Monday, December 31, 2012

"In the Cool Mist" Oil Painting

18x36, Oil on Canvas
 
I got back from our Christmas vacation and this painting seemed all wrong.  It was like I was looking at a bare tree on one side.  What a difference it makes to get away from something you see over and over again.  I like it better as it seems more like a whole tree.  More green with the softness and cool still in the painting.
 
I always realize later I didn't need so many limbs but oh well! 
 
Enjoy the winter as your eyes can now easily glide over the limbs of the trees so graceful and elegant.
 
Oh, and here's hoping this is my FINAL attempt at the painting.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Final: "In the Cool Mist" Oil Painting

 
Finished the final details yesterday with some of the smaller branches and the cool, green grass.
 
I've got a 36x36 on the easel and am on my way to get it filled in today.  I'm ba-ack!  Whoo hoo!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Salon Style at Mary Tomas Gallery

 
I am very proud to be a part of the December show. Please come and see the new works offered by Mary Tomas Gallery located at 1110 Dragon St. Building 1080.

Saturday is Art Walk night on Dragon Street. from 6-9 p.m.

I will have 4 new pieces in the gallery.
 

Monday, November 12, 2012

"The Edge of the Clouds" Oil Painting by Dawn Waters Baker

10x10, Oil on Canvas

I just finished this piece after a week of sickness going around my house.  Ugh!  I am so glad to be back at the easel.

One of the most beautiful things about the clouds is the part where it touches the open sky.  These become almost abstract paintings when you see the clouds up close like this.

I am getting ready for Winter Art Mart at the Bath House Cultural Center this coming weekend.  More to come on that...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lost Maples

Scene of Sabinal River running through the Lost Maples
 

My husband and I took our 11th anniversary to the Lost Maples in the Hill Country of Texas.  It was wonderful.  In fact, we hiked all the trails of the park...about 14-15 miles in all.  Yes, we were crazy and yes, we were tired.  But we LOVED it.

Not only have I needed to get out in nature but I needed a break from everything: from Motherhood, church duties (yes, their wonderful but you need a break from those too) and from painting.  Some of you might think a painting break sounds funny.  But it really is something you have to process, think about and then pour your heart into.  I found myself really needing a break to take some things in.  Listen.  Walk.  Listen.  Walk.  I heard trees in the wind, I heard birds and little critters move in the brush (don't want to know what it was).  I let go of some pent up tears.  Being tired and having to go through motions anyway really can take a toll.  

There is something to the fact that we were first put into a garden (as human beings).  Reasons for it? To tend to it for sure but I also think to listen and move about it.  To take in the things that would refresh our hearts to Him.  A little sweat is good for the soul.  A little green too.  And more silence.  More time that is measured in the cycles of sun, moon and trees.

Beautiful roots

Look at the roots on this tree.  Doesn't it give such picture of having everything going down into the right things before you can grow up? Roots are beautiful to me.  Maybe because it took me so long to figure out mine.  Maybe because I was given a gift in my husband.  He reminds me to look at what is happening underneath, deep below the surface.  Not just words or paintings or even fun outings with my kids.  But the silent prayers, time with God, holding a little girl on my lap and making time for friends.

The Green Way
 
What path have I been walking?  Is it a good and green?  Have I forgotten to look at the color because I'm just wanting it over with?  I get so caught up in getting tasks done.  Look at these trees lit by the sun.  Glorious and alive with yellow and green the moments before they turn into some opposite shades of yellow or red.  I have to stop to let beauty hold me there.  I can't walk on. Because my soul needs to stop.
 
 
Up the steep part
 
About three times during our walks we came upon portions of our map labeled, "steep."  Not much but shrubby trees and loose rocks.  Nothing really beautiful to hold me or even compel me up the trail.  But we went up anyway.  Puff.  Puff.  Not a word was said between us.  We were just wanting it over with.  Ever been there in your life?  Even with your own precious kids?  Or maybe just with your job?  I kept having to remind myself to drink more water, wipe my brow and laugh.  Take care of myself. 
 
I can see the top!
 
Almost there!  My thoughts turned to my kids and how they couldn't have done this hike with me. It was too hard for their little bodies.  It made me think how kind God is even in our trials.  He doesn't give us more than we can climb. Even though it sure seems like it sometimes.
 
Oh, the blue...
 
What a view!  Open, yet mysterious full of little places tucked away and yet so detailed.  Like seeing your life with clear eyes.  God is here.  He has been all along with mystery, adventure and even lavish love.  I'm glad He doesn't tell me the whole story.  I want to walk it with Him.  I want to feel His nearness. I want to see everything but realize how finite I am.  How impossible it is to do it all.  So I trust this path is the right one for me to walk.  This one I'm on.  What I did with my life.  Where I went to college.  Who I married.  My children that were given to us.  It is for me to walk, sweat and view.  It is for God to reveal, create and transform into something good.
 





My favorite tree along the path
 
I loved this tree.  We passed it a few times during our hikes.  It's growing from a huge rock.  Right in the middle of it is this beautiful tree bending towards the light.  Now if that's not symbolism I don't know what is.  Oh, to be like that tree.  Grow me from my solid rock and shape me to your light Lord.  I remember that.  I remember "Stand by the roads and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls..."  Jeremiah 6:16
 
Pray you all find rest too.  Quiet.  Peace.  The ability to really see.  And help when you don't.
 




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Behind the Cloud" Oil Painting

10x10, Oil on Canvas

I'm trying some new views of the clouds.  The part I have always loved the most...those wispy edges.  I love how tenderly they lay against the color of the sky.  It's amazing to me how solid they are yet also how thin.

For "Behind the Cloud" I wanted to capture when the sun is behind it and frames the cloud. I liked having that little peek hole through it too.  The cloud reference I looked at was a blue sky but I wanted a red/orange one.  It was fun experimenting with the colors.

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut of how we think things should look.  We think it has to have such and such in order for it to be a real painting or "polished" when in fact the world just might need you to guide them to what EXACTLY you see.  I was challenged to just paint the things I truly enjoy and lately have found a whole new passion in painting because of it.  It reminds me of Georgia O'Keeffe and how she truly enjoyed flowers and made you look closely at them as her eye came up against the petals.



Friday, September 21, 2012

"Gate of Eternity" Oil Painting

6x6, Oil on Canvas

I tried muting the white and yellow with just a hint of brown and red.  I liked the "antique" feel I got from it.I am trying out colorings I want to use for a larger piece. 

The trees are turning and beginning to lose their leaves.  I call it "Gate of Eternity" because it's like walking a path littered with the lives of trees touched by time. If you have ever seen someone walking that path towards heaven you know they sense their humanity, the beauty ahead of them, the mystery that is becoming reality.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"The Dance of Autumn" Oil Painting

6x6, Oil on Canvas

I love the way you can see the vibrant yellow through the sky holes in the leaves. I call it a dance because the limbs look like their moving and the color is so bright.

We are not quite to fall here in Dallas. There are little hints on the air with the coolness in the morning and I could swear I hear little "sighs" from the trees when I walk.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Into the Woods" Plein Air Painting

9x12, Oil on Canvas

This past spring I was able to spend a few days up in Oklahoma with my folks.  The trees and grass were so green.  Greener than I've seen in a long time.  I was happy to get a chance to plein air (means "outside) paint.  Just this September have I finally finished it.  I like the play of the light and the path makes me want to set down what I'm doing and go explore the woods.  With the weather turning cooler I just might do that at any chance I get.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"High Notes" Oil Painting by Dawn Waters Baker

16x20, Oil on Canvas

I call it "High Notes" as all the colors have a lot of intensity (even the blue behind the reds and oranges).  I gave up on the landscape this time as I just wanted to paint the sky open and free.

I am getting ready for Cottonwood Art Festival the first weekend of October.  This, along with many new pieces, will be available. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Downburst" Oil Painting

30x30, Oil on Canvas
 
I love rain.  I love the feel of it and the smell of it.  I love what it does to light and to land that has long been dry.
 
I finally feel like I'm happy with the land as there are layers you are looking through and pockets where they are holding more moisture.
 
Mostly, I try to get at a feeling in the painting. Rainstorms are awesome to behold and at the same time can be terrible.  God was described as a cloud in the Old Testament full of awe and mystery.  I liked the part where the cloud finally opens and down comes the water washing the land and giving it life.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Between Bare Trees (Final), 30x40 Oil Painting

30x40, Oil on Canvas

I did the little 16x20 study and was excited (gulp!) to get started on a 30x40. 

I've been praying a lot about my time.  It seems I'm so easily distracted from what is so important:  Time with God, time with my good husband and my sweet girls.  I let things leak into those spaces.  I heard God talking to me about it.  I finally decided to turn off my computer so I could paint more freely.  Yes, my name is Dawn Waters Baker and I'm addicted to the computer.  "Hi Dawn!"  I know your out there.

I have had some great time with my kids this week.  It's like God has filled in the gaps and kept me floating.  I've felt more in love with them, with my husband.  My time seems so much more precious because it's their time.  It's not like all of a sudden I'm perfect Mom or their perfect kids.  I just turned off the stuff and I got my life.

My Pastor (Dr. David Rogers) said something a few weeks ago about the cross and how it has
become jewelry or decoration (not that it is bad) but that it has lost the power of what it means because of our "familiarity" with it.  It was interesting that the most heartfelt things I paint always get backed up by a sermon somewhere.  I love that.  It's like God's confirmation to me.

I've been thinking of the hymn, "Victory in Jesus" and the lines, "He plunged me to victory! Beneath the cleansing flood..." So it's a picture of the three crosses only there are no crosses.  Two bare
trees represent the thieves and how they had no life (no part in bringing eternal life to this weary earth) and the middle cross is a waterfall to remind us of the power that happened on the cross, the cleansing, washing, as His life was poured out as an offering... "Come for a cleansing to Calvary's tide."

I literally put my hand on the waterfall and thought about how He poured out for me. A sweet friend reminded me of the lines, "Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow." Wash me Lord Jesus.  Another friend said the piece felt scary and magnificent at the same time.  I love that.  It's like God was talking to us all, words without sound.

I found myself worshipping while I painted this week.  Oh, I've missed it.  It's like I've been trying to tell you something instead of showing you.  I always make things too complicated.  Let it go.  Let God into the spaces.  Let Him fill it up full.  Let it spill out of you.  Let it make you crazy if you don't show Him that you love Him too.





Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Between Bare Trees" Oil Painting

"Between Bare Trees" 16x20, Study on Canvas



This is just a small version of what I hope will be a 30x40 painting. I just had to get the idea and feel of it out of my head. I heard a song by a group called The Choir called Between Bare Trees and loved the words of that title. It got me thinking about how we have lost the power of the cross. It has become such a "used" symbol categorized to jewelry and decoration (and I'm not saying it's wrong to have them as either). I just wonder if in the hearing of the story of the cross we sometimes get numb to it too (our humanity gets in the way). Anyway, I have been thinking a great deal about trying to visually share the cross without using crosses. The two trees are the two thieves (bare and without life as they were not the hope of the world) and between them in this powerful waterfall surging with life that is poured out for our washing. Think of the lines to that wonderful hymn: "...He plunged me to victory...beneath the cleansing flood."

"New Works" at Mary Tomas Studio Gallery


I just signed the contract with this lovely gallery last week.  I am so excited to be exhibiting with them.  Please come to the opening on Saturday the 4th from 6-9 pm.  This is on Dragon St. in downtown dallas' design district.  I would love to see you.

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Pieces of Sky" Oil Painting

20x20 Oil on Canvas

Love those soft clouds as they form shapes or "pieces" of sky. It's like a puzzle that fits together into a beautiful fire.

I tried to keep it loose and flowy as that is how it felt when I saw it.  Sometimes when I get too tight with the detail I lose the delicate feel to the clouds.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Summer Green" Oil Painting

8x10, Oil on Canvas

Just got back from a lovely visit with family in Florida.  My husband's aunt lives on some of the most beautiful property filled with live oaks and green meadows.  The trees hold hanging moss from their thick twisting limbs.  It gives it a flowing feeling as they sway in the summer breeze.  Absolutely enchanting.

I spent everyday going to this little spot to paint the trees in th light.

We had a wonderful time swimming, playing with the kids and getting some opportunities like this to just enjoy the nature around us.

Friday, June 8, 2012

"Quiet Path" Oil Painting

4x6, Oil on Canvas


This is my small study for the bigger piece but wanted to try these shades of darker green and then softened it out.  I liked it and called it "Quiet Path" as it makes me want to take my time between the trees and just drink in the air, the smell of the leaves and the moisture.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Mountain Fog" 30x30 Oil Painting

30x30 Oil on Canvas

Finished the bigger piece of "Mountain Fog."  I tried adding a few more colors with the grey/blue so used a blue/green and olive green.

You can see the tips of a few of the trees at the top.  That is one of my favorite parts of these paintings is the hints of the trees in the distance so soft and mysterious.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Snow Mist" Oil Painting

6x6, Oil on Canvas

This is actually an older painting I redid (the first one was sold a while ago) and my Grandmother loved it so much I painted her one.  The bark and the blue in the background are different so their are still variations even when something is revisited.

I painted the tree then went over it with a white wash for several layers.  A process called scumbling.  Once that was dry I went over it with the snowflakes in varying sizes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Mountain Fog" Oil Painting

6x6 Oil on Canvas

I finally started on some ideas for a larger piece much like "Misty Mountain."  This one has more blue and green in it and I thought it gave it a more natural feel.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"The Lewis Tree" Oil Painting

6x6, Oil on Canvas

This tree was painted for a wonderful friend, mentor and professor of mine at Dallas Baptist University, Dr. Naugle.  While he was visiting the home of C.S. Lewis he went on Addison's Walk the famous trail that Lewis walked when he was home at The Kilns. I like to think Lewis was dreaming up Narnia as he walked through those trees. 

Dr. Naugle was kind enough to take some shots of the trees while he took that same walk.  This was one of those trees.  So twisty and moving.  I loved that it seemed to spread out in all directions.  I call it "The Lewis Tree." 

If any of you are in the Arlington area on May 17th Dr. David Naugle will be giving a lecture on C.S. Lewis at the Arlington Museum of Art from 2-3 p.m.  Please come and hear this.  You will not be disappointed.  Dr. Naugle is a scholar and lover of literature and art.  His book, "Worldview: The History of a Concept" was selected as a 2003 Christianity Today Book of the Year.

Friday, May 4, 2012

"She is the Sky" Oil Painting

16x20, Oil on Canvas

This is a commission piece from a husband to a wife for their anniversary. 

After talking with him he shared how his wife is like an anchor for the family, someone who is strong in their faith and love and does not waver.  He also shared how she fits all the puzzle pieces together and makes it work.  What a lovely legacy she is building into her husband and children. 

A little while ago we had some tornadoes come through Dallas.  It was a very hectic day of rushing to the bathrooms for shelter (as the sirens went off) and checking the weather periodically.  My 4 year old twins were huddled in the bathtub with me (dressed in full princess regalia by the way).  I figured if God was going to take us then we were going out in style.  Although the day was crazy I felt such a peace.  Not because I'm such a spiritual warrior but because I KNEW God had His hand on us.  My oldest daughter said it best when she got home that night (pretty late as they weren't running buses until 5:00 p.m.) "It was a miracle Mom."  She was telling me how there were all these babies out there in homes and none of them died.  You know what?  She's absolutely right.  When it was all said and done we had 11 tornadoes come through town ripping up roofs and trees but not one person was killed, not one in the whole busy metroplex.  If that doesn't show God's hand (the outline of this invisible but real hand) I don't know what does.

That night the sky was an amazing intricate display of pieces of cloud fit together.  The spaces between were deep red or blue.  I remember praying that God would show me this precious woman's sky and as I stood there looking up I felt Him say, "This is it."   She fits the puzzle pieces together in her family.  She makes it work.  She has strength (color is vibrant).  And you know what?  God is doing it through her.  She is letting Him.  She has an outline of God's hand on her life and it is showing through.  Her husband sees it, her children see it.

In a world where tornadoes rip through marriages all the time and uproot all the values we hold dear I get such an encouragement when I see a couple like this.  Hold fast to Him, keep going, you are a fresh wind to a stagnant world.  You are showing us how it's done.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Enchanting Tree in Falling Snow Oil Painting

20x20, Oil on Canvas

Let it snow!  I finished this wonderful tree today after three weeks of layering.  I am very happy to see it come to life.  I was nervous putting in the falling snow but after I looked back at it I really think it gave it some energy and delight.

Now I'm off to clean my brushes and hug my 1st grader when she gets home.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Enchanting Tree

20x20, Oil on Canvas

This is a commission piece.  I am almost done.  I finished up the limbs and tree today.  I will add the mist and snow tomorrow.  I just wanted to post that I have been working!  This one is taking a little longer than usual because of the amount of detail.  But I have absolutely loved doing every bit of it.  I feel like I've learned a great deal about color layering with this one.

With the snow gently falling you will see some of the "magic" of the tree.  I already see it in the twists and shades of the limbs.  It's free and wild and at the same time has these wonderful low branches that welcome me to climb and lean and smell the snow.

Once in a while you get these commissions that just send your heart singing.  This was one of them for me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Burning Bush" Oil Painting

18x24, Oil on Canvas


It's been a while since my last post.  I've had some computer problems and am still without my main computer.  I did notice that without the computer in my studio I was able to finish a painting more quickly!  hmmm.  Maybe need to rethink the location of the computer?  yup.

Anyway, I finished this commissioned piece for a friend of mine (actually two friends) Karis and her hubby Nathan.  They were MK's with me in the Philippines and just happen to live near Dallas.  It was neat getting to catch up with them and their beautiful children.  It was neat for me to look across the table at some friends and think, "They knew me when I was in the Philippines."  That is a real treasure to me.

Karis had given me the challenge of putting all the Solas of the Reformation (the 5 painting series I had done for Dallas Theological Seminary) together in ONE painting but still staying with the coloring (red, blue and bright yellow).  Her one request was to not have any figures in it.  It was a challenge but I actually was looking forward to this painting for a long time.

It comes from Exodus where Moses sees the burning bush in the distance and decides that he must get closer to it.  We know the story from there that God speaks to him through the bush and Moses literally has to take his sandals off because the ground in Holy (in the painting there is a red mist around the tree to try to get at that mystery).

God speaks (Sola Scriptura).  Moses removes his sandals because of the glory of God (Sola deo Gloria) surrounding the bush.  God gives a message of faith (Sola Fide) and grace (Sola Gracia).  Moses has to believe by faith that God will use him to help the Israelites.  He is given a grace in Aaron and in his staff and ultimately Moses is showing God's grace to the people.  The bush (tree) is a reminder that someday our God will hang upon a tree for all of us and that will be holy ground.  It will be a place of faith and grace pouring out of Jesus (Sola Christos).

I took the liberty of making the bush a tree.  After researching the kind of bushes that grow in the desert they are usually tall (as tall as a man) trees and very scrubby.  I like the symbolism in that too.  God speaks to us in the driest, hardest places.  Look how many times God uses the desert for a time of closeness with God (i.e. Moses, Elijah, Paul and Jesus).  I look at my life and think about the times God has really spoken to me and it has been when I truly am thirsty and dry and I finally say, "I need you God."

Karis, I pray we can always be friends and remember each other as we were (goofballs) and see the women we've become (bigger goofballs).  God bless you sweet friends.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

2012 PCPC Arts Festival, The Passion and The Promise

I am pleased to announce that my piece, "Light of Suffering" has been accepted to this show.  The awards ceremony and kickoff will be this Saturday, March 24th at 2:00 p.m.  Guest Speaker is David J. Goa, director, Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life, University of Alberta.  Show and ceremony will be held in the Fellowship Hall of Park Cities Presbyterian Church, 4124 Oak Lawn, Dallas, TX 7519.

There are over 90 pieces of art in the show that are on the three themes: His Triumphal Entry, His Glorious Cross, His Victorious Resurrection.  This show always blows me away with the thought and work that goes into the pieces from various artists.  You will not be disappointed.  What better way to celebrate Easter but with the visual reminders of His wonderful grace and love?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"The Lone Oak" Oil Painting

10x10, Oil on Canvas

I revisited this little piece after getting some sound advice about it.  I like it better now and think the tree stands out in the storm as a nice contrast from all the blues and greens.

I had initially painted it during a time when I just felt everything was coming all at once.  The storm was pushing me down to the earth.

Today I received some news that a sweet friend who I grew up with in the Philippines died from a heart attack.  She was so young and such a sweet, tender person.  Her name was Princess and she truly acted with grace and kindness to everyone that knew her.  Not many people you can say that about.  I wept for that sweet loss today.

I'd like to think that this beautiful tree (in the fall of it's life cycle) is Princess.  The weight of the world was heavy on her as she did a great deal of work and ministry in Pasig.  She even shared a few times that she was tired.  I thought about how the world presses down and for some of us we start complaining or taking it out on someone else or even breaking in places.  Princess just kept pressing on.  She finished her race.  She let Jesus come right out of her the harder life got.  I can't ever remember a time she didn't smile or hug or tell me she loved me.  What an example.  Now she is a Princess in the arms of her King.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Peaceful White" Oil Painting

6x6, Oil on Canvas

I like the feel of the white against the trees and water.  I love a little peaceful place where all the colors run together and the air feels so clean.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Snow Mist" Diptych, Oil Paintings

4x12, Oil on Canvas

Getting ready for Artscape at the Aboretum next week and I like to have some little paintings to fill in the gaps.  I finished this one last week but have been so busy I haven't had a chance to share it yet.

I like how it goes from dark to light.  I will hopefully get to a large piece (30x30) this summer of the same coloring.  I thought it would be fun to do in a diptych.

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Aslan is Coming" Oil Painting

24x24, Oil on Canvas

My last piece for the C.S. Lewis show coming up.  I had thought at first I would do a piece where Lewis was walking through the woods dreaming up Narnia.  As I got going on the coloring of this piece it really had a mind of its own.  I finished it and my oldest daughter said, "It's like God is coming." It got me thinking about Aslan and how when he came back to Narnia the woods thawed and warmed and came back to life.

It got me thinking about the metaphor of that for our lives. Haven't we all needed thawing?  Where God warms us from the winter of our hearts?  I have.  Hold on.  He's coming.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Art Challenge Winner for January


"Narnia" 22x28, Oil on Canvas

http://www.contemporaryfineartinternational.com//Art_Challenge_files/widget1_markup.html

I won First Place in the Art Challenge theme for January: Dreams. So neat. Thanks to Contemporary Fine Art International for the wonderful honor.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Light of Suffering

16x20, Graphite on Clay Panel
This has been the most emotional, thoughtful and heart wrenching journey.  I never thought it would lead to this but here I am.  And now that it comes to it I don't really know how to share my heart.  I admit I'm afraid of what you might see and not see.  I'm afraid you might think me dishonoring to a God that I dearly and deeply love.  I'm afraid you won't see my frail effort at trying to grasp at the hem of his garment just to be near Him.

I told myself I would NOT do any artworks of Jesus as I felt I could never honor Him properly.  I will freely admit to you I still feel that way.  I've come to the altar and my sacrifice seems so trite and blemished.  I see that I can't "polish" this one up and make it what everyone would like.  So in a way I'm laying down you, my audience, for an audience of one.

Beth Moore wrote in her book, Get Out of That Pit, "Christ got down next to us in the grave, stayed the better part of three days, and then got up...so we have permission to get up too. And start living."  I love that.  He got up so I could get up.  He breathed His last so I don't ever have to.  Not really. 

He is the 2nd Adam, come to make all things right and good again.  Only this Adam has scars.  Scripture says that He let Thomas touch his nail scarred hands and touch the wound in his side.  Thomas didn't ask to see His back but I bet there were scars there too.  Ever pondered that?  That our perfect, beautiful God has scars?  What does that mean for my life? That there might be wounds, stripes, great pain? As God works on me to look more like Him will it look like I've been in a battle?  I don't presume to have the same scars as Christ but I know there will be pain. Something else Beth Moore wrote, "God entrusted that suffering to you.  Live up to it." 

I wanted to catch the moment He's pushing Himself up from the grave stone (almost like He just went right through the linen wrap).  I hope it shows His quiet strength.  I hope it shows His tender triumph.  He simply and wonderfully rose.

Remember these precious words from that great hymn, Up From the Grave He Arose: "Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior, vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!...He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever, with his saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!"


Scars on His side, wrist and back
I finished reading a book titled, Crucifixion by Martin Hengel.  It was a book about the mindset of the people of Jesus' day, the Romans, the Greek-speaking Gentiles and the Jews and how they viewed crucifixion as the most unspeakable, low form of death.  It was meant for the vilest of enemies or to keep servants in check.  It would never be for a god or the son of a god to die on a cross.
 
One particular passage from the book (the source was Melito's Homily on The Passion) says this about Jesus' death on the cross: "He who hung the earth (in it's place) hangs there, He who fixed the heavens is fixed there, He who made all things fast is made fast upon the tree, The Master has been insulted, God has been murdered, the King of Israel has been slain by an Israelitish hand. O strange murder, strange crime! The Master has been treated in unseemly fashion, his body naked, and not even deemed worthy of a covering, that (His nakedness) might not be seen. Therefore the lights of heaven turned away, and the day darkened that it might hide Him who was stripped upon the cross."

We've seen so many pictures of Jesus on the cross always with the loin covering.  Did you know He was crucified naked?  He was held up for all to see so that He would not only have the shame of exposure but for all to see His wounds, his life blood pouring out. 

Some of you might be wondering why Jesus is naked here in the grave.  After researching how they buried the dead of Jesus' day I came to believe that He was buried naked except for the linen covering. They had not had time to do the proper anointing after His death (since it was near the Sabbath).  We do know that He didn't remain naked as Mary Magdalene is later questioned by Jesus asking why she is crying and she believes Him to be the gardener (John 20:15).

I chose to put the wound in Jesus' wrist.  There is some discussion about where the nail was placed.  Scripture says in His "hand" but it is also believed that the wrist is part of the hand (for those in Jesus' day).  Some believe that the hand could not have held the weight of a full grown man and would have ripped eventually right through the hand.  There is also the scripture in John 19:36 that reminds us that not one of Jesus' bones would be broken.  In Hengel's book it explains how a Centurion would be very skilled in knowing exactly where to put the nails (he would have done it hundreds of times).  He would know the places that could bear the weight and not break bones until it was necessary.

The wound in Jesus' side was difficult as I didn't know which side was pierced.  All we know is that when it was pierced blood and water flowed out showing that Jesus' heart had actually stopped beating.  I have put the scar on left side.  I wanted to share two views of the wound in Jesus' side:

St. Augustine viewed the wound in Jesus side as symbolic of a door of salvation. He compared it to the door in the side of Noah's Ark where eight persons and animals went in to be saved from the flood.

George Hutchinson says, "His side was pierced and a passage opened to His heart so by His suffering we may look into His heart wounded with love for us, and pouring out itself for us and that as a hole was made
in Adam's side to take out a wife so a hole was made in His side to take in His beloved bride (the church) to His heart."


detail of His nail scarred foot

There was also some controversy over where the nails were placed in his feet.  I have chosen to put them in the traditional location but they may have been located in the soft place between the ankle bone and the Achilles tendon.  This was found from one of the only bodies they were able to find from a crucifixion (the deceased man had been a wealthy man's son so he was buried).  Usually those who were crucified were left for the birds to consume and so there was no way to find out what happened exactly.  With this particular man there was an actual nail through that soft place (the nail had dented making it difficult to get out so they left it).  Whatever the location we know it would have been difficult to stand let alone walk after such an injury.  I mention this to show the power of His resurrection.  He was scarred but He walked out of the grave.  He was perfect man and perfect God.

I love the light and hope that this picture shows how He rose into such a hopeful day.  HE is the light of the world and as light spills over His scarred body He lifts Himself up and walks out of the mouth of death.  My beautiful, precious Savior.  He did that for me.  He did that for you.