generations, coming together for the purpose of worshiping God. I saw young kids dancing and singing, college age guys and girls, grandmas and grandpas, and every age in between. Taking a couple of hours out of our busy lives to enjoy each other and God is something that is hard to find time to do, yet I’m always so glad I’ve done it.

"Throne Room II" - worship painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

“Throne Room II” – worship painting by Mollie Walker Freeman

My painting from that evening is another “throne room” picture, based upon my impressions from the book of Revelation. I tend to revisit these themes numerous times because I do not tire of imagining them, and, I suppose, because I really don’t know what they “should” look like. It’s fun to see what else happens as I paint this theme again and again. While I was working on the emerald rainbow, Sandy was painting an image inspired by the verse about mounting up on eagle’s wings. She is a great painter, and it’s always fun to see what she comes up with!

 

Sandy Beegle's painting

Sandy Beegle’s painting

As soon as I have definite info on how you can find this music, I’ll post it here for y’all.

Sandy and Mollie

Art, College, And Philanthropy

A round peg in a square hole – have you ever thought of yourself this way? Most artists and creative people are “different,” to put it politely. But really, we’re all unique, aren’t we? Still, I remember wanting desperately to be a lot more like my peers in elementary school. Eventually, I went to an art college (Kansas City Art Institute), and learned to be nearly as “different” as my classmates. No conformists among us, no sir!

That's Caleb on the right, with his sister and brother, at one of his favorite events: a baseball game.

That’s Caleb on the right, with his sister and brother, at one of his favorite events: a baseball game.

My artist husband, Scott, and I had 5 children, and all of them have unique talents and are blessed with difference, as well. Our youngest son opted to ride a unicycle (as well as 2 of his siblings) for the sheer fact of making sure he was not like his bike-riding friends. But our firstborn, Caleb, has another distinction: he is disabled.

I realize that many, many people have disabilities. It’s a wonder of our age that people are able to live and often flourish in the present day who would once have died or been pushed to the outermost fringes of existence. Caleb is one such young man. During his birth, Caleb was without oxygen for a time, which resulted in epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and partial blindness. Thanks to medications, his seizure activity was kept to a minimum during childhood. He has been off of the medication for several years now.

Caleb helps with church ministries on campus and off.

Caleb helps with church ministries on campus and off.

As a young child, Caleb had some very high quality care. Later, our options thinned out considerably, and I ended up home schooling him. Thanks to that, he is able to read and is proficient on a computer. Because his issue is in his brain, Braille is not a workable option for Caleb, but we did not know this when he was young. His school wanted to teach him Braille, and I continued with it for a year or so. However, if not for me, he may never have learned adequate print reading skills.

The fact is that Caleb simply did not “fit” any of the existing programs as he was being educated. To his sighted friends, he seemed clearly disabled. To his blind and visually impaired peers, and compared to those with various other disabilities we knew, he was the “highest functioning.” That made Caleb feel like he “should” be able to do things he saw others do. But “normal” activities were very taxing and burdensome for him. He later went to a “regular” high school and graduated with average grades.

Caleb sofa

Caleb is now 28 years old. He has been in school every year since before his first birthday. His disabilities prevent him from taking more than 2 or 3 classes at a time. He has been a senior at Colorado State University for the past few years, and may complete his degree next year. He is very happy about the possibility to earn a living in his field, which is natural resources. However, he has run into a problem.

A nice chunk of Caleb’s tuition for the past few years has been paid by a government agency, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. He’s had some wonderful case workers, and some not so great. But none of them have stuck around. It seems they never can quite keep up with the workload. Recently, Caleb got a new case worker.

The timing of this change was unfortunate; Caleb was attempting to connect with the new case worker during the time when she needed to assist him in applying for coverage of his spring 2014 tuition. She did not do it in time, and the deadline passed. Now, Caleb is in need of some other kind of assistance in order to continue with school. Caleb may be 28 years old and living on his own, but I am still his mother.

I have set up a fund-raising page for Caleb, and if you click here, you can see it. I am donating a painting (that has gotten a lot of great attention) to the cause. For every donation of $25, one entry will be made for the donor into a draw for the painting, “All About The Ladder.” The drawing will happen if and when the full amount is raised, and we’re now over half way there.

"All About The Ladder" by Mollie Walker Freeman

“All About The Ladder” by Mollie Walker Freeman

I’m not generally supportive of everyone who has a financial crisis going to the internet to try to get their friends to bail them out. This is something worth doing, I believe. Okay, perhaps I’m a bit biased? Either way, if you want to donate to Caleb, we’ll all appreciate it greatly.

 

Abiding In The Vine

It’s Independence Day in America, and I’m wondering how it got to be this late in the year. July 4th is kind of a big deal here. We are celebrating the “birthday” of our country, the day upon which our famous document, The Declaration of Independence, was signed. I grew up watching community fireworks celebrations, and I never missed a single year until recently. It was pouring rain in our town, so the festivities were postponed for a day or two a couple of years ago.

 

"Grapes" by Mollie Walker Freeman

“Grapes” by Mollie Walker Freeman

So, how did it get to be July already? The thing is, I seem to always be sideswiped by the month of May. Do the dozens of concerts, plays, induction ceremonies, awards ceremonies, graduation parties, bridal showers, birthdays, etc. in May make you feel your are on a carnival ride and cannot get off? That is how it can feel to me.

This May, we had a crisis thrown into the traditional mix. My husband, Scott had his appendix burst, and spent about a week in the hospital. The day of his surgery was the day of my kids’ dress rehearsal for a concert, as well as my daughter’s receipt of a “letter,” neither of which she was allowed to miss for any reason.

"True Vine" by Mollie Walker Freeman

“True Vine” by Mollie Walker Freeman

I managed to keep myself together, with the support of my family and friends, during this time. But, all the stress and insanity of schedule eventually took its toll. I was stressed out!

In times of intense stress, it’s good to be reminded that I am not alone. We are not alone. I had the opportunity to paint in a couple of church services during May and June. Both times, I felt inspired to paint grape vines. In the book of John, we are told that branches which bear fruit will be pruned, and this is a good thing. Come to think of it, it did sort of feel like someone was whacking away at me! Jesus also tells us that remaining (abiding) in the vine (God and His love) is the only way to bear fruit. He also calls us “friends.”

my grapevine

This is the grapevine in my garden, laden with small, still-green grapes.

Sometimes it’s not so easy to remember just how close God actually is. That He actually invites me to live “in” Him. Thinking about these verses and what they mean has helped me through this difficult time. Now, my grape vine is producing grapes. Every day as I walk through my garden, I can be reminded of the True Vine, my source of life.

 

 

Value Added: A Mural For Lake Providence

Meaningful, life-enhancing work is the best kind of work there is. In fact, it’s the only work that interests some of us. Perhaps it’s the only kind of work that yields long term rewards. This is the kind of work I witnessed in Lake Providence, Louisiana earlier this month.

LP friends-scaffold

Lake Providence is small and located in a beautiful spot along the Mississippi River, near Arkansas and Mississippi. Last week, it was sunny and warm, mostly. Spring flowers were everywhere, and if you know me at all, you know this thrilled me! Just before we had arrived, the town had received 6 inches of rain in a single day, and many residential yards and roads were flooded. It did not seem to be much of a problem for anyone, though. No one there has basements, and they seem to be generally prepared for lots of water.

Sunset over Lake Providence

Sunset over Lake Providence

So, why did 20 or so people from Colorado spend a week in Lake Providence creating a huge mural on the side of an old building? Well, it’s a long story, so I’ll just hit a few points in this little post. Bottom line is that we have found some people we love there. These folks have had a sometimes difficult and discouraging history, being identified by Time Magazine as the “poorest place in America” in 1994, and having that label quoted again and again since then. It has also picked up the label “most unequal place in America,” though I’d be hard pressed to single out this town from all the other racially tense communities in the South.

Sometimes people seem satisfied to live with the negative aspects of their lives, but when they are ready to move on, to move toward positive change, they benefit from the support of others. I have many close relatives in the deep South, and am quite familiar with the “issues” that exist there. Yet, what I saw last week gave me renewed hope that some folks are ready to do the hard work of participating in a paradigm shift.

Southern hospitality = food!

Southern hospitality = food!

While working on the mural, we were treated like royalty in Lake Providence. The locals, black and white alike, cheered us on, fed us, showed us the beauty of their town, fed us some more, engaged us in conversation and laughter, and then fed us again! We ate at local restaurants, including a favorite among us called “My Dream Eatery,” which actually catered several meals for us as we worked.

As small as L.P. is, in a way it’s expanding its horizons as the world around it shrinks. Ease of technology and travel has made it possible for a true relationship to develop between some citizens of Loveland, Colorado and this little town far away. The pastor of my church, Jonathan Wiggins, was once employed by Providence Church in L.P., where his father in law, Don Boyett, is pastor.

During the past couple of years, Pastor Wiggins and Pastor Boyett have fostered new friendships between the members of their two churches. Quite a few folks have taken plane rides across the country- in both directions – to further those relationships. But it doesn’t stop there. Other people are reaching out from this pool of friends and including people from other churches and organizations from both Lake Providence and northern Colorado.

LP finished!

“Destiny Words”

The mural is called “Destiny Words.” It was inspired by a project using “value words” by painting positive words on parking spaces in another town, which was followed by a decrease in crime and other positive trends. When Aubrey Grieser, from Colorado and now living in Lake Providence, heard about this project, she arrived at the idea of this mural. The mural speaks words of ¬†positive change and a new identity over the town of Lake Providence. (Aubrey is the director of Love Your Community – The Delta/Lake Providence, which can be found on Facebook.)

LP dance boys 2

But, what’s “in it” for me? Each of the artists and family members went to L.P. on our own time, and our own “dime.” We raised support, and some of you readers helped me do this by purchasing paintings. Some of us have the type of work that does not pay when we are not on the job, so it cost us in this way, also. But the opportunity to be involved in something that can steer history in a positive direction, something we believe God is doing, is worth every cent and every minute. And who can put a price on a friend?

That's me, painting the mural with my good friend, Sandy.

That’s me, painting the mural with my good friend, Sandy.

I have the feeling that this is really just the beginning of what we’ll see in Lake Providence, and in this friendship. A larger group from Resurrection Fellowship will be going to Lake Providence this summer for the second annual dance camp with the kids of L.P.

If you want to read more about the relationship between Loveland and Lake Providence, here’s an article for you (just click here!) Also, here is a website created for the mural, and on-going activity that springs from the project (click here).

LP UR Loved

 

The Stuff Of Childhood: Children’s Book Illustrations

by Arthur Rackham

by Arthur Rackham

Flying carpets, pirate adventures, talking caterpillars becoming butterflies and toys that came to life – many were the hours I dreamed through the pages of books during my childhood. The teachers in my life (several friends & relatives) tell me that they can always tell which students have had books read to them at home. My parents surely read to me, and I still own many of the books I had as a young child. I read these books, and too many more to count, to my children.

by Laura Cornell

by Laura Cornell

But what would these books be without their illustrations? Being a highly visual person, it was the images that enamored me forever. When I see a Jessie Wilcox Smith painting or a Leo Lionni collage, I’m instantly back there again – in my childhood imagination. It was the pictures that left me dreaming of the cloudy land at the top of the beanstalk or the secret life inside the doll’s house.

by Beatrix Potter

by Beatrix Potter

My husband, Scott Freeman, has illustrated two children’s books, and is currently in the process of doing a third book, authored by a woman named Beth El Kurchner. He’s also working on some new books, which he will be authoring himself, in conjunction with a new website he plans to launch June 1. So, all this has me thinking about the topic, and wanting to share with you readers some of the illustrations that have captured my affections both as a child and as a parent.

by Leo Lionni

by Leo Lionni

It’s a good topic to consider with regard to re-purposing, too. After all, stories are re-told; illustrators jump at the chance to depict a classic tale. In our home, we made a study of which re-tellings and re-workings of illustrations were our favorites, and analysed every aspect of difference. Some of Scott’s upcoming works will be adaptations and new editions of classics.

So many noteworthy illustrators have caught our attention through the years that it’s almost unfair to feature particular ones, since so many will unavoidably be left out. Please understand that for each picture I show you here, there are probably a hundred or more I’d love to include.

by Chris VanAllsburg

by Chris VanAllsburg

Just Add Wax – Encaustic

"Blah" - photograph with encaustic by Kimberly Chiaris

“In The Garden” – photograph with encaustic by Kimberly Chiaris

Molten wax is at the heart of one of my favorite techniques. Kimberly Chiaris, my artist photographer friend, employs this process to create some of the most appealing photographs you’d ever want to see! I met up with Kim recently, and she showed me how she makes encaustic photography.

DSCN5635DSCN5636

I had heard that using encaustic can be really smelly. Kim set me straight on this, explaining that she uses bees wax, and never notices a bad smell. She then showed me the damar varnish crystals, electric skillet, and other tools she uses in the process. ¬†“It’s not considered encaustic until the wax is set by heating it a final time after it’s applied,” Kim said.

DSCN5629

She says that she began using this technique partly because it’s a great way to protect her photos without having to use glass & frames. At the same time, the wax helps to diffuse some of the visual edges, creating a softness which reminded her of “Diana” images. For several years, Kim used the small, plastic Diana cameras to shoot black and white photos. I am the proud owner of several of her earlier Diana images, and I especially love the way subjects appear in varied degrees of focus. Encaustic can echo this effect.

DSCN5632

For her recent series of photos, Kim shot pictures in one of her favorite spaces: her flower garden. Using a tilt shift lens, She took close-up images that she enlarged and cut vertically to create a triptych. After applying the first layers of wax, she added bits of gold leaf.

Kimberly Chiaris with one of her photos

Kimberly Chiaris with one of her photos

Kimberly lives in my hometown of Loveland, Colorado. We met over 30 years ago, at the Kansas City Art Institute, and she has been inspiring me and encouraging my creative endeavors ever since.

RePurposing For Christmas Ornaments

Knowing my affection for old dolls, my hubby repaired and repurposed this itty-bitty one for me.

Knowing my affection for old dolls, my hubby repaired and repurposed this itty-bitty one for me.

Our German exchange student, Klara, was with us a few years ago for the holiday season, and she was astounded at American decorations. I don’t think the word “tacky” was in her vocabulary, yet I had the distinct impression that this was her opinion of many of the outdoor decorations in our neighborhood. She would roll her eyes at the large, inflated Santas, Grinches, snowmen, and all of the other silly blow-up versions of Christmas characters. I have to say, I pretty much share her sentiment. But she was no grinch, nor am I.

I made these ornaments back in the 1970's, from school glue and yarn. They don't look great at all unless placed in front of a light. That changes everything.

I made these ornaments back in the 1970’s, from school glue and yarn. They don’t look great at all unless placed in front of a light. That changes everything.

Old newspapers, flour, water & paint became a Nativity set made by my husband.

Old newspapers, flour, water & paint became a Nativity set made by my husband.

In Germany, we saw all sorts of tiny wooden ornaments at the homes of Klara’s grandparents and other people we visited. Some of the things they showed us were traditional figures, and quite old. There’s so much I appreciate about well-crafted holiday decorations, and I suppose I’m a bit nostalgic about some of the not-so-well-crafted items I grew up with – plastic elves with glued-on “realistic” beards, candy-cane striped styrofoam balls set in plastic holly wreaths, and sparkly gold-glitter ribbons. Something really appeals to me in these old decorations, so, clearly I am not exempt from falling for “tacky” ornaments and such.

Tiny clay dancer/bell I made for my ballerina daughter

Tiny clay dancer/bell I made for my ballerina daughter

For this post, I wanted to show you some of the Christmas ornaments that have become my favorites over the years. Scott and I have quite a large collection. In fact, we have so many ornaments that we always have to leave many of them packed because even if we get a pretty large tree, there’s just not room for them all. Most of our hand-made ornaments are re-purposed materials.

A gift for our animal-loving daughter, an old glass ball in a perch for a clay chinchilla (made by Scott Freeman)

A gift for our animal-loving daughter, an old glass ball is now a perch for a clay chinchilla (made by Scott Freeman)

We also display our old stuff differently, year to year. Some antique glass balls and lights may go into a clear glass vase on a shelf; flocked poinsettias may end up on the tree instead of in an arrangement. Some of the really fragile tree ornaments find a new home in the China cabinet. I’m no decorating queen, but I get help from my family members, and it usually turns out nicely.

Small bottles, beads, and hardware are turned into funky angels.

Small bottles, beads, and hardware are turned into funky angels.

Bits of fabric become tiny canvases for painted ornaments.

Bits of fabric become tiny canvases for painted ornaments, which I made for my family.

I enjoy taking a walk through Christmas past via all of these old treasures. I don’t think I’ll ever have need of an inflatable Santa.

Human Beings Are A Fine Subject Matter

The human face is probably depicted more often in art than just about any other subject matter, don’t you think? I haven’t actually counted. But, think of the early drawings of any child. A gigantic face, usually featuring eyes and mouth, sometimes a nose and legs, and /or arms. Hair is optional. Even a 7 or 8 year old will often draw family members and pictures of himself more often than just about anything (except for maybe robots or Spiderman). Although, I once had a 4-year-old son who drew nothing but cellos for months…but that’s another story!

Mother's Day card by Lee Freeman

Mother’s Day card by Lee Freeman

 

"Portrait of Dmitry V. Golitsyn" by George Dawe, circa 1825

“Portrait of Dmitry V. Golitsyn” by George Dawe, circa 1825

The earliest cave paintings and such depict animals and hunters. Early iconic church art usually focuses on Madonna and Child, saints, and Biblical figures. Greek statues of people, often mythical characters, are well-know. Later, portraits were painted of wealthy and powerful people. Following that was a time when some artists took to the portrayal of “ordinary” citizens – soldiers, field workers, family members,etc. Impressionists such as Georges Seurat and Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted people “out and about,” as well as portraits. 20th century and contemporary sculptors from every corner of the world have made bazillions of pieces inspired by humanity. Even abstract expressionists such as Willem de Kooning painted people.

One of the dolls I made

One of the dolls I made

Humans, then, are a natural subject matter for art. When I was growing up, I was never a “girly-girl,” particularly. But strangely, I did love dolls. I collected more dolls as I grew older, and as an adult. I did not play with dolls in the “normal” way, however. I treated them more as aesthetic objects – art, I suppose. Eventually, I made a few dolls. I still have them around my house, and it makes me smile when I see one I especially like. To me, this fascination with dolls is somehow related to humans as artistic subject matter.

"Renee at Rest" by Mollie Walker Freeman

“Renee at Rest” by Mollie Walker Freeman

My husband and I often say, “Life is about relationship.” Relationships with people, messy as they can be, make life what it is, for better or worse. We long for those satisfying connections of companionship, intimacy, and understanding that can seem so illusive. We study our fellow humans to discover if a meaningful connection may be possible, and to discover why someone is charismatic or intriguing. Sometimes we are utterly disappointed by someone who seemed attractive; other times, we are pleasantly surprised to learn of beautiful qualities in a person once discounted as uninteresting. When fun or poignant interactions with others unfold, our lives are brighter and our experience deeper.

Kid art 2bl

Although I am not the most gifted painter of people, they remain one of my favorite subjects, both as a painter, and as an art appreciator. Human nature is a funny and interesting thing.

What’s Up With Jacob’s Ladder?

Timeless stories capture our attention and we return to them again and again. My daughter recently asked me and my husband what we thought about this phenomenon. “Why do people like stories so much?” We all took a stab at the answer. I think what we decided in the end is that human beings like the feeling of believing that they are part of a great story – greater even than life as we know it.

"Jacob's Ladder IV" by Mollie Walker Freeman

“Jacob’s Ladder IV” by Mollie Walker Freeman

The story of Jacob’s Ladder has enamored me for years. Before I professed, or ever thought I would profess any faith in God, I knew the song “Stairway to Heaven.” (I grew up in the 1970’s – didn’t we all know that song?) The idea of heaven touching earth, or mortals reaching through this reality into a greater, eternal reality is the stuff of myth, legend, and all manner of literature, right? And guess what? It’s right there in the Bible, too.

The story of the ladder, which Jacob saw in a dream, reaching into heaven is more than the text might first reveal. When Jesus showed up on the scene thousands of years later, He says something amazing about the ladder – only He does not say, “Jacob’s ladder.” He merely describes the same image, with Himself as the ladder. In the book of John, Jesus was talking to Nathanael, and told him that he would see great things, including, “angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (Son of Man was a way Jesus referred to Himself.)

"All About The Ladder" by Mollie Walker Freeman

“All About The Ladder” by Mollie Walker Freeman

Jacob had a really interesting life. He is known for “tricking” his older twin brother, Esau, out of his birthright. He deceived his blind father so that his father would give him the blessing of the firstborn. But, a few years ago, I attended a conference in which the story of Jacob was examined carefully. Until that time, I had not realized the lengthy period of disappointment and discouragement that Jacob lived through, though it’s right there in plain sight. It was not until the end of his long life – the last few years – that Jacob was able to see God’s long-term

"Jacob's Ladder VII" by Mollie Walker Freeman

“Jacob’s Ladder VIII” by Mollie Walker Freeman, currently on exhibit at the Loveland Museum Gallery

plan for his life, and how He had not only spared his son, Joseph, from death, but had placed him in such a way that he brought about “a great deliverance” for Jacob’s whole family, and they were all reunited.

Why did God give the young Jacob a vision of Jesus as the Stairway to Heaven? Did it help Jacob persevere through the many years of suffering that came after? Or was it just a way of showing us, all this time in the future, that He had it planned all along? I am fascinated by the story, and I really don’t have the answers to my own questions. But, in any case, I’ve painted the subject of Jacob’s Ladder at least 8 times. For me, it’s a way of reflecting on the idea that we are still longing for that connection with Heaven, and God is still reaching out toward us. One day, He will bust on through undeniably, and no one will wonder why.