Last weekend I took about an hour to photograph some of my favorite pieces of artwork from over the span of my life. I plan to have a portfolio of the work on my tumblr site, but thought I could take the next several weeks to blog about each piece. Ideally, most weeks I’ll go in chronological order, but today I’m going to start with my most recent piece.
This india ink drawing is in memory of my dear mentor Judy and in honor of her daughter Stephanie who has been incredibly kind to me. In early April Stephanie and I went to our church’s women’s retreat at Spruce Lake. That Saturday we went for a hike with a group, and I took a picture of this waterfall while we took a short break. I’m not much of a photographer, but something about the snapshot captured me and I knew that I wanted to draw it.
Today makes five months since Judy died. I’ve tried several times to start a portrait of her during that time but was never able to put the pencil to paper. Finally, I decided to draw the waterfall and the tree about Judy. For me the drawing is a portrayal of thriving life in the midst of death. The foaming waterfall roars over the rocks next to the large tree that in the past had offered shelter and shade but is now barren. The drawing is also a reference to Psalm 1 with the tree “firmly planted by streams of water.” The moment etched in the drawing depicts the tree as lifeless, leafless, but we know come the full bloom of spring, life will be bursting from that tree once again.
Before or after drama camp today, I am hoping to get the drawing framed. Then I’ll have the task of finding where to hang it in my house. Where ever it ends up resting, I know I will remember Judy when I see it. Judy was a woman who “delighted in the Law of the Lord”. Because of that she was a tree planted by the stream of life and during her life was able to provide shade and rest for many. Right now to us she seems a barren tree, seemingly dead, but I know that one day, when the trumpet sounds and the Lord descends, she will rise again, given a new life, overflowing from the waterfall that is Christ.