David's Harp


Mixed Media

Artist Statement

As a recently retired art teacher it is my joy to have a love and gift for art since early childhood. My mandate for art is taken from Exodus 31:1-11,35:30-36:1-5 where God calls the artists by name and anoints and appoints them to do all kinds of artistic designs and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship for the beautification of His Tabernacle. Essentially art is therefore for His Glory and reflects His might, his creation and purposes in the earth and for the joy and salvation of mankind. Trained at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, in Fine Arts and qualified as a teacher at The University of Cape Town, I have taught art for most of my work career. My art portfolio is mainly in drawing and painting, with oil pastels being a favourite medium. Subject-matter is wide, ranging from landscapes to animals and Biblical themes. I am currently planning on writing and illustrating my own children’s picture books. My hope is in my Saviour Jesus Who is my Rock and Fortress.

How it fits into contest

This artwork is a celebration of praise to God for His goodness and overcoming victory in all of creation. Praise to our Heavenly Father, the Almighty Jehovah Elohim, releases faith and ushers in His presence, driving away all evil. David entered the service of Kind Saul as a harpist, to soothe the tormented King. Whenever David took up his harp to play King Saul would feel better, and the evil would leave him as recorded in 1 Samuel 16. The artwork is constructed as a montage of a bed headboard with the shape of a harp, with oil painting on board and reconstructed golden place-mats. This symbolises the inner peace of rest that comes in praise, and connects with the comforting dream that Jacob had after fleeing from Esau as he rested his head on his rock pillow dreaming of heaven recorded in Genesis 28. This reminds and reassures us that Father God watches over us always even in the midst of conflict, and of our Rock, Who is Jesus, our foundation. The angels are rejoicing in heaven over the victory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus, whose symbol of the Cross is shown on the battle shields of the warrior angels. The artwork has a bed head-board of wood that reflects the wooden cross of our Saviour Jesus. It is heraldic in symmetry, relating to battle insignia and battle formation, with the warrior angels standing triumphantly on the right and on the left, trampling the evil serpent whose head is crushed as prophesied in Genesis 3:15 when God first announces His eternal plan of salvation to overcome all evil in the ultimate spiritual war. The angels are placed strategically as with the armour of God, standing firm as commanded in Ephesians 6. They keep watch alongside of us. In warfare we are to remain alert, though we rest in sleep. The inner angels are kneeling in prayer, which is another powerful weapon in the spiritual conflict. The colours are gold for Heaven, fire of the Holy Spirit, the inferno of Hell below where a retreating demon melts away as David keep his eyes on the Cross and his focus is heavenwards. This casts out all fear, and David ignores the demon as all evil must flee as we focus our hearts on the atoning work of Jesus and our Heavenly Father God. The Star of David appears in several places to identify David and merge with the promise given to Abraham that his descendants would be countless as the stars, with the Lord Jesus being the bright and shining Morning Star, of the line and House of David. The early Christian symbol of the fish interacts with the Star of David symbols and signifies salvation and that we are to be fishers of men for the Kingdom of God. The reconstructed golden place-mats are in the design of multiple harps for the victory celebration meal recorded in David’s Psalm 23 where God prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. This foreshadows the wedding supper of the Lamb prophesied in Revelation 19. The artwork thus encompasses the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation, the ultimate Battle Manual of Victory over all evil.

THE ATONEMENT This artwork illustrates the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the Cross where Jesus, as the Lamb of God, paid the ultimate and final price as He gave Himself in sacrifice for all mankind that whoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16) The tomb stone is rolled away, the grave is empty, as Jesus is resurrected to life. The mourners are astounded as they witness the crucifixion and the empty tomb and its significance as the final blow against all evil. The purple, red and green colours of this oil on canvas are symbolic of royalty, the Blood of Jesus, new life and Heaven. The light radiates and swirls out from the centrality of the Cross to embrace all of mankind, even as Christ’s arms reach out to us in sacrificial love and merciful forgiveness. It is the statement of the ultimate battle and victory over all of evil.

This oil on canvas painting celebrates the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, offering hope to our fallen world. There are deliberately no people in the composition, thus enabling the viewer to make a personal connection and engagement with the joy of a resurrected life. As the grave is open it invites the viewer to an open response to Jesus. The angel rejoices and has hands lifted up in power having overthrown the stone that previously sealed the grave. The hill of Calvary in the distance fades into the past yet is still with us, even as Christ is the same yesterday, today and for all eternity. We are reminded to daily look to the Cross and to live our own sacrificial lives whilst looking to the eternal now of life in Christ Jesus. In a sense, the open grave is the doorway to the Kingdom of God. It is the triumph of good over evil.

This composition was inspired by the original serigraph “The Burning Bush” by Shraga Weil at the Safrai Gallery in Jerusalem, yet is distinctly different to it. The oil on canvas focusses on the flames of the presence of the Almighty and symbolises the fire of the Holy Spirit. Moses has his back to the viewer as he leans intently toward the miracle. It is dramatic in the bold use of shadows rippling out in all directions. As we look to the light, symbolic of Jesus the true Light of the World, our shadows fall behind us. There are mountains in the distance, even as there are trials and obstacles in our lives. However, the light pervades and covers the mountains and gives us courage that the obstacles and trials of life will fade to the distance in the presence of the Holy Spirit Whose presence drives out all evil. The scene takes place in a valley of the mountains. The encounter of Moses with God at the burning bush is a prelude to the heavy task ahead to lead the Israelites out of captivity to freedom. Thus we, as Christians, must open our hearts and engage with the Holy Spirit as we walk through our valleys of life and walk in freedom.

This heart-warming and comforting composition is a celebration and joyful expression of the life and passing of my precious pet Snowflake whom I rescued from euthanasia many years ago. She went on to live about another 15 years and passed away peacefully at home in her snuggly bed aged about 19 years, in ripe old age. Snowflake is shown as an ethereal yet still beautiful tortoiseshell domestic cat going on to her second rescue from death as she soars happily to heaven above the river of life and past tumbling snowflakes to the applause of welcoming angels. The glory of a golden heaven awaits her. The light of life streams out of heaven’s portal, whose shape is that of the stone that was rolled away from the grave of Jesus at His resurrection. The viewer is reminded that not only does our Lord and Saviour promise us eternal life and the presence and protection of angels at death to accompany us on our final journey but that not only does God care about us, but also for His creation. In Revelation 19 the armies of Heaven ride on white horses led by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords on His white horse, so there are definitely animals in heaven. This oil on canvas is a comfort and encouragement to all who have lost a faithful companion pet. It celebrates the gift and promise of eternal life. There will be no more death. Revelation 21-22 describe Heaven and the River of Life.

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