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Gold and the Presence of God

Ancient Gold Leaf WallTonight I was in my studio working on “laying down gold” for the backgrounds of my new “breath prayer” paintings.  All the while I was working, I kept thinking of who would eventually look at these pieces, who would own them, what would be going on in their lives when they take time to look at these little paintings.  I always hope that in some way my work helps remind people of the presence of God.  Lately, I have used gold in my pieces to suggest this presence as it surrounds the figures in my work. 

I once made a painting for a friend called “Can You Drink This Cup?”.  Years after she put this piece up in her home, she was looking at it one evening when she could not sleep and felt that she suddenly “understood” the painting in a new way.  I was so appreciative that she told me this, even though she did not share what it was exactly that she came to understand.  However, what struck me was that she talked about this experience as an encounter with God, and that it was God who gave her this understanding.

I so hope that something like this happens for the people who eventually receive my newest work, because I certainly feel a sense of being in God’s presence as I stand in front of my easel.  I hope that there is a life for my art beyond the joy I get in creating it.